I went insane a couple of weeks ago. Well, maybe I just acted insanely; but that may just be a distinction without a difference.
Einstein once said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Another definition of insanity is fighting against what is. You’ll lose every time.
In my case, we were getting ready to print our first issue after our forced coronavirus vacation and we were running behind schedule. The pressure was on. Things weren’t going the way I thought they should and I started getting frustrated, angry and stressed.
It all started with the thought “This isn’t the way it should be.”
I know that I don’t have any choice as to the first thought that comes into my mind. If I give it further thought though, my thoughts are soon accompanied by images and feelings. By then, it’s too late for me. I find it really hard to find a way out at this point, even if I give it any thought, which I usually don’t.
Someone once wrote that “your thoughts are like mental children crying out for attention and by giving them your divine attention, you give them life.” How true.
Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I forgot a life lesson I thought I had learned. Krishnamurti, an Indian philosopher said in his later years that his secret was that “I don’t mind what happens.” He didn’t say that he didn’t care what happens, only that he didn’t mind. Not minding implies not fighting what happens and embracing the truth expressed in Donald Trump’s now-famous quote, “it is what it is.”
I had the first thought about the paper not coming together the way it should (in my opinion) and I minded greatly what was happening. My gut got all tied up into knots, I felt tense and I muttered quite a bit about the inequity of my situation. Did my thoughts about it change the situation for the better in any way? Nope. Did I suffer and cause those around me to suffer? Yup.
This experience was a good reminder for me to be vigilant in watching my thoughts. Usually, an awareness of stress in my abdomen is the clue for me to pull back and look at what I am thinking about. It’s always better to catch these things early. After my stress-free covid vacation, this old habit hadn’t had an opportunity to be practiced and I forgot.
I’m not going to beat myself up about it. That’s another losing strategy.