It’s been a stressful month or two for me. You may have noticed me talking about stress and busy-ness on my Facebook page. On top of running my business, my husband and I took on a renovation of our deck. We greatly underestimated the amount of time and work we needed, and a project we expected to be done by the end of May is now barely going to be finished in time for a big party on July 12th. Our personal lives have been stressful as well as we deal with changes within our community, not one but TWO new preschools for our daughter, and the end of life for one of our beloved cats.
But while I have been tired, frustrated, sore, and overwhelmed, I’ve by and large been able to avoid major suffering. Sure, I’ve cried a few times and lost my temper now and then. But I never tortured myself. At the end of the day, I’ve been able to put down my load, crawl into bed and sleep. I’ve been able to let the house be a disaster zone without any guilt. I’ve been able to face transition and loss without feeling regret. Why? Because I subscribe to the clean pain/dirty pain theory. Martha Beck describes it beautifully in this blog post. Basically, dirty pain is when we believe that a failure is about us, not about the world.
In my own life, I could say that I didn’t plan well when I planned the deck renovation. Instead of laughing at our mistake, I could easily shake my head at my lack of foresight and planning. I could blame myself for not doing more research and not getting more help from friends and family. I could see the deck renovation as a personal failure and beat myself up over it. Or I could shrug my shoulders and say, it is what it is.
Where are you allowing your thoughts to contaminate and increase your pain? Give me a call to learn how to clean up your thoughts!