Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Year's Resolution Update

Are there things in your life which you just don't want to think about?

Things which make you sad, which have no solution, or whose solution is so far out of reach that it might as well not exist at all?  Things which exist in your world but which are out of your control ... for whatever reason that might be..... do they make you as crazy as they make me?

My New Year's resolution* places the burden of my happiness squarely on my own shoulders.  I've left myself a reminder on my new phone's welcome screen, and usually that's enough.  But sometimes....

These things hit me unexpectedly, not creeping up slowly but slamming into my face and my heart with a suddenness that would be jarring even were they bringing me strawberry shortcake instead of  poop pie.

I cross my arms on the desk and rest my forehead, caring enough about myself to leave my nose free for breathing.  Though I try to feel the stimulation of my 3rd eye and create the understanding and detachment that the ajna chakra promises, the force of the feeling is overwhelming.  

So, I wallow. 

I am the Queen of Wallowers, the Empress of Self-Pity, the Princess of Why Me.  There are no boundaries, no restrictions, no qualifications on the feelings.  Out they pour, scrambling over one another in their effort to be recognized.  Sad is a big one, but angry, lost, furious, empty, frightened and all their friends are asserting their presence with authority.  I don't wallow long, but I wallow well.

At a certain point, I take a deep breath and (thank you New Year's Resolution!) I remind myself that I am only as happy as I allow myself to be.  The bad thoughts are brought up short in their tracks.... I can literally feel them going back inside to their special secret hiding space (somewhere near the clocaca, no doubt) as my heart begins to pump more regularly and I feel the wall reconstructing itself..... locking those issues back away.

I know that I won't solve them by doing that, but I won't make them go away by examining them, either.  Remember, they are out of my control.  They exist in another and in me and a resolution requires equal participation...... as I said.... out of my control.

And it's not the fact of being out of my control that aggravates me.  It's that the solution cannot be achieved by my own force of will.  I don't want to be here, but I am.  I need help getting out, and the help is not forthcoming.

I suppose I ought to let them out every once in a while when I'm feeling cheery and see if they look better under that lens.  But that would mean feeling this way on purpose.... and I am only as happy as I allow myself to be...... so, for now, I'm going to concentrate on making myself happier rather than searching for a solution.

It feels like that's at least a small step up from wallowing.

Oh, yes..... thanks for listening.

*don't want to click through?  In brief, then: You are only as happy as you allow yourself to be.


  1. I've been all over the board with techniques for coping with unwelcome thoughts. Last year, I even subjected myself to a miserable ten day "enlightenment" retreat designed to hardwire the question, "Is that true?" into my brain so that I would question negative thoughts so automatically, they would no longer arise. I was thoroughly enlightened, alright...to the crass world of high-priced, pseudo-cult, guru groups. As a result, I may have temporarily thrown the baby out with the bathwater; I may be a little turned off on Don't Worry, Be Happy (See "Sticking It To The Joy-Mongers," parts 1 and 2).

    Nevertheless, years of training others in positive cognitive reframing has certainly wired me with some coping power tools. I agree with you thoroughly that we can feel better without necessarily psychoanalyzing...or even giving serious consideration to...every unhappy thought that arises. Here comes one. There it goes. Next?

  2. And, like the excellent social worker you are, you went right to the nub of the issue, Nance. I am not looking to "get better", I am just looking to "feel better".

    I'm still worrying and thinking about the issue - I'm just not letting it make me feel sad. A second cousin to denial, maybe......

    10 days being retrained does sound miserable... I supervised a woman who went through est training and it was not a pretty sight.


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