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Friday, October 29, 2010

I Need to Hear That Brainswitching Does Get Easier

Dear A. B.
I need to hear that this does get easier. Do you know of other people who struggled like this in the beginning, but won anyway? Right now it seems as if I am just one endless stream of negative thoughts. I am wanting to grab for anything that will end them. I grab for a "green frog" and between each damn green frog there is a negative thought squeezing in! If I am not green frogging I am thinking about depression! I structure each day with one objective....In which setting will it be easiest for me to ignore my negative thinking. I still have a lot of fear. I am afraid of my weekends b/c they don't have much structure so how will I keep from thinking?
A major thought that comes back every time and all day long is that what I do each day really matters. "What will you do tonight my brain asks. Oh really? That's all? Hmm I wonder what other more worthy people will be doing? You should be doing that" Then I get all the fun, weird, paranoid thoughts like "You have conciousness, you can realize that you are sitting here and you can watch yourself" That really freaked me out last night. I can watch myself...and I seem to do it all the time. Ok, enough...I will re-commit the rest of the day to thinking neutral or positive. But I would love to hear if you have seen other people be discouraged and then come through anyway. R_________
Dear R________

Why is it that we all want to do extraordinary things instead of being satisfied with a simple, ordinary life where we accomplish small productive things every day. To make the day count, we just need to move ahead with our lives and connect in loving ways with those people we come in contact with.  Why do we think we need to accomplish some great deed? Maybe we're just supposed to accomplish little things. Why isn't that good enough? No doubt I will never be a celebrity, never be like the well-known authors appearing on Oprah. Does that mean I should stop pursuing my craft and doing the very best I can?

Of course people get discouraged and come through anyway. Even if that were not true look at your options. Keep changing your brain for the better. Or, give up and don't keep changing your brain for the better. For sure you are changing your brain whenever you have a new thought. That is just basic neuroscience. There is a change in your brain for every thought you think. And the thoughts you think more often are stronger and more imprinted in your memory banks.

You seem to be looking for some guarantee that doing better thinking will make you a better person. That should be obvious. Will you be rid of depression for ever? No. But it will start taking a back seat to the rest of your life and will cease to have importance in your life.

Nobody has a guarantee that their life will turn out well, or even that they get to live life another day. Life doesn't owe you anything. You have the gift of the present moment. For that gift it is your duty to make the best of it. That is what you owe to life. You need to call upon your courage more often and you will see that as you call upon your courage, it strengthens.

You are responsible for whatever thoughts you decide to think. Grabbing for "Green Frog" between negative thoughts is good. Follow that up with doing something productive and then thinking about what you are doing instead of thinking about what you are feeling. In this way you more easily ignore your negative thoughts and the brain will follow the direction of your most current dominant thought, what you are working on. A. B. Curtiss

1 comment:

Ginger said...

A.B., so well said! I really enjoyed your reply to R.

I don't know how old R is, but when I was younger, I used to think similar thoughts about the fabulous things "worthier" people were involved in while I frittered away my life doing the most boring, trivial of tasks.

Maybe it's a gift of years to realize that even the world's most beautiful, exciting celebrities have problems and disappointments too. So many of us covet the lives of the rich and famous, but in spite of appearances, no life is all glamour and perfection. Furthermore, an "exciting life" may not really end up being all that rewarding for those who have one!

These days I am more inclined to think that a humble, simple existence may be as valuable, if not more so, than a glitzy one.

I treasure the stillness and beauty of watching my cat sleep, the delight I find in hearing birds sing and seeing them flit from branch to branch on the trees. I love the good smells of food cooking, the feel of a book in my hand, the opportunity to connect with people here!

Maybe if I lead a grand existence I wouldn't notice or value these simple things.

Personally I feel richer for cherishing the simple. I could also be much better at tuning into the gifts of the ordinary. The degree to which I do, the more fufilling is my life.

Maybe the less we require outside of ourselves for contentment, the richer we really are.