Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You Hoo, Honey, I'm Back

This blog (along with Being in America) has been my paean to and exploration of my awakening to the Happiness of Being (Love, Peace, Joy), what I’ve been told over and over is my true nature. If you know me, or read much of my hippy dippy ommm-de-ada ommm-de-ada blogs, you know I born under an unhappy star. At some point in my search for a better way, I began to think that in addition to being raised by a young (when I was born) mother who loved us and was determined to turn us into decent worthwhile human beings even if she had to jerk us up by our hair roots to do so, I also was born with anxious wiring. Why else did my sister turn out like Teflon and I turned out a mess, still dancing for my mother (and gosh, I loved her…I just wanted her to be happy)? Newsweek recently published a report corroborating that not only was there a reason I was an anxious child anxiously tap-dancing to please my mother, it was the same reason I couldn’t spell, and though they didn’t say it, probably why my dad, my son and I perform a close-enough butchering of the English language—Ta Da: DNA. (hey…if you read the article, my sister wasn’t that kind of Teflon…she was the kind where she didn’t pay that much attention to the rage, and kept on trucking).

So my life has been a litany of instruction manuals of the ommm-de-ada kind for changing the way I react to the world. It has been suggested at times a wee bit of meds might help when I feel like this:
but that was just my self serving family, thank you very much.

But for them, I gave it a try. My first foray into anti-anxiety pharmaceuticals (you know, other than nicotine and fat-laden carbohydrates) had my family hiding in closets and barring the bedroom door. Apparently my anxiety was covering up a great deal of rage of my own, and even though I found out the drug I was using was only one molecule removed from the drug most named in rage-related homicides in Europe, and surely there were other, gentler drugs, I decided to stick with books and mental practice.

I begin to experience a brightening of a mood here, a golden moment there, though, in general, diffuse anxiety and the occasional depression remained my companions. It’s in my genes, don’t you know.

Then one of my distance teachers said that thoughts created neural patterns, forming and reinforcing connections for misery or happiness, and thus we taught ourselves what the world was like by our thoughts. Newsweek has a new article in which scientists agree with my teacher. I had realized for a long time that I really only focused on the flaws in the world (my flaws, the world being a mirror, my teachers would say), and there was much more to life than the flaws. So I began practicing, recognizing the critical thoughts, the sad thoughts, the painful thoughts, and substituting thoughts I would rather have.


It worked. Really, really worked. Several weeks ago I experienced happiness. Not a lessening of anxiety, not a golden moment of unspeakable love, but effervescent, loving lightness of being. For a day, then two, then three.

And then I began to notice the elections. And the politicians. I began checking Drudge and Google out everyday (every 10 minutes?), reading blogs, following sources. I didn’t read the blogs that I had enjoyed. Couldn’t even click on their links. I needed to know what was going on, I needed to make the right choice among people, all of whom would make choices for me that I didn’t agree with.

Zoom. Not anxiety, maybe, but crankiness, and addiction, a furious urge to know NOW.

Uh-uh.

So maybe I do need to blog my thoughts and beliefs about our political systems, and what I think freedom means and entails. What the candidates have to offer, and even if I can’t get what I want, try to know what I don’t want the most. But not here.

Then again, maybe I can’t serve two masters. If that’s true, I know the one I choose to choose, and this will be my only blog. I may not be able to save the world with love, peace and joy, but when we have that and share that, maybe we can find a way to say "yes, and" rather than "no, but--you idiot." It’s bound to turn out better than poking each other in the eye with our pointy views.

And a P.S. In the past couple of months my blog has been noted by two bloggers I admire. I have some gratitudes and recognitions to pass along—coming up.
painting: The Scream Edvark Munch, 1893

5 comments:

Mental P Mama said...

Wow. You have come a long, long way. And I always love people who are willing to do the work. Keep on doing what you're doing. And welcome back. I like it here.

Pamela said...

Boy I could use some new neural patterns right now. I've been completely distracted by political events. One of my colleagues chided me for being obsessed. I'm trying to manage my obsession or they will find me slumped over my keyboard with smoke coming out of my ears.

Silver Solo said...

The political race gets us all to thinking about a better world. Not long to go now, so call it like you see it. Good to hear about your progress.

Allyn Evans said...

I try to resist the urge to "see" what's going on via the news. I find it causes me to feel anxious.

It's not a stick-your-head-in-the-sand approach, it's just paying attention to when what you are hearing is pushing you in the wrong direction.

Love your blog. Sorry I didn't know you were blogging regularly these days. I'll be coming back! :)

Keetha said...

This was such a well thought out, well written post that I feel too rambly and pedestrian to leave a decent commment.

BUT I will say that you have made a believer in me; positive thought patterns work, writing down what you want works, the law of attraction works.

Thanks for this post.