Obsession is a word we use freely to describe many things in a lighthearted way. We ‘obsess’ about a boy in high school, we become obsessed with a avocados or peanut butter M&Ms, we are obsessed with a certain kind of music…but true obsession feels different. Obsession is defined as ‘a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling’. It is a struggle to have obsessions and can intrude on your daily life. I have had a tendency towards obsessive thinking – when my brain catches onto something and does not want to let go even though it is not serving me to continue thinking that way.
My obsessions often come in the form of ‘if only’ or ‘what if’. In other words – if I had just done X differently, than things would be so different now or might I say even ‘perfect’ now. So the perfectionist and the obsessive are like friends here. But they are not my friends – they are not adding to or improving my life. They are taking away from my values and what I know to be true. That is, that all we have is the present moment….that I want to be a loving kind presence to those around me, and that we all do the best we can at any given moment.
So how can I change this? I do my go to practices….meditate and journal..write my gratitude list….practice tapping…talk with Steve (who can always present a positive view on anything)…get feedback from my mom or friend Mary Ellen…go outside…listen to a podcast. Sometimes I feel a shift that lasts for days and other times I have to repeat the above steps every hour or every day depending on the potency of the obsession.
Focusing on the beauty of nature that surrounds me
For today I am choosing to live in the present. I will work, walk, do a few errands, talk with my mom and get ready for my mom, aunt and uncle’s visit tomorrow. I will see my obsessive thoughts with awareness, acknowledgement that they are there and acceptance that this is a thought but it is not who I am. When I accept, I can shift and it is in that practice that I feed the love.