Sunday, December 21, 2014

Re-orienting The Thought Process

I'd been chatting with a friend this week about my thoughts.
And how, regardless of what I was doing, who I was with, or where I was,  I had underlying thoughts that accompanied me in all situations.

It's like I was living two lives; the real one that my body was participating in. And the second one that was taking place in my mind. In most cases, I was living both lives At The Same Time.

Unmet needs?
Rich fantasy life?
Unrealistic expectations?
Creative genius?

There were times when I felt like my life was a screenplay for a TV sitcom/drama and I was reading the script in my mind in anticipation as to what the next scene would involve.

Or that my life was a story, and, as in all good novels, there are intersecting plot points where the stories of various characters overlap. And I'd wonder, in my mind, while, say getting ready to visit my dad, whose storyline would overlap mine that evening? And what would that look like?

ANYway, I feel like I have to stop.

That I have to live ONE life. The real one. The one that my body is living. I need to be present. I need to be In The Moment. Be right in it. Not in an alternate reality in my mind.

I need to stop thinking about what might come next, or what could have happened instead. THIS IS MY LIFE.

While driving to the lake last night, in the rain, by myself, I forced myself to not daydream about, for example, what it would be like to be driving to the lake with say, a husband. Who loved me. And thought I was beautiful.
Or what it would be like to drive to the lake, and maybe meet my kids there, who'd be looking forward to hanging out, relaxing, playing games, watching movies, cleaning the gutters, sleeping in late...
Or what it would be like to drive out to the lake with some girlfriends who just wanted to read books and talk and eat fun snacks.

I was driving out to the lake alone.
I was staying at the lake alone.

Imagining anything different? Was unfair to the situation.

I'd have the place to myself. I could do what I wanted. I could HAVE A BATH. I could have many baths. I could have a ten hour bath. I could watch a movie WHILE IN BED. I could watch Pitch Perfect again. And no one would roll their eyes. I could sleep with the window open and listen to the rain. I could eat salads or hotdogs and no one would comment. I could sleep 6 hours or 10 and no one would care. I could leave my dirty dishes soaking for 24 hours and I wouldn't be irritating anyone.

I need to live in the moment. And be thankful for it.

It's hard, yo.
For about 18 months, I've had a favorite daydream that I put different spins on. I loved that daydream. It was so fun. It'd be a fun movie.

It was delightful to be living one life, and imagining the daydream life at the same time. It just made everything richer.

But faker.

I decided that on Jan 1, 2015, I'd quit.

Quit the day dream life.

Its hard to do. Eighteen months is a long time to develop a habit.  It's so second nature now, that it's going to take a real effort, a definite, serious effort to stop.
I know this.

I've been practicing. (Like with last night's drive to the lake. "Stay in the moment, Jane. This is as good as it gets. And it's good. So just think on that. Be thankful for that. Concentrate on that.)

So. All of that? (Above.) Is background to tonight.
I went to church.
By myself.
And did not think about a mythical husband, or children, or friends joining me.
I went to church.
By myself.
And was thankful. In a lot of places in the world, women do not have the freedom to do this.
I sat by myself.
Again. As per always.
And I stayed in the moment.

We sang some Christmas carols and I stayed in the moment.

And then the MC/pastor welcomed us and prayed, "Thank you God, for the people in this room tonight. Thank you that on this rainy Saturday evening, they chose to come here. To hear from you. To get their thinking re-oriented. To re-set their thoughts to align with yours...."

I don't remember what she prayed past that.

To get their thinking re-oriented. To re-set their thoughts to align with yours...

That's EXACTLY what I was attempting to do.
To get my thinking re-oriented.
From dumb daydreams to thinking about what He wanted me to think about.

Anyway, it was one of those goose-bumpy moments when I felt like this evening's church service was all for me. Others may have been in the building, but God had a message He wanted me to hear, and He'd arranged for Jeff to preach it.

It was good.
I had tears dripping off my cheeks, onto my scarf, by the time he was done. It'll be online on Tuesday, so if you're interested in knowing just what exactly God wanted me to know, give it a listen. I'll post the link here, once it's up.

In the meantime, know this.

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for He is close beside me.
His rod and staff
    protect and comfort me.
He prepares a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
He honors me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
His goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Rainy nights at the lake.
2. Church services on Saturday nights.
3. Saturday night visits where the first thing I'm asked is, "How was church this evening?"
4. In my One Year Bible, I keep track of the big events that happen on certain dates. Like, for example, on April 21: Clint was born ...

It's December. And we've just lived through the dates Dec 15  - Dec 18, which had the following notes attached:

Dec 15: Mike N, our neighbour boy, babysitter, and one of Mark's employees, committed suicide on this date in the early 90's. ( I didn't record the exact date. But remember everything about that day vividly.)

Dec 17: It was a Wednesday night, and while the kids and I were at the school's Christmas concert, he moved his things out. I didn't think the sun would ever shine again. Everything was dark in my world.

Dec 18: He was 54 years old and it was a serious, life changing heart attack that left his heart severely damaged. Clint was 3 years old, Max was 6 weeks old and I prayed all day long, begging God to let him live so that my sons would know their grandpa.

This year? On Dec 18? Clint called me to let me know his girlfriend's dad (58 years old) had just had a heart attack. I spent the day doing the same thing I'd done in 1990, praying that God would let this man live so that his grandchildren would know him.

And just like he answered my prayers for my dad in 1990, he did the same in 2014.

I am thankful for answered prayer.

I am thankful that December will be over soon.
I am thankful that the shortest day of the year is going to be behind us.
I am thankful that He is with me on the dark days.
He is my Shepherd and He loves me.
He knows when I need green meadows and babbling brooks.
He's got a plan for my life and it's a good one... He guides me along the best path.
He pursues me. He loves me.

It is enough.

Shalom friends,

1 comment:

Tricia said...

I have lived my whole life pretending at times that it was a story, or imagining it as a movie; often, it was what got me through really difficult times. I do it less now, sometimes I let it creep back in for an afternoon, and it's fun like reading a short story. I 've spent this past year on being in the present because I came to realize I missed a lot of good stuff by always thinking ahead of the situation, or imagining what if.