The other day I was lamenting alllllll of the things that I’m not doing so well at: buying too much stuff, not exercising enough, feeling like I never have enough time. Etcetera etcetera and blahblahblah. I went on and on with this moaning monologue, carrying on about how this must all stem from some unmet need of mine, perhaps from my childhood or adolescence, perhaps because I don’t feel like I do enough, achieve enough, be enough. That I am not enough. Or something.
My friend was kind and looked at me as if she was listening. For quite a while.
Then she said, “Just stop it then.”
“Just stop buying stuff. Stop doing so much. Stop talking about imaginary exercise you haven’t done, and do some actual exercise.”
“You can change your mind and your life in a heartbeat if you really want to, so do it.”
“Do you want to live the life you want, or whine about the one you wish you had? If you really want to do something, do it. If you don’t, don’t. Not what you think you should. What you think you would.”
“And don’t blame some thing in your past, that’s just a habit that you keep on reinforcing. Don’t think these behaviours stem from some deficiency or defect within you, that there is something making you do, or not do, these things. You are choosing, or sometimes, not choosing, in which case you are still choosing, by default.”
“You can live your life looking ahead, or by trying to steer, looking only in your rear-view mirror, it’s your choice that makes it so, and nothing else. There is no mysterious force propelling you to perform. There’s just you. And your mind.”
And then another friend showed me this tonight (clearly my friends are not feeling like friends, but like underpaid shrinks)- I think you might like to watch it. I laughed. Snort laughs and proper laughs too. I laughed because it is funny, and tried not to laugh so much, because it’s true.
You might hear me say that once or twice in the weeks and months ahead. Please feel free to say it back, if you sense one of my soliloquys coming on. It’ll save you a good thirty-seven minutes of your life (cos aint nobody got time for dat).
What do you need to “stop it” about?
Could it really be that simple?