Thursday, June 27, 2013

Maybe Not.

I read a great essay today about agreeing to disagree. Additionally, I've been following the amazingly talented Molly Field as she takes on some of Carl Jung's most famous quotes--check it out! And I've been reading Revelation (aka the crazy book of the Bible.) That smell? It's my brain. It's frying. No worries.

At some point a few years ago, I hung up a note card emblazoned with The Four Agreements (Be impeccable with your word. Don't take anything personally. Don't make assumptions. Always do your best.) This is how I take on challenging life changes. Some people go to therapy; I write shit on a note card and hang it in a place where I'll see it all the time. One of my best friends does the same thing, so we encourage each other that this is most effective. Our bathroom mirrors and cupboard doors are brilliant.

Some of the cards really are brilliant such as: "In search of God I went to Mecca and to Rome. I visited many churches, temples, and mosques. I climbed the tallest mountain. I looked in the books of old eastern religion to no avail. I opened my heart: That is where He was"-Mevlana. And some of it is more banal: "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels"--on the pantry door. Whatever. Sometimes it keeps me from eating a bag of Doritos. Not always but occasionally. You can judge me. I'm not taking it personally; remember? And as long as we're examining ourselves, what does your judgement of me say about you, hmmmm?

All of this brings me to a central idea: Controlling my thoughts rather than letting them control me. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) says "...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." This blog is called Adventures in Overthinking because that is what I do. Overthink everything. If you and I had a conversation ten years ago, you might not even remember meeting me, but I still probably revisit that conversation from time to time. Taking captive my every thought is exhausting and nearly impossible. But I'm trying. 

And God helps. The Holy Spirit nudges me, and I have a forehead-slapping DUH moment. You might call this same thing your conscience, your inner voice, whatever you choose. I believe it's God, but whatever you believe, try to listen because they can be ever so helpful. 

These nudgings often come in interactions with Lily, my six-year-old clone and life coach. She's not my life coach in a gives-me-amazingly-sage-advice way--that's Chloe. And she doesn't teach me by drawing remarkably enlightening parallels--that's Peyton. She gives me great lessons in very basic ways. 

For example if Lily eats junk food, she gets wild. If I eat junk food, I get cranky. If Lily doesn't get enough sleep, she whines and cries...me too. If you yell at Lily, she yells louder at you. If you talk kindly and patiently to her, she listens and understands. If you tell her to do something "because I said so," she doesn't do it, or she does the opposite, but if you explain to her the logic behind what you're asking, she gets it and does it. And on and on and on.

Maybe we have Oppositional Defiant Disorder--I haven't ruled that out. Maybe this is just a lot of projection and overthinking. Maybe this is the result of too much reading, analysis, and an overactive imagination. Maybe this is pathological self-awareness. But maybe not. I have great faith in God and the maybe not.


2 comments:

  1. I think reading all of those bits and pieces from dissimilar streams is what gives us all of our amazing insights --- all that contrasting and comparing, and taking bits of advice aimed at one audience and realizing the implications for another. I'll give Corninthians that maybe I should redirect my thoughts if I'm say, plotting a murder, but all the rest of those sparks --- that's where the wonder lies, and you are a glorious wealth of it.

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  2. I don't believe that we can control our thoughts - they come and go as they please. Sometimes we can focus on them so excessively that we can literally drive ourselves nuts. My advice: just notice your thoughts and allow them to pass. They are neither good or bad. They are just thoughts. What is of consequence are our actions in reaction to these thoughts.

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