I had a hard few days the week prior to American Thanksgiving with a lot coming at me from different directions. In addition to that, I was moving back and forth between the family house in the city and my mom’s house in the suburbs, dealing with more car issues, plus dog sitting little Sadie, the 9 year old French Bulldog. Then one of the kids got sick, then the other one, blah blah blah we all have weeks like that.
Something else happened to add some spice to an already flavourful week that rattled and unsettled me. It was during a weekly therapy session of a parenting support group to which I belong that felt like the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak.
It’s not that the session wasn’t helpful in principle, it’s just that I don’t feel like I’ve had time to process everything we went through last Monday and I feel ill-equipped to continue under these circumstances. I need time to absorb and process the lessons before subjecting myself back into the learning environment. I don’t really care if anyone understands (I barely understand myself) but that’s ok, I think a mental health day off is not going to cause any detrimental set-backs for me.
What I’m saying is, it was not a good week. I tried hard to recenter myself, but it just wasn’t working. In the end, I spent a lot of time scrolling aimless TikTok videos, chatting with people online, reading books or listening to affirmations videos, but none of them really helped me to regain control over my wayward negative thoughts.
What I mean by this is that the habitual negative thoughts I had amassed over all the decades I’ve lived on this planet moved themselves front and center in my brain. Every little thing triggered me into thinking the same thoughts and, what’s worse, react with the same emotions and actions I’ve become accustomed to. I tried to ignore these toxic thoughts, initially, but there seemed to be just one thing after another taunting me over and over again.
In my frustration, I ended up doing what’s easy: I let my subconscious mind and it’s pre-programmed thoughts and reactions control me.
Which is how I ended up in the woe-is-me victim mentality. Inevitably, I plunged into the familiar abyss once again. This happens sometimes, but it doesn’t last forever. I know this intrinsically, and I know what to do to get out of it, theoretically.
How to climb out of the deep dark pit of negativity
- Awareness. (check)
- Focus on the present moment. (um…)
What does it mean to stay in the present moment?
It means you do not give your past any attention.
It means you do not manipulate your future.
It means you focus on what you’re doing, and if you can’t, you focus on your breath.
Breathe in through your nose, out of your mouth. Close your eyes for a moment and keep breathing. Doing this periodically gives you the breather, so to speak, to recenter yourself.
I do this. I don’t always succeed, but I remember to keep at it regardless. Over time, it will get easier.
Except, this weekend, I failed. Even though I took all my own advice, I just couldn’t get there.
I didn’t want to. 🙄
Yes, I’m a petulant child, thank you for noticing. 😛
And why is that, you ask?
Because it’s hard. 🙄🙄
Adulting is hard. (cue violins…)
Allow me to remind you what I’ve been blathering about above:
We humans tend to choose what’s easy, comfortable and familiar.
It’s really that simple.
Choosing easy, comfortable and familiar is the easy way out. And it’s this easy, comfortable and familiar negativity that rooted me deeper into the abyss when all I wanted was to climb out.
Problems and solutions
The problem with choosing to stick with easy, comfortable and familiar is that the more we choose those actions (or in-actions, or denial, or blame etc) the more we reinforce them, essentially anchoring them deeper into our subconscious mind.
I’m not knocking anyone for choosing what’s easy. We’re tired and sometimes we just don’t have the bandwidth to deal with stuff, so we do what we can to preserve what little oompf we have left to make it through the rest of the day or week.
We stick with what’s familiar because it’s easy, even when we know that it’s not the right choice.
We do this even when we know we’re not helping ourselves break undesirable patterns.
I allowed my subconscious mind to control my actions and emotions and as a result, I continued to be triggered and therefore anchored deeper into my misery.
The subconscious mind continued its refrain like this:
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE, SO THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW.
(See how it was yelling at me?)
It’s really quite simple.
I look at it this way (even when I fail to acknowledge it during a pity party):
Something that is familiar is easy to accept. Even if it’s misery. And the subconscious mind knows this. That’s why, when we’re bogged down, we allow the subconscious mind to feed us the familiar emotional responses to the triggers.
If you’re me, there are plenty of negative emotional responses to choose from.
The antidote to the negativity is within our grasp.
If misery is easy to dwell on, then in theory, so should the opposite of misery.
What is the opposite of misery?
The trick is to make love, joy and gratitude your subconscious go-to program. When we’re faced with struggles and dilemmas and problems, we want our subconscious mind to reassure us that this is a temporary disconnect, not the end all and is all. It’s a phase, a season in this particular slice of time. We can choose not to allow triggers to control our reactions; I’ve learned how to do this but I have also learned that I’m not done learning. I still stumble and fall, at which point I allow my subconscious mind to dredge up the familiar misery and anchor me into it. I make the cognitive choice to give my subconscious mind that kind of power. (Meh)
So why do I go on about this? Well, one thing about this blog is it’s always given me an opportunity to process with the written word the events that cause me to dishevel. Writing and sharing is a lonely and vulnerable activity, but it’s been so helpful to me for so long, I don’t want to just dismiss it now as I embark on new and exciting projects. (Sorry for the length of this article, I’m on a roll here…) 😉
But since I’m writing I may as well continue.
This is what happened earlier in the week
My main issue during those couple of days of the week was the disconnect between my daughter and I. (There were other, lesser issues which compounded over time, but that’s neither here nor there.) There was a tangible trigger that set me off the day I arrived at the city house to return Sadie to her human, and my go-to reaction was anger, resentment, criticism and blame.
