the things that make us crazy

It has been a week since my last post. I didn’t want to have that much time pass, but sometimes we get sick, and when we get sick, our bodies are in charge. Mine said: “Don’t write. Don’t move unless you have to. Stay in bed.” Every time I thought my body was out in the kitchen, not paying attention, I would try to sneak over to my computer, or pick up a book. Immediately, it was right there looking over my shoulder, coughing loudly and telling me to get back to getting well. So I did.

Perhaps it’s been the experience of being sick that got me noticing, but it seems that a lot of people in my universe are talking about toxins lately. Several conversations have been happening about lead in lipstick, and carcinogens in beauty products generally. I’ve known about these for a while, but honestly I’m probably not going to stop wearing lipstick anytime soon.

I also know that my hometown is located in a county that is, as someone recently put it, (a? the?) cancer capital of the U.S. One theory is that all the glues and plastic residue in the air from the RV factories mess with our brains and bodies. This information is not something I brush off lightly. It makes me angry. I’m also slightly relieved that so many of my family members and friends regularly travel, or even move to other places for periods of time – meaning, maybe the toxins can’t build up so quickly in their bodies.

From a completely different angle, this article popped up. Makes you wonder. Seriously. Turns out that there are a lot of things I might be able to blame on the cats in my life! And the cats in other people’s lives! Of course, the parasite discussed in the article may also be found in unwashed vegetables, uncooked meat, or impure water. And it may disguise itself as sexy. It’s a tricky little parasite.

But I’ve also been thinking about the potential toxins we can control. For example: our thoughts.

Sometimes I can be having a perfectly lovely day, and some little thorn will work its way into my brain – some little thought like, “Did she really say that thing to me a few days ago that I think she said? Did she really mean it that way?” Or, “You know, that thing that happened this morning? I brushed it off at the time, but that’s the kind of thing that has happened over and over and over. What is wrong with me/my life/my world?”

If I’m not careful, these thoughts take over and spiral out of control. They become the illness that lands me in bed, or that sucks me into the vacuum of my own (little tiny) world where I spin and spin and spin…

Lately I have been getting better at catching these thoughts. And I realize: Nothing has actually changed since this morning (or an hour ago, or even three minutes ago). The only thing that has changed are my thoughts.

But those thoughts don’t change the experience itself.

The day is still as it was. The world is still as it was. The only change is, yes, all in my head.

Just to clarify: I’m not a fan of pretending everything is great even if it isn’t. But sometimes we make things much harder on ourselves than we need to – just via our thoughts (which usually stem from our fears).

I wonder why that is. With all those other sneaky little toxins and viruses out there, why do we feel the need to inflict more in the form of self-created thought-parasites? Are we so set on drama, or conflict, or needing to find things to criticize/fix (including ourselves), that we go looking for them? Are we bored? Is it just a habit? Why do we seem to want to drive ourselves crazy? Is it the glue in the air? The lipstick we use? Are we being controlled by parasites?

Personally, I think blaming the cats is as good of an excuse as any.

See how sneaky this cat looks? (Photo by ajmilne.)

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