Tuesday

"Don't finish the thought." A tool for healing, diminishing anxiety and generally telling your brain to STFU



There was this guy, we'll call him J, who I went to high school and college with. J and I never dated, never kissed, although I did meet his parents and grandparents once.

He just sort of popped in and out of my life in weird ways, at strange times, like some creepy guardian angel with funny facial hair. If something momentous was happening, J would appear, like when I was dancing at Independent Bar in Orlando with my brand-new husband during my going away party before moving to Santa Fe, N.M. I looked around during MGMT's "Kids" and there was J, and we both looked at each other and laughed.

J gave me a piece of advice I'll never forget. I'd just had my heart broken by this scourge upon womankind. I couldn't stop thinking about the bastard. (You know how it goes.)

So J said, "Don't finish the thought."

"What?"

"Just don't finish the thought."

"But he —"

"Just DON'T finish the thought."

So that's how I got over the dude. Any time my brain waltzed around him, grabbed him, presented him in 3-D and Technicolor in my mind's eye, I'd tell myself, "Don't finish the thought." Mid-sentence, mid-syllable, the discussion with myself about him would be closed.

I don't know why in the actual blueberry fuck I don't use this more often. It's effective. It didn't matter if I was getting some shining insight or pining away. What mattered was that at that time in my life, I was better off not wasting the energy trying to figure out What Went Wrong or Why He Didn't Love Me Waaaaah. My brain got trained to shut down the stupids. Don't even go there, don't even bother. Curate your thoughts.

So the next time a destructive thought pops up, don't grab it. If letting it float away without attaching to it like a calm little meditation pro doesn't help, clobber it down, slash it in half, leave it with the words unsaid at the tip of its rotten tongue. Silencio, por favor.

You're welcome.

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