It’s been a couple of weeks since I wrote a blog entry. Between the election, going to another state for a gallery opening and Thanksgiving, I have felt kind of tapped out. It’s as if what was going on around me was taking every last bit of my energy. Not in a good or bad way, just draining.
I thought about this yesterday. A lot. Why do we allow things to squeeze us dry? Because we care. We care about too many things that are out of our control.
The challenge becomes, when to care and when not to. We all know in life there is balance. In everything…what kinds of situations and people will I choose to allow to deposit their energy in my caring bank?
First of all, family members seem like an obvious choice for always caring. No, not always. Since I’m talking about the art of not caring, this is a great place to start.
How can you care about your family without letting their personal choices, like acting out, judging and petty family BS undermine your love for them? Pretty difficult, but for our own santity, we must erect boundaries. Imaginary fences that you can see over, but nothing can bite at your ankles. Let’s face it, if you lose it at a family gathering because your mother keeps saying things like, “…why do you cut your hair cut so short?…are you really going to wear that?!…when are you and so so going to get married?”, then you’re the one with the problem. This causes more draining of our precious energy.
Then there is everything else. We care about the environment, where we are going as a culture, our children…the future of our world. We can’t care about all that without a serious gasket being blown.
This is what I think…we have to stop caring about what will happen. We can change the past by how we choose to think about it. We can affect the future by how we are dealing with what we are able to control in the present.
We can’t care about it all. We can, but then we will need a month in a sanitarium. So this is what I have decided to do…when my mom says something that pokes the softest part of me, I will be ready…with a smile on my face, I will remember the time she took care of me when I was sick. I will remember that she stretched her body and gave birth to me. I will remember that she says the things she says because of her own insecurities and upbringing…I will remember that she says things that poke because she sees herself in me and maybe she sees her kids as her do over…finally, I will remember that I haven’t had my own children, but will tap into the love I have for my stepson and know that sometimes in loving we critize. We are human and we are imperfect by design.
All of us must find a way to pick and choose. I am a creative so how best can I leverage my talent to protest things I don’t like and champion the things I do? If I show you my true self, then you will know something about me that will either draw you in or close the door on knowing me further.
I cannot not change anything really, but can I be part of affecting change by sharing with the world my unique and special talent and way of communicating. I often think about a trip I had to Madrid and seeing Picasso’s “Guernica” a cocophony of images showing Franco’s assault on his country. It was so powerful in its grand size and chaos. It has stood the test of time to reveal a horrendous time in their history. If we can use our mistakes and bloody past to affect the present we have done something good.
Things we need to care more about…our pets. Walking, hugging and petting a loving animal is a total stress reliever. Some of us think we don’t have time for our pets, but we do. Take them on a little walk, breathe fresh air and de-stress. We need to put more thought into the present. The things right in front of us.
When we are home, put down the device and look at each other.
Share and vent with those we trust. We aren’t islands and we need to ask for help when we are in helpless stress mode. I can’t say ‘ask for help’ enough.
When a mistake is made, remember that we are human so therefore…duh! Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Forgive someone. Just this simple act will feeling like a ton of bricks was removed from your shoulders.
Try to smile at strangers more often. This sounds like nothing but it can make a big difference to someone that you may not be aware of. I always find a way to chat with someone next to me in line or when I see someone wearing a spiffy outfit or cool hair color I make it a point of saying so. That person might not have been feeling so good about themselves that morning. It also makes me feel like I’ve made connection with another human like me.
Remember that people who care about you aren’t trying to piss you off they just don’t know they are. Gently remind them how what they have done or said hurts your feelings. I promise it will make them aware and more thoughtful next time. We aren’t mind readers so take that into consideration.
Back to the art of not caring…realize that you can’t care about a strangers comments, you don’t know them so how can they hurt your feelings? Well, I know it does at first, but don’t harbor those feelings. It really isnt about you.
Know that others have their own way of coping which may not make sense to you and that’s ok so don’t give it another thought. We are trying to weed out the stuff that we shouldn’t spend so much time on…like caring what anyone else thinks about our marital status, sexual orientation, religion, how we think, what we like, what we wear…the list is endless of things we care about that we shouldn’t. People will always find fault with everything anyway. People love to tear down those that are successful even if they were cheering them on to make it.
Please, no matter what, march to the beat of your own drum. You will find that you won’t care about as many things out of your control. As always, I like to blog about how I am feeling at the moment. I don’t know anything special, but I know what I know. I hope this has made you think about things you can do to lighten your load.
Go out and make it your best day ever!
Should I care?