“Try hard not to create too much hope and fear, for they only engender more mental gossip.” – Sogyal Rinpoche (Glimpse of the Day)
I even went so far as to attempt to make contact to send well-wishes, because I had this fearful thought that “something horrible had happened or is happening.”
Upon reflection, I do not nor did not regret either making contact or wishing this person well. I wondered only why I allowed this feeling of anxiety to take control of my thoughts and actions… Then I realized…
The anxiety stemmed from one thought, “I no longer know what is happening to this person, whether this person lives or dies. I am not privvy to this knowledge.”
My immediate emotional reaction to that thought was fear/anxiety. I began to worry whether or not this person were in danger, whether or not this person lived, whether or not this person needed help, etc. You get the idea here… There was a lot of worrying going on in that moment.
The point is this: Instead of going to the utter negative, i.e. “Something horrible is happening to this person and I am scared,” I could have gone to the positive, “Something wonderful is happening to this person and I am glad.” 🙂
So, allow the thoughts of former loved ones, friends, and acquaintances to come into your mind as they will (seemingly randomly… Although they are probably caused by something in the immediate environment that illicits a memory). Allow your mind to wonder about where these persons are now, how their lives have changed, and what future they hope to have. Allow, too, the worries that may come or other feelings that you may find challenging to manage…
Remember, however, that our feelings are based upon our thoughts.
We can paint in our minds images of positive happenings for those, with whom we are no longer connected. We can see them surrounded by joy, by loved ones, by success, by good weather (I’m just seeing if you are paying attention here ;)).
Yes, even for those who may have caused us great hurt, we can still imagine them being surrounded by happiness in our minds. At this point, you might ask, Why, D?
Well, focusing your mind on the positive brings about positive emotions. Yes, there may be a part of you that wishes that things weren’t going all that well for a specific person. Remember, however, that spending time focusing on those negative thoughts only brings about more of those types of emotions… You know, the ones that you may find challenging or negative.
And really, who wants to spend all, or even some, of their time feeling angry, sad, envious, guilty, ashamed, fearful, and disgusted? And if you do, then… you should contact me…
Rewinding the clock
If I were able to rewind the last two hours of my life (because this really all just happened now), I would have done a couple of things differently:
- As I mentioned above, I would have reframed my thinking. That is, I would have confronted that initial thought that provoked such disruptive feelings and found a way to disprove the thought, in order to replace thought. Seriously, what proof had I that “something horrible” is happening? None. Equally, I have no proof that “something wonderful” is happening either. It is, however, more beneficial emotionally, psychologically, and physically to focus on the positive as it helps me to maintain a manageable stress level (which in general I keep quite low).
- I would have waited at least until the morning to decide on whether or not to make contact. I often find that a good night’s sleep does wonders to refocusing our emotional space and in clarifying our plans of action. (I will make allowances for myself today, because I had a touch of insomnia last night 😉)
- I would have contacted a friend. Talking to friends about the situation is helpful. Going over worries with someone who knows us well and/or the other person can help to bring necessary objectivity, which will help in gaining insight into our feelings.
- I would have written a letter or written in my journal. Writing our thoughts down truly helps to “get it all out” of our system and offers a creative outlet for expression. We may even be able to write our way through the problem to a reasonable solution.
- I would have remembered that this person is an adult and care take care of his or her own life. If he or she needed me, then it is easy enough to make contact in this age of technology. That’s right. No one has somehow destroyed all cellular phones, computers, regular phones, the post office, or this person’s feet. If he or she wanted to be in contact, then he or she would find a way. Trust me.
All in all, it was good to think of and envision wonderful things for this person today (i.e. after the panic). I am glad that our paths crossed. And no, there was no response to my attempt at contact… but that was never the point. 😉
Until next time!
Photographs are by Croatian photographer, Dolores Juhas, whose work has been featured in such magazines as Italian Vogue. You can visit her website at http://www.dolores-juhas.tk or email her: firstname.lastname@example.org. She has her own blog at http://themax.bloger.hr