Thy will, not mine, be done."
"They pray to God and finish with, “Thy Will be done!”
If His Will be done, why do they pray at all?"
Every once in a while, my work and personal life intersect.
It’s always tricky when that happens because generally, my friends and family have little to no interest in the weird stuff I do for a living and my even weirder points of view. (There is no self! You don't exist! You are literally everything! There is no world! )
So I giggled when I saw someone in a Facebook dancers’ group ask if anyone else is unable to shut up their head or shift negative commentary, and as a result have bad dances and competitions.
Adorably, the writer thought they might be the only one, or one of very few, experiencing this thinking problem. Not realizing that the mind works the same way for everyone.
At some point, no matter who you are, thought helpfully says you’re a not-good-enough, bad, needs-improvement, faker. At some point, thought helpfully says, "You need to stop thinking these things and just think good things about yourself all the time!"
I mean, even supposedly more evolved, spiritually-minded folks say: “Being in your head is bad! Don’t be in your head!”
So whether it's work, dance, tennis, golf, art, music, writing, making a speech, or enlightenment- everyone has times when they're negatively in their head.
These are called “Bad Days.” Bad Days are not ok. Everyone wants to make them stop.
Which is why, on that dancer’s post, there were hundreds of sweetly encouraging comments offering favorite ways to fix this terrible problem.
Positive affirmations, mindfulness, therapy, meditation, allowed to be not-good sometimes, weed, alcohol, not caring what others think, changing up this or that technique, picturing others naked, remembering it’s supposed to be fun.
Strategies. To take one’s mind off. To turn that nasty head around. To change thought.
In order to get outcomes and consequences you like.
As if liking what happens is a necessity. Required, even.
Somehow not noticing that all these wonderful strategies only work sometimes. They’re not a sure thing. All anyone can do is cross fingers that they’ll work this time.
Sometimes no matter what you do, you still can’t make the tennis ball behave. Sometimes yesterday’s great painting gets ruined by today’s off day. Sometimes you bomb in concert in front of everyone with music that went beautifully in rehearsal just hours ago.
Clearly, when you're able to make liked-results happen is not up to you. If it was, your fixes would work every time.
So if WHEN bad days happen is not up to you, how can making them stop be up to you?
Though of course you”ll keep trying.
Because iI’s never occurred to you to accept the off day and negative thoughts.To say yes to bad results, losing, and blowing it.
"Hi paint brush, dance partner, pool team, golf crew, tennis partner. I’m having an off day today, I’m all in my head, I might suck at this. I’m pretty sure we’ll live though. Here we go. One awful speech dance painting essay tennis billiards game coming right up.”
Now probably, reading this, your mind screams, "NOOOO!" and goes instantly to Don’t-like! Not OK! Consequences! What will others think!
And still the outcome will be whatever it is, regardless.
So it might be easier on you to try accepting your offness and badness for a change.
Because are you never allowed to be less than great, even less than adequate? Is it never ok for people to have bad thoughts about you (assuming they bother?)
Only good days and great performances for you in this lifetime?
Permission and acceptance to be awful in that moment (regardless of whether it's actually true) might make for a whole lot better experience than the stress, failure, and gritted teeth of impossibly trying to force only-liked outcomes.
Things might even start to be humorous, downright light, as you mess things up with your terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad, day.
Now before you start to lecture your friendly Mind-Tickler, yes of course, trying to accept is also an attempt at doing and controlling, also an attempt to manipulate outcome to get what you want.
But c'mon let's face it, you’re going to bother trying something to get what you want, anyway. Why not try the one thing you haven’t yet?
Because insisting you never have an in-your-head game, day, or week is simply not a viable plan. It's unreliable.
And fighting What Is is hard, self-centered, self-reifying, self-important, life-screwing work.
Realizing this can drop self-hatred and angst. Because none of how things go is your fault or doing.
You still may suck.
But oh well. You can handle that.
We all do. Since no one is promised only liked happenings in this life.
So. In-your-head, crappy player, dancer, presenter, writer, painter?
Imperfect, messed up, not good enough?
So be it.