This week, two persons I care about lost a person they care about.
The first, her father (though her mother has been hospitalized for some time). She and her husband boarded a plane that evening to fly half-way around the world to follow certain rites as prescribed by their religious beliefs.
The second, a friend who’d faced her many demons in a protracted battle with alcoholism and heart disease. He responded with three inches of Irish, two mulled wines, a eulogy, and after reflection electing to choose life and live it to the utmost.
(Their losses reminded me of a friend who lost a sibling a few years back. She dealt with her loss by ostensibly disappearing for a few months.)
Each person experienced a loss of someone dear to them, and yet they responded differently. That got me thinking how each belief system — be it philosophical, political, religious, spiritual, or other — comes with its own set of accepted SNOGs. The “thou shalt”s you must subscribe and adhere to if you want to fit in.
I subscribed to the mind-over-matter philosophy. As one who honors anyone’s belief systems (including mine) so long as it doesn’t harm another, I was okay with that. However, with this SNOG-eradication, I realized just how seriously I’d hurt myself with that philosophy. Not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally.
I wound up believing, when unable to “cure” myself (of a physical ailment or weakness [perceived or actual]), or “overcome” so something or another (a fear, memory, or even a belief) I was to blame. If only I tried harder. Did it more. “It was all my fault.” All that mind tripping simply wound up being additional fodder to use when beating myself up.
One example comes to mind. I spent a year and a half getting physically sicker and weaker while I desperately tried to convince myself if I only BELIEVED more, FOCUSED more, got my MIND in the right place, I’d heal. Well, maybe there are some out there for whom that works. I was not (and apparently am not), among them. Even though I eventually succumbed to a milder “fix,” a few years later the problem came back with a vengeance — requiring an even more serious fix (which took me a year to recover from.)
The irony being that while all this was going on, even when the evidence indicated mind over matter wasn’t working, I held on. After all, Mind-over-Matter SHOULD work. (It did for “others.”) I just NEEDED to try harder. I OUGHT to be able to pull this off. I kept telling myself I just GOTTA try harder.
The way I see it, whoever taught me that particular SNOG belief system was at one time influential in my life. I have no idea of who it was or when I acquired it. Obviously it had a strong hold on me. It took the events of this past week to realize such thinking needn’t remain a part of my life.
My take-away from this is if something works for you, use it. Keep it. Make it yours (even modifying a group’s SNOGs for a better fit). If something isn’t working or no longer fits, get rid of it. Why get crushed or broken under the deadweight of all the SNOGs you’re carrying?
I began this SNOG idea as a dialog between “Me” and “Self.” Now I’m seeing it as a dialog between “Head” and “Heart.”
I recently met a woman who believes one of the mistakes we make is believing the brain is lord and master of our life; that the heart does a better job taking the lead while the brain sees that the necessary steps are taken to bring about the heart’s desire/vision. An idea worthy of contemplation and mulling.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful, terrific & marvelous week.
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