Day 85: I noticed something today. I have gotten rather good at not worrying about ‘what if.’ It’s that part of being that rises up when things are going well and reminds you of what happened the last time or ten years ago.
In the past I had one of those life-altering events that leaves, as a friend of mine says, scorched earth. Not just everything upset but everything destroyed. While I carry some scars from those events, I can tell you that I foolishly spent time creating my own chaos when things began to become good again. I have a theory about this that is part medical, part psychological and part me having a bit of an epiphany. When we are faced with crisis or life-altering issues, our bodies produce a big push of adrenaline and our brains tell us to use it for fight or flight. If the crisis is ongoing, we get used to that constant feeling of being energized and on the edge. Then things begin to settle down. And here is where the choice comes in. If we want to continue on that adrenaline high, we need to create new chaos, stir up new drama, fuel some tiny problem until it’s raging. Otherwise the spotlight disappears and life change must occur. I’m not sure which is more difficult, looking yourself in the mirror and telling yourself to stop or having someone else pointing out that you are doing it. It requires some thoughtful determination to stop the drama wheel from churning and discovering what your new norm can be. I do know that when we stop creating our own drama, it becomes easier to believe that there can be no more pianos falling from the sky to squish us or be haunted by the ghosts of past failure. If I am going to imagine my future and conjure some ‘what ifs’ then I choose to imagine that all the drama in life is on HBO and that my problems are short-lived, minuscule critters who are highly allergic to my breath of calm.