I’m a mess. My brain is like a bowl of spaghetti. A big jumbled tangle of thoughts and feelings all leading nowhere. I would love to separate them all out and straighten them one by one. Observe them and understand them. Then chose to keep or discard them. This is what I thought Mindfulness would help me do. What I am finding is an impossible and frustrating task.
One of the ideas put forward by Headspace (a Mindfulness app I’ve tried) was that you have to imagine your thoughts and feelings are like cars on a busy road. The trick is to sit on the side of the road and observe the traffic. You must resist the urge to run into the road and chase the cars around trying to control them. Sounds simple? It’s flipping impossible!
I start by sitting quietly, deep breathing, watching the cars. Next thing I know, one of them has distracted me and I think “I’ll just follow this one for s bit and see where it goes”. Before long I start thinking “where the hell am I going?” I start to panic a bit then spot another car going in the other direction. “Ok” I think “I’ll follow you too”. But then I can’t let the other one go. I start trying to think of ways to slow the cars down, so that I can follow them at the same time. Before I know it I’m running around in the traffic again achieving nothing, going nowhere and completely exhausted.
Not sure how to do it
The truth is that however Mindful I want to be, I just don’t get it. No amount of deep breathing makes me relaxed. “Do you need a spa day?” Asked Mr LMR. It’s more than a quick fix thing though. I need to pour the spaghetti out of my head and put it back bit by bit. I’m not sure how you do that though.
Every day I get up and think I will simplify everything. Follow just one car. But by 9am I have been bombarded by a billion different needs, jobs, tantrums, squabbles and tasks. By the time I get to work I am spent. I feel like I am no longer observing the traffic from the roadside but actually I have been run over by it and I’m observing from a flattened and injured vantage point on the tarmac.
Should I just accept it?
I have three children, I work 24 hours a week. I am inundated with demands and requests. Some real, some bizarre, some impossible. I have a 2 year old who often makes no sense. Two boys who resolve their disagreements brawling on the floor in the street. One of which is a flight risk, and so runs away and hides, no matter where we are, if he doesn’t win the fight. Leaving me to make the decision of 1) chase the runaway child and leave the 7 year old in charge of the volatile 2 year old or 2) stay with them and hope he comes back!!!
Accepting life as it is can be stressful by its very everyday nature. The thought of relinquishing even the desire to have control feels like sentencing my children to certain catastrophe. But is this not just the anxiety talking? How do I let go of that? Answers on a postcard please?
I won’t be signing off with a plan as I’m all out of plans. So I might just do nothing and see what happens. Oh My God!!! I can’t do that too scary! Ok scrap that. Maybe a small plan. Pick one piece of spaghetti. Pull it out. If it gets stuck put it back and pick another. If it does come out, lay it straight, examine it, understand it. Then put it back or discard it. Maybe I’ll let you know how I got on with that next time.