Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Preparing For Pain

Wait for it . . . wait for it . . .
It can't be done. At least I can't prepare for pain, not in a way that works effectively for me. My friend, Anna, seems to have figured this out for herself as well, and she really gave me some food for thought on the subject.

For the majority of my life, I always tried to get the upper hand on any pain that I thought might be headed my way. "What if this happens, or what if that happens?" I would try to plan out every possible scenario that I feared might happen, and I would spend hours upon hours coming up with elaborate plans that I could set in motion if this or that happened. No unexpected painful event was going to get the best of me! I was ready and waiting. That other shoe was certain to drop and it was not going to catch me off guard. Or so I thought. The problem was that a lot of those prepared for scenarios never occurred. Or if they did, they didn't happen the way I thought they would, or with the level of severity I expected. Or even worse, sometimes something truly horrific would happen, and I would be completely blindsided by it because it was never even on my radar. I could just never properly prepare myself for pain, no matter how hard I tried.

Of course the irony of all this preparation was that it extended my pain (or created it out of thin air). All that time I wasted in preparation was agony. Because, you see, while I was trying to head off the pain, I was actually giving myself the pain. I find that it is hard to think about and plan for painful events without actually feeling the pain of those events, even if they are only in my mind. I am learning that life is a LOT less painful when I let it follow its natural course. Of course, that means I willingly accept and acknowledge the uncertainty of life when I do that. Will I be unexpectedly smacked by pain? Absolutely 100% guaranteed. However, the interesting thing is that because I don't live in my own personally created "Pain Land" all day, every day, anymore, I am now much more readily equipped to deal with life's surprise twists and turns. This is in large part due to the fact that I am no longer always emotionally wrung out from the constantly imagined terrible things that previously dogged my every waking moment. I sure wish I had figured this out a long time ago. I guess you are never too old to learn something new.

10 comments:

  1. Amen, Monique! We are never too old to learn something new! I have found, in my experience anyway, that things we imagine often don't occur...or at least not at the intensity we expect. Great post.

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    1. Well thank you, my dear!! I can't tell you how much time I've wasted on stuff that never happened!

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  2. Good post, Sunny! I can't tell you how much time I've wasted stewing over what might happen. You're right--it causes such suffering that we could avoid.

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    1. The irony, Tina, is that in trying to avoid pain in the first place, all I did is give myself more.

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  3. Great post, Sunny! Even without OCD, I can relate. What a waste of time all that worry is! I know I've mentioned this wonderful quote before, but it fits so well here I have to say it again: "My life has been filled with terrible things, most of which never happened."

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    1. Oh that quote is an all time favorite of mine too, Janet!

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  4. I love this post, especially how you point out "Pain Land" - what a helpful way to think about how we are spending our energy and remind ourselves to get back to life!

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    1. Well you were the inspiration, Anna! I hope you are doing well.

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  5. Awesome post...I don't have OCD, but I still tend to "pre-stress!"

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    1. Awesome to hear from you, Jean! Ha! I like how you call that "pre-stress." Describes it perfectly.

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