The Power of Not
To be or not to be. Shakespeare’s most famous lines that turned Hamlet timeless. People often associate this phrase to mean to live or to die, which is the question. And typically, I agree that’s what’s Shakespeare was implying. And of course, I always choose life even when I face my darkest demons.
But today, I discovered a powerful tool for mental wellbeing. The power of not.
Not to let the little worries get to you. Not to complain about the snow. Or the drama of coworkers. Or to worry about what may come tomorrow. For today, I finally felt at peace:
For some unexplainable reason, around 4:00 today I just felt … I don’t know how to describe it, free. I was no longer in pain, I didn’t feel sick like I still kind of was today. The usual worries and annoyances didn’t bother me. I didn’t even mind the cold when I went out or that I had to walk through the snow to my apartment because the close parking spaces were taken. It wasn’t happiness or being lethargic, it was higher than that. It was peace. Wish I could bottle up that emotion and sell it, or know how to get it more often, because it was glorious. Still feeling a little bit of it now, but it’s fading quickly…
That was my status when I got home. And after I typed that, after I tried to define it; I broke down in uncontrolled tears. But I wasn’t sad. It was just too strong of an emotion to contain. But I feel lucky to have experienced it.
I think what it means is not to let the little things like drama and weather and traffic and stupid things ignorant people do get you down.
I always believed you can’t control other people, only your own actions. And I try to remember this lesson. But it’s easy to let everyday life get to you. It’s easy to worry about the future. But you can worry all you want. And I’ve been worried since October.
I decided no more worry. I decided to not. And I decided how powerful not can be.
So tomorrow, try the power of not. Try not to be bothered. Don’t care so much of others opinions. Still be responsible, I’m not saying fuck everything because bills still have to be paid and people and pets still have to be taken care of; but try to do so without so much worry. Part of what helped me keep the emotion for so long (about an hour of pure inner peace and mental freedom) was a mild version of denial with still being able to keep a hold of reality.
Like I said to myself it’s not so cold outside, it’s tolerable. I’m not trekking through snow; I’m trekking through a desert. I’m happy.
If you can convince these to be truths, then they can be, if even for a few moments.
So for once, try not to be. But mentally of course. Because life itself is so precious, and it breaks my heart when people take their own lives. But for the little stuff, the not is a powerful tool. Basically … don’t let others control how you feel, don’t let the weather and traffic bring you down. Promise yourself tomorrow will be better, because we don’t know the unkown so for all we know tomorrow will be.
Sadly I won’t be able to experience this every day, and maybe in a week I’ll have forgotten about it. But I know it’s changed me, made me more powerful. And I’m thankful.