Posts Tagged ‘worry’
The dog command I need most
The other morning, while working out at the gym, I had a work-related stress playing on an endless loop in my head. Even though the incident had happened a week earlier, I was still obsessing over the whole ordeal (wishing I’d said things I didn’t say at the time, wishing the other party would come to their senses, wishing the whole thing would go away, etc.). Needless to say, my worrying about this incident only made things worse in my mind and even though I’d had a productive workout, left me in a gloomy state of mind as I left the gym.
It was while driving home from working out that I remembered one of the key commands I picked up during dog training that I use pretty frequently with my puppy, Latte.
As anyone who has a dog probably knows, our canine friends occasionally come across a smell, a chicken bone or some other foul object that excites their senses to no end. It’s at this moment that we must command them to “Leave it!” in a terse, authoritative way so that they don’t get into trouble, hurt themselves or (heaven forbid!) end up rolling in something disgusting.
Even though I had been expertly trained to use this command with Latte, I realized after my workout of mental duress that perhaps I needed to use this command on myself. After all, as mentioned, this particular stressful situation had happened a week earlier. So at this point, no one else (not even the offending party) was responsible for my stress and worry other than yours truly. On a virtual level, I was “rolling” in something disgusting. In this case, my own self-defeating thoughts.
So in this case, I was the one who needed to “Leave it!”
When Latte is told to “Leave it,” he usually jumps (having been “caught” doing something that he should know better than to do) and then quickly moves away from the offensive object and is soon distracted by another smell, a passing pooch or some other form of whimsy. Similarly, by telling ourselves to “leave” something that’s weighing us down (figuratively or otherwise), we then, too, have the opportunity to move on to other things — more pleasant things, and with a cleared mind, perhaps even a potential solution to whatever we think we can’t solve while in the throes of “Why me?” We can’t undo what’s transpired. But we can move on if we choose to.
I imagine that, like myself, many of you reading this are sometimes plagued by situations, incidences or predicaments that sometimes can’t be washed away from our brains — as if obsessing over them might offer a solution (which, really, the obsessing never does). Instead, we need to just let it go, move on and welcome another scent (or situation) that can offer us not only new ideas, but also peace.
All together now: “Leave it!”
I’ll conclude by adding that if you ever see me working out with a scowl, feel free to walk over and tersely tell me to, “Leave it!” Like my puppy, Latte, I might jump (having also been “caught”). But I’ll appreciate the reminder that some things need to be left where they belong… In the past.
Don’t fear the rainy day, plan for it
Photo source: mpietkevich.com
I remember when I was a little kid and saw one of the first curse words I’d ever learned written out (and even appearing in public no less!) in the form of a bumper sticker that read, “Sh*t happens.” While the saying got a chuckle out of me at the time (much to the chagrin of my parents), little did I realize that said bumper sticker was offering up an insightful life philosophy worth pondering.
Like it or not, it turns out that sh*t does happen. And yeah, this is me (an eternal optimist as many of you faithful readers know) blogging this. But when you think about it, acknowledging that sh*t does happen doesn’t make someone a pessimist. It just makes them wise to acknowledge that it does sometimes happen. Whether or not life’s “sh*t” (however you define it) disrupts our everyday, it’s how we handle it that really matters (and, therefore, actually determines whether one is an optimist or not).
Recently, the sh*t has hit the fan for a couple close friends of mine. And given that I’ve dealt with my own forms of sh*t over the years, my friends often turn to me for advice. These days, I’m all about being proactive. So recently when a friend told me he was worried about losing his job, I told him to plan for it. Same was true when a girlfriend recently confessed that she was scared about getting a divorce since she still loved her husband and they had several young children. Again, I suggested she plan for it.
Now, I wasn’t telling these friends that losing a job or a spouse was inevitable. I was letting them know that having a “Plan B” would actually help them sleep better at night – not to mention give them the knowledge to know that no matter what transpired, they had a plan and, thus, they would both be okay. In fact, I firmly believe that sometimes just having a plan in place keeps the bad (or sh*tty!) things from happening all together. But there will be days that bad things do happen. So we might as well be prepared for them.
In the past, when I feared something would go wrong or that I’d be hit with devastating circumstances, I would worry, moan and shift into victim-mode. This was basically a way of letting evryone around me (along with the universe) know that I was useless and couldn’t handle any life altering event thrown my way. What a wimp I was.
The fact of the matter is, challening things are going to happen from time to time. But again, it’s not these life events that define us, it’s how we handle them.
One day I simply learned that knowing how I would handle any situation I was worried about happening took away all of the situation’s power (whether it eventually happened or not). Don’t get me wrong. I want my friend to keep his job. And I want my girlfriend to stay married to her husband (for their sake and the sake of their three kids). But if either of these situations do not work out, it will be for the best. The choice is theirs how quickly ‘the best’ arrives into their lives. It might be days after the supposedly devestating event. Or it might be weeks. Or, as it was with me in regard to some of life’s past blows, it might be years. Again, the choice is theirs… And mine… And yours.
Is there something you’re facing that’s infecting your life with fear and worry? Whether smallish or potentially life–altering, I suggest you sit down and begin to write out your Plan B. You might not arrive at all the answers and strategies you’ll need to rise like a phoenix from the ashes right away. But starting your Plan B is just that – a start. And a very fine way for you to prove to your boss, to your spouse or whomever (even the universe – or, better yet, yourself) that you’ve got what it takes to not only survive, but to thrive.