If you want to raise someone’s anxiety level by ten thousand percent and send their mind spiraling into an unknown abyss, I know two introductory statements you should start off with. There’s a good possibility that someone has spoken these phrases to you at some point in time, if you were not the one saying them yourself. They go something like this:
“There’s something I need to tell you!”
“We need to talk!”
Thirteen times out of ten, there’s a good possibility you are not going to like the facts you are about to hear after those introductions are made. If someone came up to me and started our interpersonal dialogue in that fashion, my mind would instantly jump to various scenarios involving a break up, divorce, death in the family, speeding or DWI ticket, job loss, an unforeseen medical diagnosis, or an unwanted slash surprising pregnancy.
Not every occasion, when hearing those two phrases from someone you hold dear to you, will warrant you having to speed dial your therapist. Not every occassion, when you hear those dreaded quotes leave the lips of the person that stands in front of you and wants to play the role of Satan, will require you to call Jerry Springer or Maury Povich to be the mitigator. Time has taught me many lessons, and I have forged my own brand of wisdom through experience, observation, conviction, and reflection.
My grandmother used to tell me when she was alive, “if you ain’t dun nuthin wrong, then you ain’t got nuthin to worry bout.”
There are ways to counter attack the dreaded phrases of doom. The remedy comes in many forms and fashions, and we personally carry one around with us wherever we go. Philosophers have coined a term for this certain entity, and advertisers have trademarked a name for the product that is flying off the shelves as we speak. In this modern world, it is back by popular demand. They call it:
I carry EGO around with me and try to use it as sparingly as possible, even though it’s temporary nectar is sweet, beautiful poison to the soul. To keep my EGO in check, I allow it to feel insignificant but in a positive way. Your first thought is, dude! Really? That’s crazier than climbing a sand dune on a bicycle. Don’t do that, man! You have something to live for! You know that right? Don’t put yourself down like that! There are other ways around this!
The decompression process I use is designed by me, for me, and is simple. Everybody’s method is different, and there’s beauty in that. When I let my EGO feel insignificant, I realize and understand, first, that it is not the end of the world. You have to be brave to let that feeling creep in then chase it away on your own terms. Second, I do not let the insignificance of my EGO affect me negatively, and I try to keep my emotions in check. That has not always been the case. I do not let my mind turn on me and tell me that I am worthless, not special, or that I have nothing to live for. When that voice creeps in, I immediately know which shoulder is talking and thump the invisible nuisance off with my pointer finger.
What keeps me grounded is the fact that I know I have everything to live for no matter how gloom the circumstances may seem at the moment. The present is just a single blip in the timeline we call life. There are millions of people in the world suffering far worse than I am or possibly ever will.
Another way to keep oneself grounded is to know that you are special, regardless of your skills and abilities. Me, I know that I am more special than a rainbow tinted unicorn that urinates Skittles, spits out Xanax’s, and farts Lucky Charms (they’re magically delicious). I have known this fact since I was a little boy because my mother would tell me one thing before I left each morning for school.
“You are special! Don’t let anybody tell you different!”
So you may wonder how I purposefully make my EGO feel insignificant?
The other night around dusk, I walked to the blinds that hang in my large kitchen windows. They were open because that side of the house faces the east. The sun was slowly closing its weary eye over the west side of the world, setting the horizon into a dark blend of purples and pinks. In the eastern sky, where my attention was currently being diverted, the moon hung high above a giant oak tree. The orangish, gibbous orb was one night away from being full. The lonely celestial being was so bright and the atmosphere was so clear, I could see the patches of gray on the face of the moon with my naked eye.
I lifted the blind with the pointer finger on my left hand, stared at the object that is two hundred and thirty-eight thousand miles away, and sipped some tea from the cup that was being held in my right hand. For the spanse of time of no more than twenty-three seconds, all I did was look up and marvel at how small and insignificant I truly was when compared to it. The feeling was natural, non GMO, gluten free, and cannot be justified through description alone.
Moments like that come and go for me, but the feeling I had the other night was different than prior ones. Sometimes, it feels like there is a shift in power between the constants and variables that make up the equation of our world. Sometimes, I feel like so much is going on that we begin to lose ourselves, and our identities change with every headline that dings through on our tablet or iPhone. Maybe the last thing we need is another emoticon to express ourselves with. Maybe the last thing we need is another stereotype or issue to pit even more people against one another. Maybe the understood you is slowly turning into the understood I.
Maybe, hopefully, I have all of it wrong.
The other night, the moon sent me a notification and it said, “no matter what you do, I’ll always be hanging above your head (minus a giant asteroid creeping by and finally obliterating it). I will be controlling your tides, planet Earth, and filling your minds with nonsensical conspiracies until the day you die.” (the moon is a Death Star created by aliens, or is it a hollow projection of our matrix, or is it just a big block of cheese?).
So I say to you,
“We need to talk! There’s something I need to tell you! Tonight, or whatever night, if you have time, look up. It’s okay to let your EGO feel insignificant as long as you remember that you are special! And, as grandma used to say, ‘if you ain’t dun nuthin wrong, then you ain’t got nuthin to worry bout’!”