I mean, I knew I was dealing with a teenager and that those reactions don’t typically work with the adolescent brain-still-developing humans. I also knew my subconscious mind was controlling me here; reacting with anger and all that was familiar and easy (been there, done that, wash, lather, rinse, repeat).
I felt I had a right to freak out about a moldy sandwich among a giant pile of clutter that invaded the communal living space not to mention my work space. (Some of you know I don’t have a room with a door in the family house and do all my work at the kitchen island, and that the house is small and full of too much stuff.)
Thing is, she’s as stubborn as I am, so we spent two days in auto-pilot forced silence. I drove her to her stuff, she listened to her music, I tended to her meals and things, she accepted them silently, yada yada.
Whatever. I actually welcomed the silence, truth be told. 🙄
The breakthrough finally came when I made a single-sentence statement to her in the car on the way to school on Thursday which she dismissed as inaccurate.
“I’m not angry with you…” “YES YOU ARE!” “no, I’m not, don’t put words in my mouth, I’m angry at myself…”
I cringe at how many things are wrong with the above exchange, but fuck, it’s been difficult.
After I told her not to put words in my mouth I stopped engaging with her. I was driving, she ignored me. After a few minutes, I said it was my turn to talk, mentioned a couple of things to shed light on why I thought the way I did about a specific incident, then invited her to contribute to the conversation. She didn’t want to. (Fine by me.)
At drop-off, she asked if she could stay for art club after school and I said of course. (She doesn’t need my permission to stay for club, but that was probably her way of acknowledging my attempts at conversation before we went our separate ways.)
Later, around the time school ended, I was at the stove prepping food. Her dad was suddenly rushing through the house in that mannerism that alerted me he was late for something. I panicked – did I miss something on the family calendar? Was I supposed be somewhere? Is that why he’s running around like that?
I asked him where he was going and he said to pick up Sonja.
“But she’s staying for art club,” I reminded him.
“She wants to come home,” he responded.
Wasn’t it interesting that she texted him, not me, to get her at school?
I felt bad that she interrupted him when he was trying to work; I would have been perfectly willing to drive the 25 minutes to get her and bring her home.
I braced myself for another day of icy silence and shut myself away in a room with a door (not my room, but no one else was around so I claimed it as mine). Then I picked up my tarot cards, closed my eyes, and simply shuffled.
“What do I need to know,” I asked the cards in my hands.
I was dealt two very strong, very in-charge court cards which left me even more confused: Queen of Cups and King of Swords.
I will write up an analysis of these, and the subsequent cards I was dealt and divulge my interpretations of them.
Spoiler alert: I was very pleasantly surprised how the tarot cards (or the spiritual energy around me) guided me into sudden clarity. Because my initial reaction to these cards was the opposite of clarity. In fact, I thought the tarot or spirit or energy was mistaken or downright wrong. 😀
Please check back on Tarot Tuesday next week to read how I came to alignment once again.
Later that evening, after my son, his dad and I ate the dinner I cooked earlier, the girl child arrived in the living room and plugged in her computer to begin some homework. She never joins us for dinner (I pick my battles). Her dad and I were talking about something when suddenly Sonja piped in a comment or two about the conversation her parents were having.
I thought, hm, are we turning a corner here?
When her dad got ready to go to hockey, Sonja approached me and asked if I could trim her bangs for her. I got my hair-clipping scissors and suggested she step into the bathtub.
“I don’t want Tucker to step into the hair pile and drag it all over the house” I told her.
We had a few fun moments while discussing hair and accessories, and later, a hug and kiss made things all realigned once again.
Needless to say I had a much better sleep that night, and I awoke refreshed and with words flowing out of me. (As you can see. Are you still with me? You deserve a medal if you are…)
So how’s that for a little snippet of the drama in my life? 😀
But I’m not done yet. (ha)
A few weeks ago, I created a short little video for my TikTok, filled with positive affirmations to help redirect negativity and reduce stress. I watch this clip regularly to remind myself that I have the power to choose my thoughts and create a stress-free existence. It doesn’t always reduce the stress, but it helps to redirect my attention away from the stress for a moment, which provides me with a well-deserved pause. These things require diligence, discipline and practice, and I am doing the best I can (which means sometimes I fail).
Watch this and let me know what you think. I purposely chose some beautiful classical music to accompany the messages in the video.
Thank you for stopping by my blog. ❤
Don’t forget to tune in to the upcoming Tarot Tuesday where I will share my insights of the tarot cards I dealt myself during my pity party (Queen of Cups, King of Swords). Their counter-intuitive messages turned out to have intriguingly helpful insights. Stay tuned.
More about the subconscious mind
If you’d like to read more about my ramblings about the subconscious mind, here are two more articles I’ve written and published to this blog:
New erotica on Patreon
If you’d like to read a new multi-chapter erotic short story called Elite of a different kind, please visit my Patreon page. The about page and welcoming posts explain a little more about my new platform. I also wrote another post which explains what you can expect from my erotica which you can read here.
To read the first chapter of Elite of a different kind, click here – it is free of charge. Subsequent chapters are locked and accessible for subscribers. I do not at present have a tier-system in place; I charge by creation only.
You can choose to pledge me any amount you wish (minimum requirement is US$1.00). Click the image to take you to the post on Patreon.
As always, thank you for your time, your follow, your readership and your support. Happy Thanksgiving weekend to my American friends! See you in the comments.