There’s a show I follow called Supernatural. Normally I can’t stand anything dealing with the paranormal, and will actually hold my ears shut if someone in the vicinity is discussing it. Really the only reason I even gave the show a chance was because of dreamy Jensen Ackles ;). Anyway this entry is not a review of this show or of the eye candy it offers [but if you must know, Ackles in the show = a witty, sexy, sarcastic, bad-boy hunter-of-all-things-evil, with a heart for his baby brother. This always = 10. Always.]
One of the main characters (you may know him as Dean from Gilmore Girls) at one point gets thrust into hell with Lucifer. When he comes back, Death helps him by creating a wall in his head to keep out the memories from hell. This is really the only way the character can survive sanely. But, of course, he begins to scratch at this wall until it eventually tears and he almost perishes – until Ackles saves him (that’s my boy) by putting the wall back up.
In true teacher fashion, I find there is a lesson to be learned here. I have often been known for shoving [or trying to] shove problems to the back of my mind to avoid thinking about them. I know several people (most of them related to me) who do the same. If something is sad, or frustrating, or painful to think about we simply…try not to think about it.
It’s always been fairly simple to me, really. If I don’t allow myself the time or energy to think about things that don’t make me feel so hot, then I have a clear shot at feeling great!
Over the years I’ve heard and assumed that this constant shoving of issues to the back of my mind somewhere would one day blow up in my face, rendering me totally insane. But today, I noticed something.
The less I allowed myself to dwell on unpleasantries, the better I felt. Yesterday I managed to hold on to a great mood all day long, and when I woke up today I was determined to repeat that. I woke up, put a smile on (yes, I made myself smile while I was getting ready- smiling feels good!) and hit the road. I had another good day, but didn’t realize until my drive home today how actively I had pursued my own good mood.
I realized that anytime my mind started to go toward a negative thought or painful memory, my brain went “no, no, no!” and I forced myself away from that thought. By avoiding thinking about things that suck, I helped myself better focus on feeling good. And it was awesome.
Perhaps stuffing everything to the back of my mind will drive me crazy one day. However, if I am able to go through life pushing bad thoughts away to focus on the good, I will see this as an indicator that my life is moving forward and that I am growing. Think about where you were this time last year. 2 years ago. 3? Life changes SO much SO quickly. The qualms of today become those of the past regardless of how much time we do or do not spend dwelling on them in the present.
*Since I don’t have scientific evidence that forcing yourself to be ignorant of your negative thoughts is safe, I am not going to recommend it [directly] here.
Still, it works for me if only for now.