It’s Okay to Get Rid of What Doesn’t Work or Fit

    c.328w they are remembered

    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.

    c.329w crushing SNOGs

    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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    Tammy - October 29, 2014 - 12:37 pm

    I totally get this. I reinvent myself several times a year. My direction, thought process, decisions. You name it, I’m always re-assessing. Throwing out the stuff that didn’t pan out quite right and bringing in new brilliance. Well, it’s all new brilliance at the time of conception, isn’t it?

    Star - October 29, 2014 - 1:01 pm

    Three thumbs way up … uh … make that two thumbs and a big toe. You really hit the mark.

    Tana Bevan - October 29, 2014 - 1:35 pm

    Tammy~You are emphatically a woman to be admired!

    Tana Bevan - October 29, 2014 - 1:36 pm

    Hehe, I like the two thumbs and a big toe. Thank you Star!!!!

    Sheila Bergquist - October 29, 2014 - 11:46 pm

    The human mind is a wonder, but it can also be very destructive to our mental health. We tend to never doubt it and that’s where we get into trouble. Having an anxiety disorder, I am all too aware of this situation…one I’m working on all the time. It’s great that you recognized this and did something about it. Yay Tana!

    Tana Bevan - October 30, 2014 - 1:42 pm

    The way I see it Sheila, if I do nothing, nothing’s going to change. If I do something, yeah well there’s always the chance nothing will change, but there’s also the chance that something will. That’s what keeps me moving forward. As always, I really appreciate your encouragement.

    Sheila Bergquist - October 30, 2014 - 10:43 pm

    Yep, we have to keep moving forward. I read a quote somewhere, that went something like this:
    Instead of thinking of all the things that could go wrong, think of all the things that could go right.

    Happy Halloween!

    Tana Bevan - October 31, 2014 - 12:34 pm

    Seems so easy to focus on the negative. And yet, you’re right, why not focus on all the things that could go right. I mean you’re gonna focus on something. I like. Thanks so much for sharing Sheila.

    Kern Windwraith - November 3, 2014 - 2:01 pm

    Human beings are such perverse creatures, aren’t we? On the one hand we have these marvelous, creative, busy, busy things called minds, and we invest our minds with all manner of powers–the power to create, to heal, to change ourselves and the world. And all these powers can be real and true, at least some of the time.

    On the other hand, these marvelous, creative, busy, busy things we call minds tell us: you’re stupid, you’re ugly, you look like crap in those pants, that idea will never fly, you should this, you should that, I can’t believe you just….

    Point being – when our minds are focused shoveling out the poop, we might want to acknowledge that they may not be at their full healing potential. A lesson it took me wayyyy too long to learn, I’m afraid. :)

    Tana Bevan - November 3, 2014 - 6:35 pm

    Kern~Thank you soooooooooooooo much for sharing your hard-learned lesson. I too seem to be learning these lessons a bit late in the game. However, at least we can congratulate ourselves for still being in the game. For that my friend, and for taking the time to share hard-earned wisdom, I give you a rousing WOO-HOO along with some very LOUD clapping, cheering, and foot stomping!

    Star Hunter - November 3, 2014 - 6:42 pm

    Kern: extraordinary insights. Thank you for posting them.

    A reminder for all ~ focus on the good stuff we think & do.

    Tana Bevan - November 3, 2014 - 6:58 pm

    Star~Often we “know,” though we forget. Sweet are the reminders.

    IR - November 11, 2014 - 1:13 pm

    This post, along with “During Transition The Road Markers Disappear” the previous week, are so incredibly relevant to me right now… The way you were able to condense such insights and wisdom into so few words astounds me. It’s more touching than any self-help or philosophical book I’ve ever read. Thank you!

    Tana Bevan - November 11, 2014 - 3:53 pm

    IR, Knowing my words helped you fills my heart with joy. Thank you for letting me know.