Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath oh Fresh Air

Brave

on July 29, 2015

The world often overwhelms me; choosing positivity helps me control what I get lost in and what I choose to let lost.

My mom taught me long ago to stop worrying about the sky falling down. This still helps me define my perspective today, and weigh my “what if’s” to make sure my musings stay mindful. I maintain that “what if” wondering, when part of a bigger picture process, still hovers at healthy thinking. Meaning, if you include in your process what might go right as well as what might go wrong, you can center and avoid floating into frenzy.  But when we lose the grip on our facts, and our mind’s merry-go-right goes wrong, these ”what if’s” spin like a cyclone into a bad mindset, and all we are left with when this storm subsides is an unconfirmed and unsettling something that can choke us to our core.

I recently had a big win against the “what if’s” (long story, maybe for another day). My ability to stay present and positive relied heavily on me keeping this all out of my head by sharing with my second to none support system. Getting through that earned me a new badge of courage, a corner piece of life’s progressive puzzle of what happens next.

But… old habits die hard, and doubt has nine lives. Doubt stays silent and staked out in faith’s shadow waiting for a window. Windows open when our mouths stay shut and we stop sharing what is shaking our ground. And that’s all it took for doubt to step on my puzzle piece as she made her way over my pile of positive energy and settled (back) into my brain, getting the better of me with “what if” after “what if” stabs to my sanity.

Not my typical Friday night fight, which usually consists of me against a pint of ice cream J

This bout knocked me down hard; it truly took me a day to get back up. Even though I know better than I did on (almost) all the yesterdays who I am and what I am capable of, there is still sometimes an internal struggle between doubt and faith. These concepts can’t coexist. So this struggle ends either with a calm rational through which the moment passes, or with an inspired (!) anxiety – where time stops but simultaneously spins out of control.

The spinning rests only when we release the doubt. This release starts with accepting that our attempt to once again control the uncontrollable without the wisdom to know the difference has failed. It ends when we share with someone what we worked so hard to handle in our head. Only then can we finally find our beat and our breath again; reigniting our faith and leaving the doubt to die without our fantasies to feed it.

“What if’s” are especially dangerous to an over-thinker like me. Sometimes thinking things up and down and all around (twice) serves me well, and sometimes it goes too far and smother me (and those around me). And sometimes, over-thinking causes my window to open for doubt to creep in. Something about over-thinkers is that we tend to have conversations that no one else hears. We all talk to ourselves and that is healthy; the hitch is that over-thinkers sometimes can do it so much that they subconsciously fail to actually have some of the important conversations out loud. This means we often think people know something that is going on with us when they actually don’t. And this “people” is most often your partner. (And btw – this may not be limited to just the over-thinkers out there, but I can only speak from my experience…).

What I realize (remember…) now is that no matter how close we are with someone, they are not in our heads. We might think that they should know us well enough to have done this or that so we wouldn’t feel like we do, but more likely is the case that we haven’t told them what we truly expect from them. People aren’t mind-readers, and holding them accountable for that level of intimacy simply isn’t healthy or productive. This is a window for doubt that can easily be locked by having faith and being brave enough to have a (sometimes not so) simple conversation.

If we want something from someone we need to tell them. If we need something from someone we need to tell them. And if we aren’t sure what is going on, we need to ask them.

Here’s the thing I have come to understand- it’s not just about me, and no one else is really responsible for me but me. The only way to really share my life –and  keep doubt out of it – is to reveal all of what’s on my mind and in my heart: the good, the bad, the crazy, the needy, and even the WTF’s. If I consider my feelings frivolous, others will too. But if I share it all, I can keep it real. This enables me to defend against the “what if’s” and keep my faith fearless and present.

When we live in truth, and “let the words fall out“, we can ignite intimacy and kill doubt.

I may have lost yesterday’s battle; but today is mine to light on fire. 🙂

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