You know that saying, “Nature abhors a vacuum?” Well I have found that nowhere is that more true than inside my own mind.
Here’s an example of what I mean. I have a friend with whom I’ve had pretty regular, almost daily, contact over the past two years. Then this summer my friend went away for a month and was involved in something that had absolutely nothing to do with me. So for a while there was this s-p-a-c-e between us.
And the thing about space is, it’s totally neutral. It just is. Unless you are me. And then space becomes the fertile breeding ground for “stories-that-I-make-up-in-my-head,” each one crazier than the last, but all ending in exactly the same way:
“And so he went away, and he met all these really cool people and did all these really cool things, and that made him realize Just How Much I Suck, and then he came back, and he never wanted to have anything to do with me EVER AGAIN. The End.”
The good thing is that I was aware of the crazy mind games I was playing with myself and I decided to try and do things differently, but the bad thing is that whenever I try and retrain my mind, it usually goes a little something like this:
Me: “OK, mind, I think it is time for us to find A New Way to think about this particular situation.”
My mind (reclining in a Barcalounger, scratching itself with one hand and knocking back a soda with the other): “Whatever, man,” (followed by a loud, obnoxious belch).
I would rather feel miserable, rejected and lonely. I would rather spend all my time looking for evidence to support all my stories. I would rather be right about why all of these things are true than simply think a different thought.
It’s times like this when, inspired as I am to share with him the inner workings of my mind, my husband looks at me and says, “How do you get through the day?”