How many times do you catch yourself wondering off into the future with your thoughts?
I’m thinking along the lines of the difficult conversation you have to have, the worry about a parent who’s sick, the arguments that have become a regular feature of your relationship?
We tend not to do this with the good things happening in our lives because we’re happy to allow those to unfold as and when they do. We don’t try to ‘manage’ them. You know it’s unlikely I’ll be planning out conversations I’m going to have with a girlfriend I’m spending the day with, why would I do that? And yet we do this all the time with thoughts that trouble us.
I’m the first to raise my hand and admit that the difficult conversation I needed to have I’d run through my head maybe several hundred times…how will I say it, what state will I be in, what state will they be in? Where will I do it? What time of day would be best? Should I give them some kind of warning beforehand? What will the reaction be? What EXACT words would be best to use…..OMG…exhausting and utterly futile. Why, oh why, do we waste so much of our precious brain capacity of stuff that we can’t control?
I’ve worked with many clients who are going through divorce and exactly this type of scenario comes up. Understandably they’re looking ahead to each of the steps they have to take through the divorce. However, imagining what response a soon to be ex will give to an email the lawyer will be sending out, of which they have no idea of the exact string of words that will be written and which might trigger who knows what reaction from their ex…(it’s meant to sound ridiculous and complicated to show how crazy it is to be in this place of imagining…)
Look at your life and the things you seem to spend much of your time thinking about…does your thinking actually help? Does it help you feel more at ease?
You know, the difficult conversation I did have didn’t happen as I’d planned during one of my many ‘run-thoughs’ in my head. Funny that. But, what I did notice was the silence in my head afterwards…and oh boy was that enlightening. The space to not think/stress/worry/make up was wonderful. I learned that there is absolutely no point in getting caught up in my thinking because I’m just making it up and it’s absolutely not true.
Imagine what you could do with all that head space? You’ll be amazed at the really beautiful creative thinking that creeps in.