If you’re feeling low, maybe try this thing i stumbled across while blogging a week or so ago…
Since i’ve begun this very intentional journey towards becoming a critical, rational, skeptical thinker, i’ve tried to be more aware of the things i just say. You know, like when someone says Hi! as you’re passing them and you say Hi! back, and then they say How are you, and you say Fine, thanks! They’re not really asking, and you’re not really telling them – not really. It’s just a thing you say.
(As an aside, i am, as a person who prefers to love humanity from a bit of a distance, in favour of these meaningless exchanges. I want to acknowledge your presence and bid you well with the least amount of interaction possible. It’s not that i don’t like you or don’t care about you, i just manage my thoughts and emotions best with a minimum of physical, in-my-actual-bubble involvement, and the more personal we get, the more quickly i need to GTF home and recharge my batteries. This is not to say that i don’t have the time or energy for a deeper exchange – i just tend to reserve those for personal friends. What i’m meaning to say is, i simply don’t have the desire or the wherewithal to engage on a deep level with everyone i say Hi! to. Hm, this still doesn’t read quite right…
If i’ve never seen you before, or have only ever said Hello to you, i’m fine with the basic niceties and some small talk. There. That seems clearer. I guess this is a bit of insight for you, lucky reader, into how my brain works. Heh.
I’m working on being more conscious regarding what i think and what i say. I question whether i have enough reason and evidence to believe the thing i just thought/said. Is it something i just say? Is it only something i’ve heard my whole life and i’m parroting? Is it something i was taught is true and never questioned? While it is a long, arduous, and exhausting endeavour, i’m completely committed, and i’m happy to say it has borne some good fruit.
This is not to proselytise or preach, that you should be trying to achieve the same things as i am. I want to be right about as much as possible and wrong about as little as i can be, and the only way to do that is to test everything i think that i know and believe to be true. I try to foster a skeptical mindset, and apply critical thinking to everything, which begins with my thoughts and naturally extends to what i say.
If you were wondering when i was going to share the thing that may lift your mood as it did mine – wonder no longer, for i have meandered my way back to that thing that i stumbled across last week. Huzzah! (The civil engineer was on holiday when my brain was mapped out, it could use some signage, i admit.)
I was blogging, and i found myself writing about the best thing that had ever happened to me. It’s a story i’ve related many times, but my new, carefully cultivated mindset caused me to pause and ask myself, “Is that event actually the best thing that has ever happened to me?”
To know if it is the best thing -and by best i mean the thing that took me off the path of destruction and pain that i’d been set upon since birth- i must test it to see if it’s true. I must subject it to critical thinking, and look for evidence, evidence being a body of facts that would indicate my belief is the only valid conclusion.
I asked myself if anything else contributed to me changing my life for the better, and it was instantly **INSTANTLY** clear that there were other people and events that had contributed either a little or a lot, to me shucking off my mourning clothes and plodding steadfastly towards the light.
Actually, there were many. There were many people and events that helped, and more than that, there are still, today, many people and events that continue to be helpful. Sometimes it’s hard to be this naked, and i think about my clothes laying somewhere on the ground back there, but the light is warm and beckons me, and i know they’d be too dark and heavy for me now. There are those along the way who would provide me shelter and refreshment too, so i never need go back.
Through testing whether or not that one particular story was indeed the best thing that ever happened to me, i discovered that it both was, and it wasn’t. I realised that there were many things that had happened with many other people, that could at least be put on the short list. And then, as i pondered, i had a little epiphany. It’s nice when they occur. I don’t go looking for them, because then i just get frustrated and depressed if i don’t have one, but geez, they sure are nice to experience sometimes.
I realised that there is a common denominator in all of those “best things that ever happened to me”, and that is, of course, me. ME is the best thing that ever happened to me. Nevermind the literality of that statement could get your brain all twisted up in knots – just take it in the easy and obvious way. The way that means that i am the best thing to ever happen to me. And i invite the best things ever and the best people ever to happen to me. And i am the one who makes them the best things and people ever.
And that makes me feel good, and happy, and powerful, and important, and loved.
I could go on, but it’s probably better for all if i don’t. My brain is spinning all over the place right now, and my feelings are centred in my chest but feel very light and floaty, which experience tells me that, if i was understandable at all in this piece, i soon won’t be. I’m going to listen to some soothing instrumental music and play some mindless games. It will keep me from slipping into a state that can make it easier for mania to gain a foothold.
Ah, life as me is always fairly interesting. And just so you can better infer my tone – i have a huge smile on my face right now.
“Victories over ingrained patterns of thought are not won in a day or a year.”
~ Isaac Asimov, The Naked Sun
Love and Peace, Friend,
Addendum: See what happens when my brain gets all excited and flits about like that? I clearly didn’t bring it back around to you. I was trying to share something that helped me, just in case it might also be helpful to YOU.
So if you want to, think about who you’re not sure you could have made it this far without. Think of things that happened that changed the way you thought or felt in such a positive way, that it altered all your experiences after it happened.
Realise that there are people over the years that have shown you mercy, compassion, support, protection, love… Whatever it is.
Become aware that it was you who gave these people and events the permission to change you. So there. You could maybe feel a bit better. I hope. If it didn’t, i want you to hang in there. If you wait long enough, something probably will. The wait sucks, but stick around, okay?