For as long as I can remember I’ve focused on the negative. The world around us is a giant sesspool of trash, poison, sorrow, death, and loss. I’m not trying to be dramatic, but it’s silly to ignore the facts. Oil spills, radiated waters, animal extinction, hunger, GMO foods, the list goes on and on. For a long time I thought it impossible to live happily on this planet without fearing what comes next. Every day brings me one step closer to hospital beds, nursing homes, old age, prescription pills, aches and pains, and death. These were my thoughts as I was laying in bed at night. How can anyone be happy knowing that pain, suffering, and death is inevitable and possibly right around the corner.
And furthermore, what is the point of suffering in this technology driven, dumbed down, unnatural society where we rarely get to escape to nature and feel true happiness. Why do we all strive for this domesticated life of 9-5 jobs, coffee all day, sitting behind a desk, getting married, reading people magazine, going to bed at 10pm, and having 2 kids. Why have we been trained that this is the way to live? These thoughts were so unbearable to me, and it wasn’t easy to stop this type of thinking.
The more I thought about these things, the more powerless I felt. I got stuck thinking that it was impossible to be happy in this world, so I might as well just accept it and lead my boring life. I didn’t accomplish anything for months because I was so focused on hating everything and trying to numb my brain with Television.
Finally people around me started to notice and told me to seek help. I was introduced to a lot of really cheesy self help audio books that I couldn’t sit through. A couple chapters was enough for me to get the point. Over and over again I kept hearing about the law of attraction and the power of positive thinking. Instead of thinking about the weight of the world and spending my free time trying to numb my brain, I’m thinking about what I want to do with my life and making to do lists. It’s not that simple though, it wasn’t like I was cured of all negativity and anxiety. I have to remind my self over and over again to think about what I want instead of what I don’t want. But somehow it’s been a tremendous help. I also practice something called “thought stopping”. This basically means as soon as a negative / anxious thought comes into my brain I think STOP and replace it with a good happy thought. In the past I would entertain the negative thought, dwell on it, over think it, and let it carry me into full panic mode.
The most important thing I read though was the power of living in the present. I don’t remember the exact quote I read but it was something along the lines of “Anxiety is fear and worry of the future, if one is enjoying the present moment they cannot experience anxiety”. This is so true. Whenever I start to feel anxious about getting cancer (which is all the time) I tell myself to stop and then I look around and take in my surroundings. Or I just focus on all 5 senses, going through one at a time. A lot of my anxiety comes at night, remembering something I want or need to do. In the past I’d stay up all night “planning” in my head only to forget everything in the morning. Now when that happens I get up and make a list, then force myself to let it go and think about the ocean.
It all boils down to one thing. We are in control of our own happiness. If you want to be happy you can, if you want to be sad you can. It’s all about mind control. That being said, I still don’t think I’m cut out for a “regular” life which is why I endlessly pursue dark-pop-stardom :)
As a reminder to myself I got this tattoo. To me it’s a reminder to live in the present moment. Something small that’s always visible.