Yesterday I turned to BGC and said “Dammit, I’m becoming a heffalump! Does it bother you that I’m less sexy than when we met? I know I should just exercise more and stop eating so much Whitakers. But hmph, I don’t want to make any effort!
I just want my body to de-heffalump itself by itself!” BGC laughed. “Welcome to your late 20s!”
I know for sure that in the past if a boyfriend had not disagreed with me when I very annoyingly enquired about the obvious, I would have been simultaneously devastated and pissed off.
Not that my previous boyfriends would ever have felt safe to talk to me with such honesty.
“Walking on eggshells” was definitely a catch phrase in my two previous relationships.
But since learning mindfulness, I rarely get offended by facts anymore.
I have gotten fatter than I was when I was running round dating up a Tinder storm, I know it, BGC knows it, the baby chickens know it, so why would I get mad at him for agreeing with the facts?
My pre-Bloody Good Life self would have known I was being irrational as I flew off the handle anyway, likely into tears, or some form of not-talking-to-him/ pretending-I’m-fine-but-not-actually/ passive-aggressive punishment that could last for days and/or be brought up as fight-ammunition for months or to come.
What I now teach in Bloody Good Life 101 has allowed me to stop taking things so bloody personally all the time.
Things are the way they are, no point beating around the bush, we may as well face the truth and get over it.
If BGC had pretended he hadn’t noticed I have gotten bigger, I would have known it was a lie, so would he, and then I wouldn’t be able to trust his word when he tells me I’m beautiful. Or in other matters, for that matter.
Our minds are designed to judge ourselves and others, so when did it become normal for us all to pretend that we don’t?
I blame those Downton Abbey style chaps! Watching Lord and Lady Grantham last night I realised that this habit of saying everything except what we think has come from our royal ancestors who valued politeness and etiquette over the honest truth. In the show, anyone that nears the truth is chastised for their rudeness, gasps all round.
So much goes unsaid in Downton Abbey. And in our everyday lives.
The only way I know of to undo this very stressful and unhelpful way of existing is to start to become familiar with the ways of the mind by listening to it. Because when we listen to what it says and how it routinely reacts to things, we can start to separate between ourselves and our automatic reactions/ judgements.
It is in that moment of separation that we have a choice for how we want to react instead.
“Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” — Victor Frankl
We can then choose to be more honest, more rational, and more forgiving – of ourselves and others.