Wrong, So Wrong...
Well all of my writing yesterday about the plotting and scheming by my teens was actually based on an incorrect assumption on my part.
Why is it that our brains can get something so wrong, repeatedly and we just continue to believe them?
What the actual fuck?
I was so convinced that I was right yesterday that my head woke me up at 3 am to talk to me about how right I was. I was almost proud of myself and all my foresight and wisdom.
But as happens all too frequently, what seemed like reality, was not actual reality.
What causes this?
How can a very logical, rational person become so jaded by things that happen and reach completely wrong conclusions?
That is how. My mind has a hard time differentiating actual reality from my feared reality. I get scared that something I think is true, is actually true, and I begin to grab “facts” to bolster my argument (occupational hazard). And here is the thing, I can always find “facts” to support my argument.
Yesterday’s fact gathering yielded me a completely wrong conclusion. And thankfully, after a call to a friend and my sponsor, a very subdued conversation with my children. That resulted in no big deal happening. It was chill, I was chill. And I got to the bottom of the issue, without any yelling, threatening or acting like a crazy person. Thank you Traci and Dalis!
But boy, for awhile there, I thought I was so fucking right.
And here is the kicker, I am a great deal of the time. I am perceptive, I am aware, I notice little things about people and their conduct that cause me to become alerted to things that others miss. This has save my life on more than one occasion. Now, I will fully admit here, that I have to really care for this to be operative, I mean I have to be interested. If this is just something that for whatever reason, my head doesn’t latch onto, then I am as clueless as the next person. But if I am interested, if I am engaged then I can feel things, see things that others miss.
But when I am afraid, I get it wrong. Usually. And that seems to be the underlying ingredient that is always present when I add up 2 + 2 = 5. Fear is that extra number that causes me to reach erroneous conclusions. Fear and ego. Which to me, ego is really just fear personified with a good cover story.
Please make no mistake here, my teens are plotting and scheming against me daily. But yesterday in this particular instance, they weren’t. They were just getting along, which is suspect from the word go. But yesterday, I was wrong. And I am grateful that in all of my wrongness in my life, I have developed the ability to slow the fuck down and sit in this knowledge for a minute before I go off half cocked and really make a mess.
Thankfully, for all of us, yesterday was one of those days where my strengthened ability to pause was critical. And resulted in a much better outcome for all. Again, I thank my friends who helped talk me down from my 3 am coffee infused though spiral.
Where I landed yesterday was kind of being amazed at how often my head is wrong, and yet, I believe it every time. 52 years of believing what I think. Now, I have worked super ridiculously hard at developing the internal skeptic about what I think. It has taken 27 years for me to have the ability to more critically look at what I think, be able to turn it around in my mind, look for veracity and then call myself out for being a liar, liar pants on fire. And that continues to be a daily grind.
I think perhaps, finally, I have reached the place where I am settled into this relationship with myself that I can think things, great things, and at the same time, say to myself, “Um, yes, that sounds so very true, but you have been wrong before, like a lot”
And I can listen to that and allow that to give me pause. To hold up the action while I further assess the contents of my thoughts, and now feelings. Because I don’t know how you operate, but me I have a thought, then a whole fucking bunch of feelings occur. And those feelings are uncomfortable! And I want to take action to get rid of those fuckers as soon as I can. BUT, I have learned, the hard way, the very, very hard way that this is not the best use of my time or life. That rushing in to stop the mad rush of feelings, only causes me to commit action that I later regret and wish that I had just sat the fuck down and kept my mouth shut.
Here is my recap of what I have learned:
Thoughts lead to feelings
Feelings lead to action
Action leads to consequences
Consequences lead to more thoughts...
Do you see the loop?
And it is an endless spiral. Sometimes upwards, but often this particular spiral goes in a tight death spiral, threatening everything I love and hold dear.
So for me, I am working on this relationship with myself where it goes like this...
I have a thought.
I have some feelings.
I process all of that.
I talk to someone else, allow someone else into my often crazy mind that projects and creates a lot of bullshit.
I allow the feelings to overtake me because resistance is futile in my experience to how I feel. I am going to feel the way that I feel no matter what. I am powerless. However, I can, decide that I can feel whatever I want (or don't want), and just let that be. Just let the feelings be there without taking any action whatsoever.
I have found that there is this other thing that happens when I stave off action, if only for a moment, I have new thoughts, interspersed with all the feelings. And sometimes these new thoughts, create the rise of new feelings. And often this whole cacophony of feelings and thoughts, allows for something new to happen in my head and heart. I am able to root out fear disguised as rightness, or truth, and I can see that so much of what I am thinking and now feeling is a result of a fear that I have allowed to flower and blossom into a full fledged story that isn’t even true.
But what this new process does is stop me from making an ass out of myself. And creating wreckage in my life. I am so grateful that I am not just a bomb going off anymore and that I have the ability to now limit the number of people that see my spiral or are injured with shrapnel. I have an inner circle that I trust to help me get back on track. And I don’t need to put on a show of epic proportions. I just don’t.
I have accepted that my head lies to me and it can’t stop doing it. And as much as I am right, I am wrong likely just as often. And this isn’t something that can be fixed but it can be mediated. It can be remediated actually. I just have to pause long enough for the newer, healthier process to kick in.
So I can be wrong, so fucking wrong, and not have to pay the price of acting wrong. I can just think wrong, and then conjure up all the feelings associated with that wrong thought and I can just let them be. I can allow fear to permeate me, alter me, change me, and still sit right there doing nothing.
Yesterday I actually went back to sleep after I wrote! I didn’t call anyone or anything. I just went back to sleep because I was tired. I have developed this idea that my brain and I are like this old married couple, who know each other so well...that fighting it or about it, is really futile. So yesterday, I got up and let it do its thing. Let it tire itself out, and then I was like, “ok, we done here? I got you. Can we go back to sleep now?” And much to my pleasure, my brain said “yep, sounds like a great fucking idea!” So we slept in and then when we woke for the second time yesterday, we woke with this idea that maybe, just maybe we were not correct with our assumptions. That perhaps we had gotten it wrong.
And then we took action based on that thought instead of the one that woke us up at 3 am...and it all worked out and I was relieved that my brain and thoughts were off again. Wrong again! But this time, I paused, and that change the end result. Resulting in a great day with no wreckage. None!
I am going to keep going, keep doing this new circle of life where I see that I am at the center of the change, the dysfunction, the joy, the pain, and so it begins with me, and I really do get to decide where and how far I want to take it. And to enjoy the ability to laugh at myself even when I get it so wrong, so very, very wrong.