"Well maybe I'm a masochist, I try to run, but I don't want to ever leave." -Skylar Grey
In regards to human habits, one of the worst has to be masochism. I have said it before and I'll say it again, "Life is HARD!" It's so hard, and right when you think things are looking brighter you get knocked down again. However that's not the topic I want to discuss directly. So, I'm just going to dive right in....
You're deep in it. The struggle, whatever it is feels massive, unbearable, and horribly overwhelming. You're consumed, either by hurt or hardship, both maybe. You check the time, it's exactly one minute since you last looked and relief hasn't showed it's lovely face. It's that moment right there where this topic begins, and as I love doing, I will use my experience to elaborate and you can join the journey if you wish.
Oh, hello heartache, I almost forgot you were there. Interesting, you have new weapons of mass destruction with you this time. How kind of you to show up bearing gifts. Honestly, there is no preparation for heartache, I don't care who you are. Alright, so we've discussed my previous issues of the heart...you'd think my heart would have disowned me by now. "You freaking moron, you did this to us again?" Yes, I'm afraid so, my sincerest apologies. Yesterday, was an all new low in a few ways, but guess what, I lived. It's a miracle, I know.
Now for my point, I swear I'm getting to it. Do me a favor, (you didn't know this was an interactive blog did you?), think of a time when you've been knocked down and try and relate to the next part in your own way.
Is it just me, or does hurt intensify when the sun goes down? Especially when you are horizontal, maybe I should find a way to sleep standing up. However in the meantime, I'll have to deal with this type of scenario. Last night I woke up at the all to familiar hour of 3 am. Of course thoughts of my current hurt and heartache were right there at the surface, unavoidable, and devastating. This is where the choice to increase the suffering with masochistic thoughts or to focus on healthy things comes into play. I spent a sickening hour creating imaginary scenarios in my mind, torturing my mind, heart, and soul with a destructive attitude. I created images that didn't exist anywhere but in my mind, thinking the worst and allowed myself to suffer. Why? This is unfortunately a habit. I know I am not alone in this. Destructive thinking is practically an epidemic. It's scary really, I mean as if heartache isn't bad enough, I had to make myself physically ill in the process. Just wow.
Does any of this sound familiar? Of course it does, we are so hard on ourselves. Nine times out of ten it's just easier to beat ourselves up than to take time to really try and understand why something happened. Especially after you have spent time trying to understand and are left without resolution. Truth: Sometimes understanding isn't necessary. However, accepting the situation for exactly what it is, and nothing more than that is absolutely necessary.
So, how did my night pan out? After an hour of masochistic behavior I had enough. Thoughts are powerful! They can be used for good or evil. I didn't get much more sleep last night, however, I spent 4am to 6am a lot differently. I changed my focus entirely. Basically, I told myself I needed to find the bright side which usually comes so easily to me, I think most of the people in my life would vouch for that. I honestly came up empty handed at first. I folded that hand and drew new cards. I started envisioning my future. My children's futures. The kind of example I want to be to them. I envisioned the new car with power steering I will have someday. I envisioned trips with my girls and all of the memories we will make. I saw my future self the way I want to be, strong, healthy, confident, and happy. Then I just started making a mental list of steps to get there. Baby steps, but still steps. I forced myself to think as many positive thoughts as it took until I found peace. I took charge of my thoughts and stopped torturing myself. It was unbelievably liberating!
Now don't misunderstand. The hurt isn't done just because you vow to take charge of your thoughts. When severe hurt happens it's like you're out in the ocean with a very flimsy floatation device. Waves are inevitable. Up and down, up and down, and you feel every ripple through that thin plastic. You'll hear a song and choke on some salt water, or see a photo that flips your raft right over. Pain in life is unavoidable. However, I do believe we have some say in the length of time and the level of the suffering. Attitude and positive thinking will change your life. I am so glad I figured this out this time around, because the me from a few years ago would've "enjoyed" a lot more masochism. Let's be honest, choking on salt water isn't fun for anyone. I know if I focus on maintaining control of my thoughts, soon my measly floaty will be upgraded to a little row boat, and so on until I'm sailing in style on a yacht with a Mai Tai, little umbrella and all!
Honestly, it does not matter what your hardship is, positive thinking will greatly and immediately improve your situation. On the contrary, masochism will extend and intensify your pain, so just don't do it! So simple right?
As for me, I'm no less awesome than I was day before yesterday, and I'm slightly less awesome than I will be tomorrow. Nothing that happens to me changes that. So, you don't even have to ask if I'm ok, because you now know the answer. Absolutely, I am undoubtably more than ok. Failure, rejection, and heartache happen, but they don't define us. Not unless you allow them to. When the time is right, the bright side will show itself, until then, you better believe I'm envisioning that yacht, and the best Mai Tai I've ever had....