A lot of us are living in a hurricane and don’t even know it… not a literal hurricane however as I imagine we might not be living at all if that were the case, but a hurricane of thoughts that move around us faster that an X-wing Starfighter in space.
We become so immersed in this tangled mess of thoughts that it becomes easy to lose focus, clarity and direction, and the longer we leave things tangled, like hair, the bigger a mess it becomes. The thing is, for a lot of us, this is our normal, everyday internal environment starting the moment we wake up… we think about everything we need to accomplish today, what we didn’t get done from yesterday, last week or the month before, how the hell are we going to complete all of this! What are we going to have for dinner? Who’s taking Katie to hockey practice? I have to work late again so maybe her friend’s mum could take her? Man I need a vacation, I wish I made more money, shit the phone bill is late again, what if I mess up my presentation, what if it’s not good enough, what if, what if, what if…
Whoa… slow down! The list goes on and on and on and on and we continually pile everything from today, yesterday and last century onto it.
We live in this constant flurry of thought, and our obsession with what he said / she said, he did / she did, he didn’t / she didn’t, he doesn’t / she doesn’t in real life and on social media only adds more to the already overwhelming pile…
Pile of what, though? What is it we’re so preoccupied with that actually matters? Because if we’re able to step back and actually, rationally, look at the thoughts that race around our heads… which of these thoughts are any of our business and of the ones that are, which actually need any action or attention from me?
Write them down, then look at them one by one. Which thoughts need attention and which ones don’t? Is there anything in my control that I can do / say to potentially alter the situation for the better? Because if you’re constantly worried whether Brad is going to choose Angelina over Jennifer, let it go. That is his decision, not yours, and a million pounds of worry won’t change the outcome.
A lot of the chatter that races around our heads often stems from worry or fear. But, what I have recently come to discover, is that worrying about a future situation or outcome that may or may not happen is a waste of time, energy and space in your brain. We cannot predict the future nor do we have the power to control it. But what we can control, are the thoughts and actions we do today. So, if it’s a goal you have that you’re dwelling on, then what actions can you take today to get you closer to that goal? That’s all you can do… worrying about it gets us nowhere. Acting on it will.
The chatter also comes from things we haven’t let go of. Past pains we haven’t found closure with, regrets we have for things said / not said, done / not done, resentments we push deep down inside us because we’re too chicken shit to deal with them head on for sake of someone’s feelings getting hurt or because we don’t like to feel pain - who does? This shit is HEAVY, and it weighs us down whether we know it or not. We carry this weight with us on a daily basis and the more energy we invest in being angry and upset over these events only causes them to get heavier. And heavier. And heavier, until we muster up the courage to face the underlying issue whether it be internal or involve someone else. Or, we ignore it and start exploring other more popular methods to “deal” with it… because drinking or drugging yourself to sleep is much easier and way more fun than talking about painful feelings, right?
We ignore the pain, we do everything we can to avoid it, we repeatedly tell ourselves and others “I’m fine” when in fact we’re not, then one day it all becomes too much and we break. It’s like filling a balloon up with water until it becomes so full that it can’t hold any more otherwise it will burst, which we know, but we give it more anyways because, “it won’t break”… but it does. And so do we. We break. We’re human. It’s okay. Breaking opens the doors to opportunity… an opportunity to acknowledge the pain, an opportunity to feel the pain and with that the opportunity to heal from it.
When we break, like the balloon, everything spills out including things we may not even know we were holding on to. This is good. Whatever we’re holding onto or pushing away inside ourselves needs to come to the surface, because while we say “we’re okay” and we may be avoiding these feelings because they suck, the truth is that the only way out is through. We have to navigate through the messy, difficult, painful emotions to find peace on the other side. Peace doesn’t come from any external sources - trust me, I’ve looked - it comes from inside us. Digging through the wreckage of the storm to find the one grain of sand that started it all… the root cause of each uncomfortable feeling. Identify it, process it, do what you need to do to find closure with it, then repeat until all the grains of sand are gone and the storm has passed. You will feel lighter and more free, I promise.
Thank you for reading,