Leah Farmer

Personal perspectives on faith, literature, and life.

A Quiet Mind (originally from a different blog)

While scribbling my “Morning Pages” today I noticed a theme. I keep saying that I need to “quiet my mind” or that I want a “quiet mind”. So I went on a little exploration in my pages about what that means and here is what I came up with.

* Some of you may not know that my mind spins at an alarmingly fast rate. To the point that I can’t quite put it into words for those who don’t process information the way I do. I can always tell when someone has this same type of brain because they just get it when I try to explain. I don’t think I’m smarter or more special than others…I wouldn’t wish this on another person. It’s just how I’ve always been. (As an aside…if you have a child that you suspect has a mind like this…tune in. They may think they are CRAZY!)

* Getting a quiet mind is the daily goal of someone with this kind of brain..even if they don’t know the words for what they need/want. And many many people who spin like this smoke pot or drink a lot. I think this brain is part and parcel with an addictive personality in many cases. Mine has been food. It is my numbing agent…or was…until January of this year.

* One of the things that happens for me with my mind is that I often cannot focus on myself because it feels overwhelming. So because I have this brain and a compassionate heart, I tend to be an easy target for those who are needy and emotional vampires. They attach themselves to me and I somewhat gladly go along with them trying to resolve their problems, fix their messes, and sort things out for them. (These people are not the same as friends who just need to talk and who listen in return…if you are reading my blog…you are likely NOT a vampire!) :)

* With emotional vampires always comes the bloodbath that I call The Crash. The Crash is what happens when the person who is feeding off of you discovers that you are not sufficient to resolve all of their problems and that they are still just as big a mess now as before they started sucking the life out of you. These people then inevitably turn on you. And while I could be mad at them…because they are kind of jerks…it is as much my own fault as theirs. I have allowed this blood sucking behavior and have not helped them by pointing them to tools.

* Over the last 2 or 3 years I have been getting better and better at identifying vampires or even helping potential vampires to become just regular people. I am learning that my wisdom is best given out in guiding people to tools…not in trying to fix for them. For the most part I have been able to remove the vampires from my life and had settled nicely into a smaller group of friends where love, advice, and wisdom was mutual.

* And then there is my last vampire. Earlier this year I began pointing this person to tools. Trying to make her see reasonable ways to deal with her situations. And speaking the truth…even when it was difficult…about the¬†consequences¬†needing to play themselves out of bad choices. The result…The Crash. I am to blame. I am a bitch. I am unsupportive. Etc, etc. etc.

* And then I moved away. Physically I moved to Denver. Emotionally I moved back inside my noisy mind. And what this means is that suddenly my head is very loud again…noisy with the sound of my own introspection and self nurturing. Something I’ve been better at these past few years but which has always taken a back seat to a certain group of people.

* So how do I get a quiet mind? I go through the ring of fire (as Martha Beck would put it). I stop dwelling on past hurts and injustices. And I stop worrying about and feeding fears about the future. I’ve come through so much trial over the last 18 months. It is high time I let myself breath, laugh, and relax.

* But this also means that I will have bad days. Days that hurt as I listen to myself and let myself feel pain that I’ve avoided or to process loss that I’ve not dealt with because I’ve been holding everyone else’s loss and pain for them. I always get an image in my mind of a man holding his wife’s purse when I think of this. It’s like I don’t want to hold it and I certainly don’t want to be SEEN holding it…but I feel I must! WRONG!! (PS Ladies–For the love of God don’t make him hold your purse! That is what laps and the hooks in the potty are for!)

* I ultimately believe that I’ve been given a gift to listen and to give counsel. But I need to shake the last of the vampires and not take on any new ones. I need to focus on my friends and family who may need my gifting and who are interested in getting their own tools rather than in dulling and rusting my tools.

* A Quiet Mind…here I come!

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