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December 12, 2023

“Save Me:” It’s about Format.

That’s how the meme goes.

A woman leans in, whispering that plea to a man…

“Save me.”

He responds…

“Jpeg or PDF?”

It’s a cliché joke because, often, it’s true.

We look to someone to swoop in and be the miracle for us. It’s not the literal “life or death” cry. No. it’s often more emotional than that.

It is about formatting, like the tech format of jpeg or PDF.

It’s the meaning, the approach, the result we seek when we ask what that woman asks in the humorous meme.

What do we mean when we beg. “Save me?”

A potential first option?

Help me escape.






Here we go. We just love to be delivered from the tediousness of life, and everything that constitutes that.

The escape hatch.

Perhaps we arrive at middle age, recognizing that the longed-for dream we had for ourselves has not materialized.

Perhaps we have no sense of fun in our daily lives, only the drudgery of chores and tasks.

Perhaps we are overwhelmed by circumstances beyond our control, like illness, stress, death, and loss.

We beg, “save me” regarding those things.

And the object of our salvation is individualized and personal as that of our own fingerprints.

Sometimes, we decide it’s a person: a love relationship, a spouse, a child, or a friend. we can determine that they have the answer; they, “magically,” hold the key to us finding the ambiguous missing something in our lives. We can pressure and expect something unrealistic, and even impossible. It is something they, as finite human beings, were never designed, nor capable of giving to us in the first place.

But we expect and pressure them for the result, all the same.

So, doing this, how frustrating and futile of a process, let alone, a result, do we think we will experience?

It can be the well-described definition of insanity, set in motion: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting a different result.”

How do we execute that from someone else?

We double down of the pressure we place on a person. We create further drama. We make everyone, including ourselves, more miserable with our requirements.

And we don’t get what we want.

Or, if we are even closely within the vicinity of getting what we think we want, it comes with additional complications, like resentment, depression, and anxiety.

The person we pressure, increasingly, gets buried under the weight of pressures and expectations.

And maybe, with the recognition of this frustrated futility, we decide to look elsewhere.

But this time, it’s not a person; it’s a thing.

Now, we are primed for addiction and compulsion. We expect, require and pressure the same results of being saved. But we use a behavior or a substance to make that happen.

We have a few glasses of wine every single day after work, or after picking up the kids.

We shop or gamble for the immediate and electric thrill of the hunt.

We self-harm by utilizing methods like cutting, disordered eating, and unrealistic goal setting.

There is a right “someone or something” out there…

It just isn’t “them.” It just isn’t “that.”

Yes, no matter what we choose, as varied as the methods may be, one thing is the common denominator: we look outside of ourselves, rather than choosing to deal within our own lives and the issues that represent those lives.

We are the who and the what. No substitute. No place card holder.

But that doesn’t comfort our “save me” cry, does it?

We need to get accustomed to the stark reality that comfort was not part of the deal. It’s not realistic to expect a saving of us from us.

Even in matters of spirituality and faith, we need to make a move; we need to choose.

We need to embrace how outside sources cannot deliver us from life’s realities.

Yet there are those of us who still hold out on someone or something else coming through for us.

And what this means to us often shows up as this…

Stop the pain.




It’s all pain, and we want nothing to do with it.

That is the focus of this “save me” format.

We are trying to avoid, bury, negate, deny, and kill the pain. Things like…

A failed marriage…

The loss of “the love of a lifetime…”

Feeling that we are alone in life, with no one to help us…

Giving up on a long-held dream…

These are just a few examples of “deaths.” It’s a loss. Absence. Ending. Brutal reality of what is.

And that can prompt a raft of desperate feelings, all clamoring not to experience the pain connected to those things.

We want anesthesia. We don’t want to feel anything because all we seem to feel is pain.

And what kind of life is that?

So, we can view anything and anyone as anesthesia. We make them anesthesia.

And they were never designed to be that for us.

We need to embrace our fear of the pain feeling.

It is awful. It hurts. It involves crying. It is sad.

These are inescapable realities. We may believe, for a time, that we can avoid, push down, or minimize their real impact on our lives.

But, left undealt with, inevitably, there will come a time when that pain comes roaring back, with further complications in its wake.

Things like illness. Addiction. Bankruptcy.

We need to deal with pain. Period. We won’t escape its presence in our lives.

“Save Me:” Is our entitlement driving the plea?

We may need to ask some uncomfortable questions about ourselves.

Do I feel I am entitled to live a pain-free life?

Why am I exempt from pain, discomfort, and loss?

Where did I learn that I should and can live a pain-free life?

It is often within this context of challenging mistaken thoughts governing us that we are better able to reach a more accurate self-concept and an unfolding peace with where we find ourselves in life.

It requires doing the hard, painful work. It requires honesty. It requires facing ugliness, especially if we are the cause behind the ugliness.

It requires we forfeit short-term “solutions.” There are no Band-Aids.

It requires reformatting on our part. And that’s different for everyone.

But the one constant is that we need to choose change: in thought and in deed.

And that includes the concept of “saving.”

Copyright © 2023 by Sheryle Cruse

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