It’s Not Magic

I wish I didn’t know now, what I didn’t know then.  Bob Seger

If I can’t get a crystal ball, can I at least have a genie in a bottle who looks like Brad Pitt? Can’t blame a girl for trying! I’ve always thought about what my 3 wishes would be. I’ve wished for a lot of things, but so far wishing does not make it so. Even Dorothy couldn’t go home until she got the ruby slippers off the wicked witch. If a genie is responsible for giving me what I want, I am in big trouble because genies are in very short supply. With no crystal ball I really don’t know if getting what I want will make me happy anyway. Then theres always that warning “Be careful what you wish for.” I’ve also worried that I wouldn’t know what to wish for and my indecision would make me mute.

 Where is my magic wand? I could just wave it around and poof! my Tesla and mansion would magically appear.  No sweat off my brow. Unfortunately, their appearance would surely alert the authorities, and I might be accused of theft, or other illegal activities, and find myself in an orange jumpsuit. How would I make sure that no one stole my wand? I could be diagnosed with obsessive and compulsive wanding. Oh my!

Remember the Ouija Board? A bunch of giggling teenagers wanting to know if Billy Bob liked us! I still don’t really understand how it works, but I guess I’ll go with our unconscious minds make the “selector” work. It would appear our minds are unconscious search engines. Maybe I needed to believe because real life was just too full of uncertainty and anxiety. It’s that “Knowledge is power” principle. I didn’t want to wait for life to unveil itself when I could get the answers I needed now. Crystal Ball thinking….

What do all of these things have in common? They all demonstrate magical thinking.  Magical thinking means “ someone believes their thoughts or behaviors can affect an outcome of an event or the behaviors of others when there’s no evidence to suggest that’s possible.”  I don’t have a crystal ball, a genie with my three wishes, or a magic wand and yet sometimes I still believe I can change outcomes I have no control over. A lot of my “If , then.” thinking is really magical thinking.  If I do this then I will get the outcome I want. i.e. If I lose 10 pounds then he will love me.or If I don’t study because I am so smart, then I will still get an A. The universe is laughing at me! Its kinda like Trump saying that he can “just think it” and he can declassify documents!  I cant “think” cancer away, or “think” I  won’t get old, or even make the light turn green . 

I can control my attitudes and behaviors and that’s it. So I simply need to know and remember what I can and can’t do, and let go of the idea I will be rescued.  I am responsible for my own beliefs and actions, and there is no magic to change this truth. There is some good news—I can stop trying to people-please so people will love me. I can’t make anyone love me!  I don’t have to wait for the world or circumstances to change before I can change. The future needn’t concern me if I do what I can in each moment. So Mr. Truman and I agree “The buck stops with me.”

“The power for creating a better future is contained in the present moment. You create a  good future by creating a good present.” Eckhart Tolle

The “Dump-the-Asshole Diet”

I thank my neighbor for giving me a weighty topic. I was walking the doggies the other morning and she was walking to her car. I commented on how good she looked, and how she looked like she had lost weight. She said “Yes, 40 pounds!” I asked how she did it and if she followed a specific diet. She said “Yes, the dump-the-asshole diet.” We both chuckled and I told her that it was a good diet and she should market it. The asshole in her life was a live in boyfriend who she booted out. Life does get a lot “lighter” when we say goodbye to the assholes in our lives, or the “stuff” we drag around in our psyche and living spaces. Or as the Beatles said “You’re going to carry that weight.” until we dump it.

To eat or not to eat? That is the question! Seemed like the flip of the coin after a breakup; either I decided to over eat or decided to deny myself food. I preferred to lose my appetite and lose weight, because getting skinnier was best. So I too have used the “dump-the-asshole”diet, but I have also been shoved into the “I’ve been dumped” diet. My break-up diet was usually pretty effective, but more often it was the “I’ve been dumped” diet. I’d like to think I wasn’t the asshole who was dumped!

weigh down  1: overburden, oppress, depress.  Yes, sometimes I do feel the “weight of the world on my shoulders”.  I tell myself, “Gotta do this, gotta do that.” Before I know it I am dressed in the heavy cloak of SHAME . Setting boundaries with people, or ending relationships is so hard for me because, of course , it’s all my fault!  Questioning myself, doubting myself, and denying my feelings are usually my first steps when a relationship hits a rough patch. I ended a “close” relationship several years ago, but only after I accepted that my hurt feelings were valid and my anger was justified. My friend told me that I shouldn’t feel that way. In short, I finally trusted myself and respected myself. It took me a long time to get over the mountain of “I shouldn’t feel this way.” It was difficult for awhile, but then I felt a sense of relief and freedom. Negative thoughts and self-recriminations had weighed on my mind and heart and I was free of the relationship that  “weighed” me down.

Things can weigh us down too. I can own my things or my things can own me. Clutter is a burden, it fills up our living spaces and fills up our psyche and consciousness. We move clutter around with us and it gets in the way of feeling free and in charge of our lives. Losing the weight of clutter may prompt our bodies to lose weight too. I sell some of my clothes clutter and housewares clutter to “Repeat Boutique”, a consignment store. I am motivated to make money, so the more stuff I can sell to them the richer I become and the less clutter I have. Whatever is not sold is donated to local thrift stores. Everybody wins!

Just remember : “You wanna fly, you gotta give up the shit that weighs you down.” Toni Morrison