On getting caught up in the little things
And how to snap out of it! Whether it’s mantras or some tough love, getting perspective on problems is hard but so important in order to see through the chaos.
Why is it so hard to see the bigger picture sometimes? Why does my mind wake me up at 4am and go through totally unrealistic and pointless scenarios? How does perspective zoom in an out the way it does? I watched a film about space the other day and at first I thought about how small my life is compared to all that space and the billions of stars around us and how all my little worries will get sucked into a black hole one day because they just don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. But then, I thought about all that space again and wondered whether we were indeed the only intelligent life form out there and that if we were, we must be supremely important and my little worries in fact reflected an important and unique thought process.
You see, sometimes even thinking about outer space doesn’t give me the perspective I need to be able to focus on what’s important! What does, is somebody else’s absolute refusal to take my worries seriously. When someone who cares about me and listens to my worries being described as though they were crucial to the survival or the planet, their very concern and sympathy can sometimes exacerbate the little worry. Of course it’s nice to hear that someone else finds something just as stressful or awful as you do but what I need to snap out of it is someone who cares how I feel about it but doesn’t give a sh*t about the little thing.
I had this situation this week and must have driven a good number of dearly beloved friends and family round the bend with my constant look of worry and discontent without being able to pin down the crux of any of the numerous problems swirling round in my head. It took one person to listen, consider and then condemn all of what I had just said as total nonsense for me to snap out of it. And as soon as I did, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders, the fog in my brain cleared and I felt physically more alive and bouncy. They were right, everything I had been worrying about was just periphery to something much simpler and actually not that bad at all.
I see this pattern a lot when friends moan about the actions of their boyfriends or girlfriends. They might tell my how lazy their partner is or how his or her friends are annoying but when it comes down to it, if you manage to get to there, it usually turns out they just miss them or wanted to spend time doing something that couldn’t happen. Usually, it’s not something unsolvable or terrible and usually it just needs a little perspective to be able to see the real issue.
My mantra this week is to: SNAP OUT OF IT!
On the topic of mantras, I totally endorse them and believe they can work. I was once struggling in a job I didn’t feel good enough to do and kept getting scared I would be “found out”. My mantra at the time (thanks Mum) was to be: CALM AND CONSISTENT AND TRY MY BEST AT EVERYTHING I DO. I repeated it to myself several times a day for weeks; when I was walking to the tube station or going to the loo or buying a sandwich. Years later I asked someone what they thought my greatest quality was (I wasn’t fishing for compliments I promise but it was a nice little exercise to do, can’t lie) and they answered that they liked most how I was calm and consistent!!!! I have never identified with those serene calm and consistent people, hence why I had to make it a mantra so this was a big and wonderful surprise to hear that.
Originally published on www.peashoots.org