anxiety, blog, choice, Judgment

Latent Lollygagger: Singing in the Rain

I’m having a run of “good brain days.”

I almost feel like by saying this, I will jinx it. That by fully looking at it and naming it, I’ll make it disappear.

This is what my overthinking brain does: thinks about even feeling good in an overly engineered way. It tells me not to look at it and it won’t run away. It wants to mull over what has been going “right” so I can keep doing those things so I continue to feel good.

This again ties the way my brain feels with a judgment: if now is good, then the opposite must be bad.

I mean, I already know when it feels bad. And yes, I’d rather avoid that. I’d rather try to prevent that. I’d rather try to force it away. I know logically, especially now when I’m not coming from a place of anxiety, that the “bad” is always a phase, that feeling bad doesn’t make me bad.

That there’s nothing right or wrong about how I feel—good or bad, they are feelings that arise regardless of what I’m doing.

Ironically, my brain likes to spend so much time thinking about how to force the “good” to stay and about how to avoid the “bad” that it forgets to think about what it can actually control: the judgment of the thoughts and feelings. My brain can be trained to notice the feelings as something apart from me, clouds floating through the sky, sometimes maybe bringing rain or a storm.

As in real life, we can grumble at the rain, take shelter from the storm, but inherently understand it’s part of our life here on Earth, that the rain is needed for life. We can dress ourselves in plastic clothing and head out into it, anyway, or we can hunker down and make ourselves cozy and wait for it to pass. We don’t judge ourselves for having to make these concessions, we don’t linger on the fact that the rain is “unfair” or “shouldn’t be,” or that we could have done something different in order to stop the rain from happening.

We don’t analyze what we could have done to stop the rain from happening.

We don’t blame ourselves for not having prevented the rain.

We can prepare ourselves for when it rains, but that won’t stop the rain.

We can even, if we’re willing to accept the rain, dance in it.

Photo by Laura Dewilde on Unsplash

We can also appreciate the sunny days without thinking about the fact that it will rain again one day. Without wasting those days away trying to force the rain not to come again.

We can put away the galoshes for a while and switch to sandals, knowing those boots are in the closet when we need them again.

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