This is my second and final rerun blog to complete 2010. I wrote this one almost a year ago, and I still find the thoughts to be challenging.
I talk to myself on a very regular basis. But I am not crazy in the least. I know this to be true because I don’t answer myself. My mother always told me that a person is not crazy unless he answers himself. Why would I not believe my own mother? She was a credible person. Honesty is always a good policy. I suppose I do sort of answer myself because I carry on entire conversations with myself. There is not a doubt then – I am crazy. Last week I carried this idea of self-communication to a new and dangerous level. I wrote an essay to myself. Is that not disturbing?
In recent months, I have found myself surrounded by people who are anxious for various reasons. Anxiety is contagious. I don’t want to catch that bug, so I composed an essay. Here is the title: Surviving and Thriving in an Anxious System. I listed some guiding principles in the essay that are intended to keep myself from catching the anxiety bug. I believe the technical term in family systems theory for such an objective is: self-differentiation. I would rather refer to such a condition simply as the anxiety bug. Here are my principles:
1. I must be committed to taking care of myself spiritually and physically. No one can do that for me. I must be dedicated to those two related objectives.
2. I must avoid unnecessary conversations and entanglements. This objective must be clarified. It is not helpful to engage in conversations about sources of anxiety that are pointless and unproductive. If the conversation is not intended to work toward a solution, then it just needs to be abandoned. Unproductive conversations just cause more high blood pressure and grief.
3. I need to work hard, so I can enjoy some daily fun. It is important to have a little fun sprinkled in every day, and it provides a little extra motivation to get the work done!
4. I must interact with people in need when I feel like it and when I don’t feel like it. Being around anxious people makes me want to withdraw, but that is counter-productive.
5. I need to seek out and prioritize friendships that are healthy and mutually beneficial.
6. Being content with what a particular day brings is important. Every day brings some kind of mix of good and bad. Being content with the circumstances of that day is imperative.
7. A thankful spirit to accompany the pursuit of contentment is important as well.
That was the essence of the essay I wrote to myself. I know my mother told me that answering ourselves is a sure sign of craziness, but perhaps she was partially incorrect. I think I need to read the essay I wrote to myself periodically and answer it. Allowing ourselves to be mindlessly sucked into an anxious system is very unwise. As we all start a new year, let’s avoid being bitten by the anxiety bug.