SO MUCH of my life has been invested into dealing with them (I guess you can relate).
So many options were explored.
I’ve tried to accept them.
I’ve tried to change them (forever, just check the embarrassing amount of books on my shelves..).
I’ve tried to love them.
And to hate them.
To solve them.
To surrender to them.
To bend or twist or break them.
To downplay them.
To wrestle them to the floor.
To embrace them.
To understand them.
To find their source, their reason for existence (‘why?’).
To shout at them, even.
And nothing ever did the trick, really.
Not sustainably, and not impressively.
Sure, I’ve had some success with all the things I just mentioned, but most of that was absolutely minimal, and all of it was temporary.
You see, almost all of that comes down to even more thinking.
Most of the things are just nice ideas that taste good and look smart and make sense, mentally.
Yet they somehow always break down or turn into more complexity.
But there’s this one thing, this very, very simple thing.
I know about its power, I know from experience, from trying EVERYTHING out there.
And the thing is ‘backing away’.
It’s not engaging with what arises, the moment it happens, whether it’s a thought or a feeling..
Not exploring, not fighting, not trying to understand or solve it.
Simply backing away.
That seems to be the only thing that’s ALWAYS possible.
It doesn’t matter if the mood is right or wrong.
It doesn’t matter what thought or emotion we’re talking about.
It doesn’t matter if you’re tired.
Or how long the thoughts have been raging inside of you.
Backing away is always doable.
It’s not even an activity, really.
It’s more of a realization, a moment of awareness.
It’s like breaking a spell before it’s fully cast at you.
It’s like dropping the mental suggestion, the first hint of an idea, right at its conception, and before it’s habitually accepted.
You notice it, and you just don’t engage with it.
And instantly back away.
It’s very doable, it’s extremely practical, and it’s essentially about noticing a change in energy (the thought or feeling entering the stage) and staying connected to that which perceives.
A deliberate, automatic return to awareness.
You just step back, figuratively, the moment the sensation comes up (or a bit later, if you were teased into some wicked, personal fantasy, that’s still okay).
This is the one thing that you can keep doing effortlessly and under all circumstances, and it doesn’t even matter if you forget to do it at first, because you have the rest of your life to master it.
It breaks the tendency to ruminate and worry and feel anxious.
It strengthens awareness.
It builds up presence.
It’s the only thing with an instant effect.
The only thing that doesn’t add any personal flavor to the stories.
You just back away, and the connection breaks long before it gets overwhelming.
You simply intercept and kill the urge to explore the idea, solve the problem, or even get rid of it.
Because you don’t have to get rid of it.
Backing away takes care of that.
You just take away the fuel.
The only thing that always, always does the trick and gets you back on your feet and into clarity, while it slowly but steadily turns into a life-enhancing skill.
And once you start doing it, something somehow will keep you on your toes.
You’ll forget, absolutely, very often, but you’ll also remember.
That will be taken care of once you start doing it.
It’s not hard work, it’s just something that needs your attention.
Fortunately, life will help you practice it as much as you like.
There’s no better habit in the world.
And then try it again.
You’ll thank me later.
(Photo by @dariusbashar, for Unsplash)