Learning Lessons Late in Life
I come from a long line of negative thinkers. It has been passed from one generation to the next and it's a very hard cycle to break. Quite a few hours of mine have been spent with my therapist discussing the negative tape that has run through my brain all my life. For many, many years I've not been good enough, smart enough, thin enough, pretty enough, nice enough, loved enough, yada yada yada. I have all these negative visions and voices constantly droning on and on in my head. Because all this negativity is going on in my head so much of it comes out in what I say and do. I think I'm finally beginning to realize that if I spew negativity it just comes right back to me.
How much time have I wasted waiting for the other shoe to drop? How many minutes have I squandered worrying about finances?
Maybe spring is helping to clear the cobwebs in my brain. I have spent my evenings out on the deck for the past couple of weeks. Instead of letting all that negativity and worry invade my evenings with nature, I have made a conscious effort to stop the tape and just be in each moment. And, y'all, I think it's working.
Tonight (I'm ashamed to say for the first time in my life) I sat with my eyes closed and truly listened to the birds as they sang their evensong. I was in the moment enough that I recognized when it began. What had been relatively quiet suddenly became quite loud with the sounds of creatures as they began to settle in for the night. I listened to the little house finch in our tree sing, "BEEner, BEEner, BEEner". I heard the squirrels laughing at Sneauball because he ran after them when they jumped from the pergola to the tree. I hear the breeze rustle the leaves above me and the woodpecker working on a branch across from where I sat. E walked up and started to say something and I shushed him and told him to listen to the evensong and we both enjoyed it together.
I have made a conscious effort lately to put good thoughts and actions out there. I firmly believe that because of that, things have started to move in a positive direction for me. I also know that it has an awful lot to do with the fact that when you concentrate on doing positive things you also tend to concentrate on the positive things going on around you. Thankfully we are never too old to learn life lessons. I'm still enough of a realist to know that I'll slide into my old negative behavior at times. But if I'm aware enough to recoginze it when it happens then I will be able to stop it before it consumes me.
I am a seeker of peace, both internal and external. That is my new mantra.