Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Lot of Wise Words That are FREAKING ME RIGHT OUT

I'm odd.

People who know me are all nodding and snorting, "Tell me something I don't know."

No, I mean, I'm feeling odd lately. Anxious. Twitchy. Teary. I mean, I'm having trouble sleeping. Think about what my night-times have been like for the past two years, and then know that my son is finally, finally sleeping through the night (in some form, 80% of the time, but let's not be greedy, here), and then think about that: I'm having trouble sleeping. That's both ridiculous and depressing.

I'm not totally sure what's going on. A drop in hormones going along with a drop in breastfeeding? General world ookiness (economy, Arizona...)? Previously wacky brain chemistry becoming wacky once again? I dunno. And I haven't wanted to write much, because I don't know what to say or how to make it entertaining or at least helpful to me.

But. I have recently come across some other, smarter people who are writing good stuff. Stuff that hits me, sometimes in inspiring ways ("Yay! I could do that!"), sometimes in depressing ways ("Boo-hoo! Why can't I do that?!"). But it's hitting me and I'm trying to see that impact as a...sign? Ech. Not really. But as...important. If I'm feeling oochy and detached and slouchy lately, something that makes me feel energized and reactive and engaged is worth paying attention to.

The first is from (and this is weird to even type) the Dalai Lama's Facebook page. He wrote an essay called "Countering Stress and Depression." It's here in its entirety, and I particularly like this:

"One of the approaches that I personally find useful is to cultivate the thought: If the situation or problem is such that it can be remedied, then there is no need to worry about it. In other words, if there is a solution or a way out of the difficulty, you do not need to be overwhelmed by it. The appropriate action is to seek its solution. Then it is clearly more sensible to spend your energy focussing on the solution rather than worrying about the problem. Alternatively, if there is no solution, no possibility of resolution, then there is also no point in being worried about it, because you cannot do anything about it anyway. In that case, the sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be for you. This formula, of course, implies directly confronting the problem and taking a realistic view. Otherwise you will be unable to find out whether or not there is a resolution to the problem.

Taking a realistic view and cultivating a proper motivation can also shield you against feelings of fear and anxiety. If you develop a pure and sincere motivation, if you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness, compassion, and respect, then you can carry on any kind of work, in any field, and function more effectively with less fear or worry, not being afraid of what others think or whether you ultimately will be successful in reaching your goal. Even if you fail to achieve your goal, you can feel good about having made the effort. But with a bad motivation, people can praise you or you can achieve goals, but you still will not be happy."

I don't know what to do with that at the moment; I kinda find it more daunting ("whyyyy can't I do that?! Help me, Dalai Lamaaaaa!") than helpful right now, but I think I want to keep coming back to it.

Also? Elly. Elly is smart, yo. And I'm not just saying that because she liked my mollusk joke. "YOU are a possibility." Again, at this moment, I find that a little intimidating, because yikes! What if I can't live up to being a possibiliteeeeee??!!!"

And? Doctor Mama. She not only inspires you to run, she also helps your whole life become better. (Even if you don't run.) (But she'd really like you to run.) "I have a sticker on the back of my laptop that reads 'HAS ANGER SOLVED YOUR OTHER PROBLEMS?' that is quite entertaining to make people gaze upon in meetings." I love this. It totally applies to me, but I love it.

So, that's where I am. Trying to find some smartiness elsewhere, because I'm feeling dull. Got any wisdom that you find helpful when you're feeling fragile and anxious and twitchy and needing some quiet and some kind and some humble? Share, share...


  1. I'm on a short list with the Dalai Lama? Woo! Hee! I think I just ruptured something from laughing too hard.

  2. I tried to tell my husband about the Dalai Lama advice and he was not buying it!