Saturday, September 23, 2017

Think About It -- Living Whole-Heartedly

Thursday was a slump day. I started off with good intentions to get a lot of work done, but I took time after eating to play Spider Solitaire (SS). That’s my break time; my time when I don’t have to be thinking about all the things I should be doing. I don’t want to be “working” all the time and “thinking” is working. I tend to think way too much!

Unfortunately, SS doesn’t occupy my mind enough to stop mind chatter. My brain still multitasks. I can have more than one scenario or conversation going on in my head at the same time, and when I slip into daydreaming, it’s often dreaming of things going wrong.

I tell myself to stop, but it’s like watching a movie. I want to see the end … until I force myself to stop. I try to think of something else; that turns towards disaster, too. Even thinking of the mini-vacation next week evolved into things going wrong like accidents, attacks, and issues with hotels or people. I try to envision work around the house or art work, but again, that’s about work and the daydreaming brings to mind everything that has not worked out right. 

Stop! Stop those downward thought patterns!

Yesterday I was determined not to fall into that funk again and get back to living a whole-hearted life.

The most important thing to do is not listen to or read the news. It’s hard to get away from it. There are headlines on Facebook, people are always going on about some issue or other and blowing everything all out of proportion or not having all the facts, the TV or radio are talking constantly about every bad thing that has happened. Then there’s all the commercials yelling about their products. 

I get a kick out of the radio station that comes on as my alarm clock in the morning. The news always starts with “Here’s what you need to know today…” and it’s always about someone getting killed, some disaster, or some political controversy. Do I really need to know that? No. I don’t think there has ever been anything I’ve needed to know.

Think about it. We are constantly bombarded with negativity, most of which we can’t do anything about. Commercials are constantly pounding us. The constant repetition of the terrors in the country and world, everything bad and horrible, all the grief and anger affects everyone. Is this what you want to surround yourself with? Is this what you want for your family and kids?

The more negativity pounded into us, the more negativity and horror there will be. It’s like mob mentality. People get caught up in it. They can’t help it. It’s psychological. The pumped-up attitudes, the adrenaline rushes, the need to strike out – it’s catchy. People’s emotions run rampantly out of control.

Think about it. Think about how easy it is to get caught up in others’ emotions. When they are angry, you get angry. When they are pumped-up and rallying against one thing or another, you get pumped-up, too. People stop thinking for themselves when caught up in all the emotion. And it doesn’t matter where you are -- even concerts, pep rallies, sports games, protests -- people get caught up in all that emotion and may end up acting in a way they never would. Think about it – is this the type of person you want to be?

Not me! I’m pulling back, refusing to get into it. Yes, I’m repeating what I’ve said before. Repetition is how we learn and my goal is to repeat things to myself that are important to me, that will bring me joy and mental well-being. (Not the repetition of commercials and negativity.)

Think about it – what do you want to have repeated to you? Think about the commercials, TV programs, newspaper stories, and such. Is this the type of stuff you want running your life? Think about it – anger begets more anger, negativity begets more negativity, terrorism creates more terrorism, violence promotes more violence … Think about it.

Think about it. What do you want to promote for your community, state, country, world? And what happens when so much effort and thought is being concentrated somewhere else and we are not taking care of our own communities? 

So, how can I live whole-heartedly? Whenever I think that, it brings me back to myself. It helps me rein in my brain when my thoughts are scrambling and feeling overwhelmed. Asking how I can live whole-heartedly focuses my thoughts in the here and now. Taking care of now will also build for tomorrow. 

And living whole-heartedly means caring for others. It’s helping when I can and where I can. It’s knowing what fights to fight and when to walk away. It’s taking care not to jump on the latest bandwagon because that’s what everyone else is doing. It’s taking the time to look at a situation instead of being caught up in the hoop-la. It’s choosing what types of repetitions will be beneficial to whole-hearted living because creating good for me will help create good in those I meet. 

Think about it. What kind of life do you want? I am choosing to live a whole-hearted life. I’m not perfect, but I am being the best I can be.

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