"It Doesn’t Matter" . . . I Said/They Said

After spending more years studying psychology that I’m prepared to make public, it shouldn’t be surprising that I have a tendency to try to analyze things that aren’t going so well in my life or to try to figure out why I’m not feeling or doing better than I sometimes seem to be feeling or doing.

Particularly when some situation or set of circumstances in my life feels somehow unjust or undeserved . . . I tend to respond by playing detective and trying to get to the bottom of the issue, and, I confess, more often as not, I also cope by complaining to anyone who’ll listen.

It’s probably also no surprise that I get very little encouragement for this approach from The Shower Team, who finds far less value in anything I’m likely to uncover as I rummage through whatever garbage or grudge that seems to be getting in the way of my well being. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from trying to argue my case . . .

They said:

Generally speaking you and most others equate being right with feeling better. You spend extraordinary amounts of energy and effort and time trying to justify your feelings and your point of view and often you refuse to budge in a better feeling direction until your position—whatever it may be—has been validated. You insist that someone agree with you about how bad your situation is or how badly you’ve been treated . . . you insist upon having some company for your misery and until you get it, you will often hold yourself in a place of discouragement or frustration or anguish with remarkable determination.


I said:
“But sometimes I AM justified in my feelings. Sometimes my feelings WERE hurt by someone and I deserve to be treated better than that . . . “

They said:

No argument with any of that. Sometimes you are perfectly justified in feeling the way you feel about whatever you are focusing upon. Sometimes your feelings in response to someone else’s actions are perfectly understandable and to that we say “It doesn’t matter.” What matters is where you stand now in relation to where you want to be and how you want to feel . . . and regardless of how justified you may be in your anger or sorrow or frustration you cannot take yourself to a better feeling place by digging in your heels and demanding that someone else take action so that you can have peace or some other form of relief.

I said:
But . . . what about when some situation that I’m in is really bad . . . What about when I can’t pay my bills or when I can’t find work or just can’t seem to catch a break. That’s a real-live set of facts that is pretty depressing and sometimes very hard to rise above. Easy enough to just say “think happy thoughts” but it’s damn depressing, for example, when the bills keep coming in and there’s not enough paycheck to go around.

They said:

Once again, all very understandable and justifiable feelings—to which we say, “It doesn’t matter.” You are where you are with those or any other circumstances or conditions in your life, and the only real power you have in that or any other troubling situation is your point of view . . . and no matter how justified your depression or despair, you have the power to begin to improve that situation by first improving your perspective. What you typically say is, “Well my perspective will improve when my conditions improve,” and we say, that’s how you think it works but the opposite is really true . . . Improve your point of view . . . shift your focus in a more positive direction and your conditions will start to improve. As long as you are focused on the struggle that is—whatever the nature of that struggle may be—then your situation cannot quickly or significantly
improve.

I said:
“But how am I supposed to improve my perspective when all I can see are reasons to be worried or depressed or irritated?

They said:

You start right there where you are, standing right in the middle of whatever is bringing you down and you start to practice selective attention. You start to look for even the tiniest reason to feel better about some aspect of your experience. You put those detecting and analyzing skills to truly good use. You fish and fish and hunt and hunt until you find something about your life that you can like . . . and then you look for another and then another . . . and if you can’t find anything at all to feel halfway good about (highly unlikely) then you make it up. Use your imagination to come up with something that feels better than the focus upon your troubles . . . and as you reach for one better feeling thought after another, you will start to feel your mood lighten and your spirits lift . . . and you will begin to see the power that you have in this or any situation to control the one thing that you always have control over: your perspective.

We say and will continue to say to you—one and all—that it truly does not matter what you are experiencing where you stand. It does not matter how you got there. It does not matter what anyone else has done to you. It does not matter how bad you feel physically or otherwise. It does not matter how gloomy current conditions may be looking. You always have the power to improve those conditions by deliberately shifting your attention to anything that feels better to focus upon, and as you practice that kind of choosing your focus . . . you cannot help but feel the improvement in your mood or vibration . . . and as your mood or vibration improves, your circumstances cannot help but improve as well.

Apparently I’ll argue not only with my self but also with my Higher Self. The good news is that, although I may not always be right . . . I/We always end up making sense. Sometimes I hate that. Mostly I just try not to give myself too hard a time for the trouble I often have following My/Their advice. When all’s said and done, I usually come around to the pretty flawless logic of a broader perspective. And when I can manage to get out of my own way, improved conditions invariably follow even a slightly improved perspective.

It’s yet another example of how stubbornly I can resist my own well being and how much better off I am when I realize what I’m doing. It leaves me humbled . . . grateful . . . hopeful . . . and for the moment, arguably complete.

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About Dan

Published novelist, poety, essayist, photographer and college educator. Visit me at www.firstadream.com.

Posted on June 4, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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