I’ll admit it, I was reading O this past week. And one of my favorite contributors, Brené Brown, hit the nail on the head again.
There is an excerpt from Brené’s new book, Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution. in which Brené shares about the stories she makes up…in her head…all the time. I must admit, I’m guilty (so, so guilty) of the same thing.
Someone says something to me that most people would find innocuous, and I somehow slip right into knowing that they’re angry with me, or that I’ve failed (or f—d up). Again. A friend jumps up from the table during dinner, and I know I’ve done something wrong. Again.
I forget the world doesn’t revolve around me. Or at least their worlds don’t. I forget that most often people aren’t displeased, or upset, or frustrated with me. And even if (and when) they are, it’s okay. I forget that I don’t have to keep everyone happy all of the time (it’s not my job) and I couldn’t even if I wanted to. And I no longer want to.
Yes, yes, yes, I could easily explain to you why my brain works this way. Why I slip into this stinking thinking and destructive patterns. But that’s added effort and energy that’s just not worth it. Yes, I used to think that I had to keep everything okay. And yes, I now know (even when I forget) that I don’t. And I can’t.
So I’m going to use my energy (and active imagination) wisely. I’m going to confront my tormentor. (It’s only me.) I’m going to come clean on the stories I make up. “You know, when you said that, I thought you meant this…” I’m going to share with the people I care about. Even if they laugh at me for my absurdity. And even if they acknowledge that that is actually what they meant, or felt – because then I can at least get out of my own head and we can at least discuss it.
I’m going to call out my silly stories. I’m going to search for whatever truth I do know, whatever facts I do have, and whatever things I’m making up.
I’m going to stop the madness. Or at least slow it down.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!