This morning, it took me quite a few tries to extricate a coffee filter. For an incredibly long cinematic nanosecond, the fact that I kept trying with no progress began to make the situation feel impossible. How is it I cannot accomplish such a simple task? Have I not done this thousands of times? Obviously, I should be able to accomplish this.
Of course, in the end, I was victorious (Yay, me!). However, before that grand moment, I experienced situational angst that spread to the rest of my life. If I can’t accomplish this, how am I supposed to do the other bajillion things which are currently making me feel overwhelmed? Little things, like take care of a child, a house, a yard, and a business all on my own.
I spent a lot of time when I was younger spiraling down rabbit holes such as these. It can be quite the slippery slope. Since I have more experience and understanding now, I am generally able to nip it in the bud.
I don’t actually know where this is going next. I was just inspired to write about the experience because it felt somehow universal. I felt maybe someone out there might say, “Oh thank god, it’s not just me.” I could go on to write a tidy little list of what to do in these situations, but somehow that doesn’t feel totally authentic. I like to be authentic. So, I guess I will simply share what I did. I like to be simple, too.
I stopped it. First, I had to realize I was spiraling down. So, once I realized it, I stopped it. I took a breath. I witnessed my own thoughts. I asked myself if they were even true.
Am I really all alone? (No, even though it often feels that way.)
Do I REALLY need to accomplish the long list of things I wrote down on TODAY in my calendar? (No, indeed, I set those tasks and I can rearrange them. I can give myself a break.)
Do I have everything I need in this moment? (Yes)
Can everything work out? (Yes)
Am I doing so much better than I ever have before? (Yes, even though it doesn’t always seem that way to my critical mind.)
Am I really ok? (Yes.)
I “solved” the “problem” of the coffee filter by changing my normal tactic. It took a bit more time than usual (seriously, like 30 seconds). And another thing came up like that just a short while later, further underscoring this same analogy of life in microcosm.
Nothing is impossible. Stopping and regrouping can help. Changing tactics can help. Questioning our assumptions and thoughts can help. Some things take more time than we think they should. It’s ok. Time is irrelevant in the long run. Life has twists and turns. Things don’t always go as planned. It’s still ok to make a plan. It’s ok for Life to deviate. It’s often beautiful for Life to deviate. It’s all ok.
The Real Truth is always soothing. Allow That.