I often wonder what I’m “supposed” to be doing in this life. Do you ever think that?
I think a LOT. That’s not necessarily a good thing, mind you. Thinking a lot makes it hard to be successful at meditating and sleeping. It also has the downside of making you over-analyze too many situations. One thing I’ve realized in the journey of trying to “slow my brain down” is that we can over-think things so much that we become paralyzed. We think, “What if I’m making a poor decision?” or “What if I’m not READY to make a commitment”. If you’re an over-thinker, not only will you likely be exhausted, you might miss out on great relationships or conversations or moments.
Most opportunities don’t come to us gift-wrapped with a pretty bow on top. We need to be open to them; invite them into our lives and then see where they take us. We can’t “hit the ball out of the park” if we’re afraid to pick up the bat. Sometimes we just have to make a decision and “go for it”.
Awhile ago, I was telling two of my dear friends a story of a recent attempt at meditation. I think I could have won a stand-up comic award considering how hard they were laughing! (THAT is a good thing because who couldn’t use more laughter?) I was relating that I read a book that suggested you “still your mind” and “imagine that you’re watching the ocean”. You might see a boat go by, but you simply acknowledge the boat and don’t let it grab your attention away from serenely viewing the ocean. Sounds beautiful, peaceful and relaxing right? Unfortunately, in my head, the chatter goes something like this: “Wow what a beautiful boat”, “Do you see the sails?”, “How big do you think that boat is?” “I wonder where that boat is going”, “How many people do you think are on the boat?”, “I wonder if they had a champagne toast when they set off”, “I bet she’s wearing a cute boating outfit”, “I remember being on a sail boat, that was wonderful”, you get the idea….my mind and meditation haven’t been a good match so far.
I think too much.
Sometimes we think SO much that we imagine problems that aren’t even there. We become paralyzed by the “what ifs”. If we get into a routine of being afraid to make decisions because the outcomes aren’t guaranteed, we miss out on an awful lot of living.
I almost always wake up with a positive attitude. Even when I don’t sleep well (which is often) I usually wake up with a forward-looking outlook. I attribute that to my “glass half full” personality, which is a gift and a blessing. (I think people tend to either be glass half-full or glass half-empty, but we’ll talk about that another day.) Sometimes, as I’m going through the day however, I slip out of that half-full mindset. That happens when I get overwhelmed and I’ve had a few of those days lately.
I am by far my toughest critic. The expectations I set for myself are sometimes unbelievably ambitious, but I’m scrappy and determined and usually smart so I think I can accomplish almost anything. Then, when my expectations aren’t met by my results, I get overwhelmed.
When I get to a place where I’m overwhelmed,
then I’m really hard on myself,
then I’m upset with myself for being so hard on myself,
then I’m angry at myself for being upset with myself,
and THEN I’m sad because I’m angry,
because I KNOW what really matters,
and I try to live that and teach that,
and “how dare I try to inspire others when I sometimes stink at IT (what really matters)”?
Somewhere in that cycle of crazy everything ELSE comes up too:
I should be eating better,
I should get more exercise,
I should reach out to those in need more,
I should lose weight,
I should write more,
I should try to medicate (again),
I should journal more,
make a difference more,
Do you do that to yourself too?
I believe that we should be our own best cheerleaders. I know that we’re blessed when we have other folks cheering in our corners too. Now, if we could only think just a little less, remind ourselves that we’re only human, and try to keep our glasses at least half full!
©2015 Peace Full Home/Intentional Living
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ps. Last week, I posted the Z to A “checklist”. I figured that at the end of each week’s post, for the next 52 weeks, I’d go through the list one at a time (starting with #1 of course, since I’m a type-A kind of girl), as a reminder of some little things that we can do to make our world just a little better.
#1. Zone in on what those you love are REALLY saying (often not the same as what you’re hearing). Listen to what’s being said “between the lines”. There are many times when someone wants or needs us to know something but (for some reason) doesn’t know how to just come out and say it.