Monday, 9 September 2013

Thinking makes it

" There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so"
So William Shakespeare tells me anyway. I must admit that I can't totally agree with him that there is nothing good or bad, it seems plainly obvious that there is, but still the man makes a good point. Perception of reality is not necessarily the reality. In fact it is, almost by necessity, never the whole reality. It is first person, 2-D, hand held video camera, emotionally biased hubris that makes us think we can look at a situation and perceive the whole story. Basically, what he is saying is that you can think yourself into almost any state of mind. You can think about something in any way you choose. I'm not saying that anyone can choose their emotions but they can choose how to think about them and by extension they can choose how to think about other peoples'. You may think you know what the people in your life are thinking or why they are doing what they are doing. But do you really really know? No, you just think you do.

Let me indulge myself by taking a sidebar for a second. If anyone is interested in English language etymology you might take some geekish pleasure in noticing how I can finish a question and begin it's answer with words that have two different meanings, two different spellings but exactly the same phonetic pronunciation. But then if I think about it really, I'm not so sure that anyone other than me would be even slightly interested in that.

Today I've been feeling a little like the crumpled wreckage of the Challenger space shuttle. I was flying high! On my way to the stars! Then BOOM! and I exploded into a million fragmented pieces of trash. Pieces that when held together seemed to be doing something right. So, when I perceive this metaphorical explosion it seems like my whole life is carnage. What was everything yesterday is nothing today and a life with nothing is no life at all. Feel free to interchange the challenger analogy with Humpty Dumpty if it helps. Either works!

A good friend pointed out to me today that thoughts are malleable. They can be changed and reconstructed. Molded and coloured. Based on reality or on a fantasy that suits you best at any particular time. He made me think about myself two years ago. If I could show myself then all the things I have done in that time to make my life better wouldn't my younger self be a little happy with what he has seen? The conversation imbued me with the sense that I have done some good things in that time. I've achieved goals that two years ago I would have thought were impossible. There's that thinking getting in the way again. I have achieved things within the past week that would have made the younger me certain that I was lying. Yet here I am again, allowing myself to think that my life is so worthless that a skydive without a parachute didn't seem like such a bad idea.

Now I am trying to my life the way it really is by widening the boundaries of perception to allow for the possibility that my first look was wrong and things really aren't that bad. You should too.

All the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't put Humpty together again but Sean had a good crack at Ciaran with some superglue and sense.