Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Change Your Thinking One Day at a Time? Right.

I walk my dogs every morning from our cozy little spot on the hill down into the town and along the waterfront. We walk along the fishermen's wharf and wave hello to the regulars who congregate there. My trash-collecting habit amuses some of the guys, who laugh at me and shake their heads, and others thank me for my "service". I find all sorts of things from empty cans and bottles to scratch tickets and even occasionally discarded waitstaff shirts from a local eatery or two - I've started a collection of these just to see how many I can score in a year. Thank you, disgruntled staffers discarding their summer jobs and the shirts along with them!
Yoshi hoping for a duck dinner on our morning walk
Since absenting myself from the knitting world, social media, and this blog I've been pretty introspective. I've spent a lot of time in prayer and Bible reading, and a lot of time allowing God to show me who I am and what I am supposed to be doing instead of trying to do everything all on my own. The truth is I have no answers to anything on my own, although I've spent a lot of time trying to prove that I did. I've stopped trying.
Low tide at the wharf
It's probably not a secret that I have struggled with anxiety and depression. I have not handled stress nearly as well as I might have. And I've had an uneasy relationship with money; once I get into any sort of a role where I begin making it for my own benefit, even in small amounts, I run fast and far in the opposite direction. Success terrifies me. My thought stream tends to be negative. I compare myself to others, which is self-defeating on all levels. I want those things to change.
Really low tide in the bay
One of the things that's always puzzled me is the ability of some people to be so damned cheerful in the face of...well, frankly, life in general. How do they DO this? How can they just be so bloody happy, as if nothing around them matters, like they cannot SEE the giant horse on the dining room table, and how can they not SEE that huge thing?!? Then add on the peculiar experiences of some of us, and I wonder how anyone even gets out of bed, let alone chirps along joyously, quipping about the beauties of life. Maybe I just started off on the wrong foot. My role models were, I suppose, not exactly what you could call "healthy". Even my father, for all of his awesomeness, struggled with the day to day thing we call living, and often ended up a bit more on the side of pessimism and sarcasm than might be considered ideal. And I have said before I am a slow learner. I think I meant it.

Since becoming a Young Living independent distributor and setting some goals related to that, I've become increasingly aware of just how much negative thinking I do, and how much that leads to self doubt and negativity, depressive feelings, stress, anxiety, and the lot. I'd also like to point out here that I have set myself up in an attempt to be successful in a field with something like a 92% "failure" rate - multi-level marketing, network marketing - these are areas where the vast majority fail, and very few succeed. And here I am; pessimistic, negative, freaky little me, thinking this is something I can do.

And now we get back to the walk, the one I take every morning with the dogs. As I walk along I think about things. I plan my day. I consider what I am going to do with all the can and lottery ticket money (I've decided to donate it). I think about deeper things - about life and choices and consequences, and about how I need to step back and allow God to change me, from the inside out, one day at a time.

The steps and revelations are TINY most days. I try not to even look at "how far I've come" because the snail pace would put me under a quilt (or possibly my crocheted Noro Silk Garden afghan), tucked neatly and tightly around my (wide) eyes, quaking with panic.

Today as we were walking along I saw a can behind a fence in a public area. It was covered with spider webs and all manner of ick. I wanted it. I will bend over for a nickel, it's true, even if I have to rinse that nickel out and take it to the local bottle center on Monday morning (where they guy now recognizes me, jokes about my "coffee money" and congratulates me on my weekly "earnings"). I love gleaning cans even more now that I have a plan for the money that puts it into better hands than mine. So there was this trapped can, and I wanted it. I thought to myself "I can't get that can. It's behind the fence and it's covered in spider webs. I can't." Doom and gloom and pessimism and a lost nickel!

But what if ...and it hit me heavy, this small, simple thing... what if I chose to look at that can in a completely different way? What if instead of saying "I can't..." I said "That can is behind a fence. I can get it if I want to. But... (Wait. Red flag! NO BUTS!! Instead say...) That can is covered in spider webs. I CHOOSE not to put my hand through the fence to get that can." And I walked away, leaving the nickel behind.

So. Simple.

So. Small.

So important.

Day by day, one day at a time, one small step at a time, my entire way of thinking, of viewing the world, of engaging with others, of being in spaces is changing. And I love it and I am SO grateful!