The Dalai Lama Called Me Stupid

Well, not literally.

Still, point taken.

Every day, I try to read a page or two from “365 Dalai Lama – Daily Advice from the Heart”. Most passages are thought-provoking, inspiring, or even funny. There are very few that don’t seem to apply to me, whether it’s my life in general or the situation of the moment. Today, he said, and I quote “What I feel like saying to pessimists and perpetual worriers is this: how stupid you are!”. Yes, the exclamation point was included in the passage.

You can see where I might take this personally. I’ve admitted previously that I am a worrier, have been a worrier for most of my life, am well aware of this fact, and am trying to change it.

Yeah, about that.

The last few months have seen me rebound into massive amounts of worries. They felt incredibly overwhelming, and once I got stuck back in that cycle, I spiraled down even deeper then where I originally started from.

I think this is a natural consequence of the work I’ve been doing with myself. But like an addict who relapses, it might take several good tries before I let go of what feels like . . . a part of me. Not a good part, but still, part of my “me-ness” so to speak. It’s hard to let go of something that feels like it helps hold my whole life together.

The path isn’t a straight line; it’s a spiral. You continue to come back to things you thought you understood and see deeper truths.

It’s easy and . . . comfortable, to revert back to form. Not comfortable in that I enjoy it, but comfortable in that I know the drill, I know how to do it. It’s not work. I don’t have to think; well, at least not about what I’m doing. The why is the hard part.

Old habits die hard. Putting consistent effort in and changing my conscious approach to life is a lot of work!  However, feeling miserable is twice as bad when I realize how great I ultimately felt doing that work. And it’s not that habits are bad, per se. Healthy eating, exercise, meditation. Reinforcing “good for me” habits is building new pathways in my mind. Pathways where I don’t automatically take the low road down to Worryville.

Not the low road, or the high road, but around

So here I am, continuing on my journey. Consciously creating new thought patterns around the worn pathways that my brain has traveled for, hmmm, 50+ years. Sometimes, I will be feeling just fine, and will actually feel my mind start looking for something to worry about. It roots around through memories, situations, and feelings to find something to poke at, like my tongue poking at a sore tooth. Over and over, despite the discomfort.

Of course, the inauguration and subsequent “carnage” hasn’t helped. My emotions feel out of control. I feel like we are, all of us, reacting instead of acting. So much has happened, so quickly. Sometimes, I feel despondent.

But I have a lot of wonderful friends who lift me up, who encourage me to fight when I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. We are all becoming a tribe, speaking out, fighting the oppressive actions that our new administration is enacting every day to decimate our already great country. And we have the world with us too.

This morning, I read the following out of another book: “Daily Om – Learning To Live” by Madisyn Taylor. It is spot on:

Every value we hold dear is an expression either of support or opposition; and it is our perspective that determines whether we are for something or against it. As an example, we can direct our energy and intention into activities that promote peace rather than using our resources to speak out in opposition to war. On the surface, these appear to be two interchangeable methods of expressing on virtue, yet being for something is a vastly more potent means of inspiring change because it carries with it the power of constructive intent.

So I am reframing my thoughts. Not that I won’t continue to fight with the worry, but it sure feels good to think positively. And not in that “give them some time, wait 100 days, it will all be okay” bullshit I’m hearing. Ain’t nobody got time for that! I am planning for positive action to promote equality, compassion, tolerance, affordable healthcare, a cleaner climate, and every other damn thing that we absolutely, without a doubt, need in this country, and in this world.

How have you been coping? With the news, the information overload, the worry?

About DeniseV

Hi, I'm Denise. I created this blog to accompany me through the adventure of middle age and beyond. A San Diego native, I dream of retiring to Kaua'i. In the mean time, I travel as much as possible, tend to my day job as a small business owner, and enjoy free time with my second husband and our combined four kids.

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