I feel compelled to share a snippet of my morning, just because I don’t think many of us have good role models for this kind of thing and I’m doing my best putting the lessons I’m learning into practice, so I think it might be helpful to someone.
Yesterday I tried scheduling in time to think about certain things. Like, Molly: at 4 o’clock, think about what’s worrying you for an hour and what you can do about it. This is supposed to help you minimize rumination and excessive worrying throughout the day.
It didn’t go as planned, I just thought about the thing all day. I tried bringing my attention back to my breath and the rich sensory world we are always inhabiting, as often as we forget.
Time to try a radical acceptance approach: Molly: you’re getting sick and you haven’t been sleeping well and you’re probably thinking it’s your fault for not trying hard enough. Go ahead and think those things, but recognize how utterly wrong those thoughts are.
No, not wrong:
First, that’s labeling, a type of cognitive distortion that leads to reckless decision making and a warped sense of reality. It’s also black-and-white thinking. sorting every experience, thought, and person as Right or Wrong.
Secondly, that is an example of personalization, the faulty idea that you have more control of things than you do. Remember, this can also manifest as you feeling solely responsible for other’s wellness or misery.
Third, you are trying hard enough. You are trying hard enough. You are trying hard enough. You are trying hard enough etc. Etc. Try to remind yourself throughout the day. And don’t be hard on yourself if it slips your mind. It takes lots of repetition to overcome our inherent human negative bias. You are new to your practice.
Fourth, you are sick. Stop being in denial about it.
All that (and a lot more) before I got my morning coffee. Truthfully, the third realization came to me at my first sip…
No wonder I’m tired.