This happens a lot to me, too.
Boredom is cyclical thinking. You latch onto the one emotion you have going on and it just keeps coming and coming: I’m bored. And being bored has nothing to do with a ‘lack of anything to do’; bored means being tired of doing the same thing. Or as our model in this example would say, sproing, sproing.
I’m particularly good at boredom. For me, it’s just a byproduct in my brain. I think feverishly, with rapidity, and most of those thoughts include some sort of angst. But thinking is many things ranging from emotions to logic, and searching for the balance of the two, or the wise mind, is my goal, my task. Getting away from the cyclical, repetitive and unproductive thinking that is boredom digs me out of the ‘hopelessness’ rut. God, how I hate boredom. Sproing, sproing.
I’m now actively working with tools to move myself away from the dangers of this kind of thinking, to move toward the wise mind. However, I am one seriously impatient guy sometimes.
I want that result immediately and let’s face it — ugh! — things worth doing are worth doing well, and that means taking the time to learn how to use these tools in the right ways, to keep it going, to move forward in the face of perceived failure. You only fail when you quit with this sort of thing, so that mean making the commitment to victory again and again.
Does any of this sound familiar?
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”
– E. O. Wilson
Of one thing I am quite certain: I am capable of falling on my face. Often. But there’s a certain redemption in the idea that once you have fallen on your face you can smile and laugh about it and get up. When you’re trapped in patterns of negative thinking and you reinforce them, it’s not possible to laugh at yourself when you make an ass of yourself or for that matter make any kind of mistake, public or private. It’s shame. It’s self-torture. And that negative self-reinforcement is something I can learn to live without.
Working with mindfulness exercises and other tools will help me overcome that negative thinking cycle. Working with body scan exercises help me get into the here and now rather than projecting myself into an imaginary arena where I believe I know what other people think or feel. And being true to myself — that is, no lying, no denying, no drama — is the way toward a more realistic sense of the goals toward which I need to aim my efforts.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
– Albert Einstein
When you ask yourself the real questions — the ones that can be answered with truth — you cut away so much of the emotionally disabling power of the fear those questions held. I know that as long as I continue to work toward getting better rather than the sproing, sproing of negative emotional focus, I will find there’s room for me to feel something I seldom get an opportunity to feel, and that is joy.
Joy should be something much more common in my life. I would like to be celebrating victories rather than be pinned to the wall with worries, that hopeless feeling in my gut, that nightmarish burning behind my eyes. I would much rather be celebrating life with my family and friends, learning to be in the moment and feel rather than be always concerned about the future and sad about the past. There’s only one way to do it and that’s with Radical Acceptance. I would much rather have my life ruled by me in a wise mind than than ruled by my emotion-based fears. Besides, celebration is so much more fun!
Not only would I prefer to celebrate raucously, I’d like to be free. Free to enjoy myself in ways that I have denied myself for far too long. This painful denial is the fruit of spending your life without accepting reality as it is. I need to use Radical Acceptance to move myself forward. Of course, RA isn’t fun and games. It’s painful, hard work and it means many things but most of all it means making a commitment to accepting reality as it is and then moving forward to change the things you can, the things that need to be changed.
Nothing is perfect. Not everything works for everyone. But I know that I have to keep trying, keep making the commitment to working toward the goal of being me, of being okay with who and what I am. Most importantly, the things I don’t like have to change, true, but they have to change on my command, on my demand, on my effort. If I do this, then perhaps I can be happy in ways that make sense. I can be fabulous in my own way and on my own terms. That’s so much more reasonable than trying to please anyone else, isn’t it?