You might think based on the title that this post is all about me going crazy. Ha! That would be too easy. Ask a friend who has known me any length of time, and they will tell you I’m always going crazy about something. My job, my hair, my house cleaning schedule – it’s all up for fixation eventually.
This post, however, is about coming to the conclusion that the best way to find true happiness is by going out of my mind. Or, rather, getting out of my mind. You see, I am a classic over-thinker. Hubby has told me repeatedly that life would be much simpler if I just got out of my head every once in awhile and stopped trying to plan/think/plot/control every little thing that happens. Shah! Right! As if! Ok, ok, the man may be onto something.
I’ve always known that thoughts can be drivers of both emotion and action. And therefore, it’s important to filter those thoughts or at least focus them, so as to avoid going down a slippery slope. Self-help books are always advising to avoid negative thinking and focus on the positive. And if that’s too secular for you, there’s always Romans 12:2 telling us to “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” and Phillipians 4:8 saying, “..whatsoever things are true..honest..just..pure..lovely..of good report..virtue and praise..think on these things”. Good, solid advice, right? I had no idea…
In recent weeks, it’s become increasingly easy for me to focus on what I don’t have and what I haven’t done. I don’t have a college degree. I haven’t done the traveling I’ve been wanting to do since high school. I don’t make enough money. And that kind of thinking morphs into the “I wish” level of thought: I wish I didn’t have to work at all. I wish my house were bigger… Then comes the resentment (why me!?) … and the urge to place blame (somehow spouses and parents never come out looking good) ..and before I knew it I had disolved into a giant (ha!) 31 year old toddler throwing a temper tantrum. (There was a lot of “NO”, “WHY”, and “GIMMEE” going on) Not a pretty sight, let me tell you.
Even less pretty was stepping outside my head mid-tantrum and recognizing how ridiculous I was behaving. It’s hard to admit that for my entire life thus far, my primary defense for dealing with anything unpleasant has been to either ignore it or pretend it away. When I don’t want to deal with something, I choose instead to escape into books, music, television, internet, the occasional 40 pound chocolate bar… Anything to distract myself from dealing with the issue at hand. I can remember times I actually just repeated to myself over and over, “Pretend it didn’t happen, pretend it didn’t happen, pretend it didn’t happen.” If I thought burying my head in the sand would help, I would surely try.
The sad truth is that my methods clearly don’t work. And, in fact, oftentimes make things worse. What to do? As hubby advises…get out of my head and embrace reality a little bit more. Which, as it turns out (9 times out of 10, anyways) really isn’t so bad. Reality is that I am incredibly blessed with a husband who loves me, a home of our very own, 4 furry animals who love me for simply walking in the door everyday, the list could go on and on. Is it perfect? No. But it’s my life. It’s my reality. I get to choose what to make of it.