Monday, November 16, 2009

Above and Beyond

That’s not trivial!!

Since my last post was about what some would label a ‘major’ life event – I decided that now was as good a time as any to bring up this topic:
When is something not a triviality?

I was taught first to practice on the ‘minor’ everyday events which contributed to me feeling irritated, frustrated, disappointed, out-of-sorts, and upset. But, I’ll tell you, it’s gone way above and beyond that.

The truth is, what one person would consider a triviality, someone else may not. Judging whether or not an event is trivial, insignificant or minor (in the grand scheme of things), is a personal decision.

For me – just about everything is now trivial, No-Big-Deal. No, it wasn’t always that way. At first I followed what I thought were the rules. I followed them closely.

Yet it came to a point when I was confused?, puzzled? about what was, and what wasn’t a triviality. It was then I decided trivial or not – I could and would use my mental fitness tools no matter what the situation, no matter what the event. No matter how ‘BIG’ it seemed. No matter how important it was. If I was uncomfortable or down – I practiced: changing thoughts and commanding muscles. Everything became a “triviality compared to my mental health”.

Bear with me here…
When my Mother passed away 20 years ago, it was my first experience of a parent dying. This is how I dealt with it: The instant my Mother died was not trivial, BUT (and that’s a BIG but) BUT everything else that that was even slightly connected to the event was. Every one of my irritations, frustrations, disappointments, and fearful, insecure thoughts had to be handled. By me.

To be honest, I was scared and felt vulnerable (because I was thinking vulnerable thoughts). I was in ‘new’ territory. I was afraid of a setback. So my practice went into High Gear. Yes, I was, what might be called ‘hyper-vigilant’ of what thoughts were coming into my mind. But I did it for my mental health, my sanity, my inner peace. I didn’t want to ‘fall apart’ completely. And, I didn’t.

On the way to the funeral home for the first visitation, I had one particular sad/gloomy thought: “This is the worst day of my life, I’m going to see my Mother in a casket.” Followed shortly afterwards by: “No Rose. The worst day of your life was when you were terrified to walk from the house to the mailbox.” Oh! That pulled me back to being totally realistic about what I had to face.

Don’t get me wrong, I did a fair amount of crying. Maybe more than an average amount (but really, what is the measuring stick for weeping? Minutes or ounces?). There were a few times I wasn’t able to speak, but simply hug someone back. But, I did not fall apart completely.

This is definitely a case where I was not at ease (who would be?) but I was in control – of my inner environment. You might say I made a mighty firm decision that I would not allow myself to dwell on, or work up anything.
Original responses? Yes, of course – plenty of them. But no lengthy debilitating working-up processes.

As I said – for me, I employ my well-being skills for everything. I found it keeps me calmer and healthier. I do it for my mental health.

What’s more important? Someone’s (or anyone’s) words, actions or behavior, or My Mental Health?

To me the answer is a no-brainer. My mental health! Of course.

“Compared to my mental health”… Put in that perspective, I can’t imagine anyone answering anything else.

© 2009 Rose VanSickle ~ All rights reserved