Outta Mind Outta Sight

September 9, 2011

I’ve had an onslaught of thoughts lately, typically concerns and worried thoughts about my career, my current job, the persisting uncertainty, and so forth, but mostly just bitterness and angry thoughts. It’s the culmination of these that bring about a serious unpleasantness in my life because not only do I feel it’s all menial and not worthy of a legitimate venting, but it’s also mostly uncontrollable things. So instead, I’ve tried harder to acknowledge these thoughts, and file them away to keep them from cluttering what little mental desk space I have.

At one point a few years ago, it had made me the most miserable I can ever recall being. It wasn’t until–what seemed like at the time–a negative event happened that actually turned out to be somewhat life changing set of events. In short, that “negative” event pushed me to realize that self-deprecation and letting my negative thoughts consume my mind is unpleasant to everyone, including myself. After being called out on it, It became so clear that it was true, and realized that it was a major cause of all my lack of success and fun in school because it was more or less consuming my life and sometimes acting as an excuse for not doing better. Things did gradually get better as I attempted to control my emotions.

It was all about channeling my thoughts into something more productive. First acknowledging that it exists, and then either using it for motivation to do better or, just to try to let it go and recite the mantra: “life goes on.” While it’s not always good to compare myself with other people, it helped me put things in perspective when I thought about how people manage to live their lives after they lose their home or something equally or more horrible. If they can manage that, my little quibble is exactly that: a little quibble.

When I think about think about the concept of letting thoughts and ideas go in my mind, freeing up my mental energy, it makes me think of my dad. Not because he is a strong practitioner of this concept/method, but rather because he’s the antithesis of it. My dad is Mr. Responsibility. And I suppose that because my mom doesn’t handle much of any bills or paperwork (at all, actually), my dad has become used to the stress and constant worrying because he can’t seem to let things go. It honestly pains me to see it, and my sister and I have tried telling him to relax and not worry so much about some things, but he can’t help it. He dwells on thoughts, concerns, worries, expectations, past events, uncontrollable things. I’m sure it isn’t helping with his hypertension either. Given my somewhat antipodal approach to life (or just thought management, anyway), I can’t see myself dwelling on all that he does without breaking. And I sure hope he doesn’t break. This has given me more motivation not to let trivial (longterm) things consume my thoughts, and to prioritize. After a certain point, a person should keep themselves at the very top of their list of priorities. I think my dad has earned that spot, if not second place at least.

A blog post was posted yesterday on a website I frequent regarding meditation. The purpose or goal, while they do not explicitly say it as such, is mental clarity and/or purity. It was inspiring and made me think of trying it again. Having attempted to try basic Vipassana meditation once, I can appreciate the level of mental discipline it takes to even attempt to control my thoughts and keep it from shifting from one to another every second. I did it for 10 minutes and was kind of exhausted, but I came out of it feeling a little mentally lighter. It was an odd sensation. If I can get that runner’s high without running, I’ll be meditating a lot more.

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