I’ve been a jerk. Have you been a jerk? I was even a little bit of a jerk this morning to my hubby.
Now I feel guilty for being a jerk.
Why do we act like jerks?
It starts with a thought. Sometimes it’s about what someone else did, and sometimes it’s about something I wish I hadn’t done, with varying degrees of regret and shame.
I ruminate on the thought, and voila, jerk-like feelings start rumbling. It takes a few minutes for me to chill out and find some perspective by reviewing my recent cranial playlist.
If I’m open to being honest with myself I’m perfectly capable of finding the original thought that rattled me. But if I’m not open to figuring things out, and let the thought consume me, I join the ranks of the jerks, potentially creating an avalanche of jerks, all because jerk-ish behaviour took place at some point in the past.
I’m tired of letting the jerks get to me. I’m tired of letting me get me for that matter.
It’s easy to say “just stop thinking about it.” The truth is, it’s a huge endeavour to put those five words into action.
It isn’t easy to shut the brain off from a thought we are accustomed to having.
The thoughts we have stick close to home, providing a constant reminder of where we, or others, have come up short. And as far as crummy behaviour outside of ourselves goes, it’s reliable, and in many cases, never going to change, no matter how much hope we might have that it will.
So the life-altering challenge I extend to myself and the masses:
Let’s learn to change how we react to the thoughts we have.
For me the place to start is forgiveness. There is no way I’m going to find any peace if I’m walking around with internalized anger.
The process of forgiving has to do with me learning to forgive myself as well as others. Because as I admitted previously, I’ve been a jerk too.
I believe so strongly in this life-changing statement: What you put out you get back. I’ve witnessed this energy transfer throughout my life, but I refused to accept it as fact until recent years.
Truth: if we are harbouring aggressive feelings towards ourselves and others, we will find ourselves running into more of the same.
My life began to drastically change the day I started paying attention to the thoughts I had about myself and faced them instead of running from them.
It was shockingly enlightening, to say the least.
I want to be clear about something that a lot of people refuse to believe, which is that we have a choice.
We can choose different thoughts if the ones we are currently thinking aren’t serving us well. We can choose to let pessimistic comments and inferior energy permeate our peace, or we can say “no thanks” to it.
And it’s terribly difficult to do in the beginning, because few of us have ever flexed these non-reactionary muscles. In most of us, the ability to not react is new-born baby weak.
But if a newborn can build up their muscles, we can too. Practice and perseverance, and a desire to find some happiness and peace in our lives can be our motivation.
Why do we think we have zero control over our thoughts, and for that matter, our lives? We were taught reactionary living. We were told we have no control over our circumstances. Some of our parents even boldly advised that life is difficult and awful. Many of us have elders spewing long-held, life with limitations beliefs our way on the daily.
The idea that we have zero control over our lives is a widely held assumption that serves no purpose.
Over the years I’ve witnessed people offering pessimistic, unsolicited advice, driven by their belief that outside sources are responsible for where they are in their lives, not them.
This leads to children believing they have no control of their thoughts or the scenarios they may face in this world. These kids then spend their days worrying, thinking the world is a scary and awful place, for which they are destined to experience horrible surprises around every bend.
Take it from me, this is no way to live. In fact, it is not living at all.
When we take responsibility for the thoughts we have about ourselves and others and put a positive spin on things, our lives will unfold in much more favourable ways, for us, and the people around us.
Change is possible, so let’s consider a new way of processing our thoughts and the behaviours associated with them.
The focus must be on finding a sense of calm amongst the chaos. And this tranquility comes from within. I tried to find it in outside sources for 20 please years, all to avail. Based on my life experience, which has included years of doing it the wrong way, I know that you will not find true peace in your life through a bottle, a new dress, or excessive exercising. It simply won’t work.
Your ego might have you convinced that it will, but eventually, your spirit is going to get sucked dry. Please consider this truth, from a person who has made all sorts of mistakes trying to find peace.
There is a lot of information out there about how to calm our minds. I find a lot of it lacks depth and quality (particularly the “five ways to…” lists) and then on the flip side, some of it is pretty intense which scares people off quickly.
One of my goals is to create a way to make finding calmness more accessible to the skeptics. (These are the people who often need it the most. Those that ferociously reject something always have issues related to that which they aggressively reject).
In the meantime, I’d like to share this trick I picked up from a therapist, which I use to protect myself from toxicity in situations outside of myself, and scenarios that have reliably disrupted my inner calm.
It’s a good trick to use around aggressive or negative people, especially if you find yourself easily rattled by others:
Picture yourself surrounded by an imaginary bubble. You can pick a colour if you want: whatever works for you. The idea is that you envision this bubble surrounding you like a safety capsule.
When you are entering a space that has been known to cause you grief, picture this bubble, and know that nothing can permeate this safety chamber. Know that it will protect you from any negativity that may be pushed your way.
I hope this trick might help you as it has helped me. I look forward to sharing more as my journey and research unfolds. I’m extremely passionate about the process of finding peace in this crazy world and would be grateful for comments or emails with ideas or feedback.
And I will sign off today with one of my favourite poems that is suitable for today’s subject matter. 🙂
A madman inside you
Who is always running for office –
Why vote him in,
For he never keeps the accounts straight.
He gets all kinds of crooked deals
Happening all over town
That will just give you a big headache
And glue to your kisser