"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, / But in ourselves, that we are underlings."
~ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene 2
Today I let my Shopping Bitch take me to Costco, Whole Foods, and King Sooper—before I had had any caffeine. My Driving Bitch was in full throat, and more than once I had to tell her to calm down or I’d let her out of the car right now! I managed to get around town without harming anyone and I am now safely at home. SB and DB are still in the garage duking it out.
It was a day when my day book—if I had one—would have said, “Not a good day to try to walk and chew gum.” I drew all kinds of frustration to myself, and since I’m calm now I don’t want to go into it, except to say that my whole Coven of Bitches rode with me around town, and when they weren’t trying to tell me what to do or complaining about the other drivers—those idiots!—they were bickering in the back seat:
“She touched me.”
I was so happy to get home, unload the groceries, and get some caffeine into my body. Now I’m comfortable in my purple chair in my blue room where I’ve been reading a letter from Robin and a postcard from Lynn and an email from Terry. I have friends, I am loved, I didn’t ram anyone with my grocery cart or yell at that guy at Costco who—well, never mind; I really don’t want to go there.
Last night I was thinking about how bitchy I can get, and I said to Hug, “I’m making a commitment to myself: No more negativity!” I didn’t even notice how negative that statement is.
Hug: Would you like to reframe that?
Me: Ummm. Yes.
Then I spent a few minutes figuring out what I really wanted and how to say it. I want to catch myself before my negative thoughts become words. Well, that's a start. What I really want is to catch the negative thought and shift it immediately. Those thoughts don't even have to become words to cause pain in my body—my stomach churns and I get those spiky brain-freeze headaches, like when I eat ice cream too fast, and sometimes my chest tightens and I can't breathe and then I notice my jaw is clenched and my teeth hurt. Dad used to tell me how much he loved complaining—honest, we had a whole conversation about this once because he was going on about how “stupid” Oprah is and I was saying, “Could we talk about something else? My stomach hurts” and then he’d give me a hard time about my stomach hurting. I often see Dad in my own self, and I’m not happy about this, but at least if I see my behavior or my thought pattern, I have a chance of shifting out of it before I get ulcers. I saw what constant negativity did to Dad. It was not pretty.
So today was a perfect day for practicing my shifting skills, and I got a lot of practice without ever saying a word. I can't say I was particularly good at it. It was like swatting at gnats—as soon as the air clears around my head, another cluster zooms in.
"Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous." Act I, Scene 2