I’ve been overthinking this post for just about a week now. Which is especially ironic to me given that one of the main focuses of it is… giving up overthinking!
So I’m clearly nailing that one. The two biggest things that block me mentally, take all of my energy, and keep me from finishing projects that I need to finish… are over thinking and worrying about stuff I can’t control. I’ve recognized that it’s a big problem for me, so now it’s time to do something about it.
That whole worrying thing has been extra bad lately…
Any takers on what one of my main worries is right now? Animals! Shocker, right?! More specifically, animals that are left outside in this cold weather. It keeps me up at night. It might sound silly to you, but it’s a very real issue for me. Because as soon as I see one person on social media mention they “have a neighbor who keeps their dog outside 24/7 and what should they do?” I spiral hard. Suddenly, it’s not just that one dog. A voice in my head tells me there’s thousands of dogs being treated like this. All over the world. And it’s not just animals obviously. People are being hurt. Everyday! And what can I do? How do I stop this? It’s such a huge daunting problem that I get overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin. (This is that spiral I warned you about.)
And so I often feel helpless and sad and just drained of all motivation to do anything and …YIKES! That’s all very depressing, huh? Correct. I’m lucky in that I can pull myself out of a funk fairly quick, but I have to be extra careful to not dwell too long in the black hole of scary thoughts (shoutout to my fellow worriers/idealists!!) or it can get ugly. Which is why I’m working hard in 2018 to give up useless worry.
Useful vs Useless Worry.
Is there a difference? In order to keep my sanity (and happiness) I’ve come to the conclusion there is.
Useless worry is feeling sad about something, yet doing nothing to change it.
Useful worry is when I choose to take my sadness and use it as motivation to raise more money for shelters. Spread more awareness about the treatment of animals. Basically anything I can do to put a little light back into the Universe rather than more darkness.
Feeling sad does not help. Taking action does. (For me, personally!)
Not too long ago, after watching a particularly bad string of animal videos (thanks Facebook for knowing exactly what to show me in my feed that kills my soul) I decided I was done with it. I was going to ignore the problem all together. I would just act as if animal abuse doesn’t happen! Out of sight, out of mind. People do it all the time, why couldn’t I?
Well, because I am me. (Neurotic!)
It was also around this time when I stumbled on this passage by Brene Brown, “The choice to opt out of pain is the core of privilege.”
Of course it is! I can’t just pretend like the problem doesn’t exist. I’m not saying I have to watch every heart wrenching animal vid I come across, (I can’t and I won’t) but being silent, or turning a blind eye to something that is not okay is not the solution either.
“I am aware of what is happening, the part I play, and how I can make it better. But that doesn’t mean I have to deny the joy in my life.” (Another Brown quote.)
I can be aware of the pain around me, while still choosing to hold onto the joy in my life. No one said it would be easy, but it’s worth work working for. It’s your joy, after all!
Man, I love a good self help book.
But I’ll be done for today 🙂 Harlow is begging for a walk and I need to go buy plants at Lowe’s. And this might have just turned into a two part post.
Tomorrow: letting go of OVERTHINKING! But first, let me think about how to write it just perfectly. And is it really worth posting? Maybe I should post something different entirely. Brb while I think on it.