- Mental Health
The Most Dangerous Real Estate In The World
Where might it be? Do you have a guess? Maybe the Sahara Desert, or the North Pole? How about on the white flanks of Denali or the war-scarred roads of Afghanistan?
All are certainly dangerous, but for this writer, the most dangerous real estate in the world is the six inches between my ears. Allow me to explain!
THE HUMAN BRAIN
A marvel to behold, the human brain is the computer center of our bodies, constantly sending signals to the nether-regions so that the most basic, and complex, of functions can be carried out. In the blink of an eye on the time continuum, we humans have progressed from primordial ooze to creatures capable of solving incredibly difficult tasks, and our brains are the main reason for this remarkable sprint up the evolutionary ladder.
Isn’t it amazing, then, that such a finely-tuned machine can become, at times, frozen in indecision? All of the factors have been analyzed, all outcomes considered, and still we find it difficult on some days to even get out of bed, let alone tackle a problem.
Perhaps if our brains stood alone, all would be right in our world and decisions would be quite simple. Unfortunately, or perhaps, fortunately, our brains are affected by our emotions, and there lies the rub, matey! Or are our emotions being affected by our brains? There are days it is extremely hard to determine which has the greatest effect on our actions.
I had a sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous once tell me that I could make a typhoon out of a glass of water. I do not for a second believe he was being complimentary when he said that. However, I also do not believe he was speaking only about me.
You see, there is a huge difference between the reality of a situation and our perception of the reality, and it is that difference that makes our brains the most dangerous real estate in the world.
I can have someone say good morning to me and read ulterior motives into that good morning. I can read a comment on Facebook and designate several different meanings to that comment. The way a person looks at me can mean many different things; the inflection of someone’s voice sends signals to my brain and we are off and running into Fantasy World.
Just to keep things interesting I can do this with the past, present or future. I can think about things that happened to me forty years ago and surmise different reasons for them happening AND different reasons why I am to blame. I can foresee a future event and imagine why it is going to happen and what motives will cause that event. I can read an article about a famous person and determine whether they are a good human being or not, without ever meeting them. I can can become angry at a person based on actions not even taken yet. This is a talent of dubious value and we all possess it.
I am the master of fabrication, wiser than Solomon on his best day, for poor Solomon never had the talent I have for seeing the truth where none exists. I even have the ability to extend my talent to national and world affairs. If the taxes rise then someone in D.C. has it in for me. . Corporations outsource jobs to India and I know without a doubt that they are personally attacking me. Nobody reads my articles and it’s because they don’t like me and they want to see me fail.
It is exhausting living inside of my head……or it was!
THE NEW, IMPROVED BILL
I have written in the past about this talent that I once had; I lived partially in the here and now, and partially in an imagined world or a world dictated by fear of things that had not happened yet. I was going to perish if I did not escape and find a safe place, a place where fear was not the dominant force. I needed a safe place where I could accept that which had once upset me so. I needed a safe place where others could not harm me and where I no longer would harm myself.
I needed humility and acceptance. I needed self-love! I suspect that I am not alone in these needs.
You see, when I came to the realization that I was not the most important person on this planet, and that others did not construct their lives around my every action, reality came into focus. The clerk at the store looks at me and I no longer think they are mad at me for not buying more product. They are simply looking at me because I am in front of them. The neighbor asks me how I’m doing and my first thought is not what do they want from me, but rather that’s nice of them for asking.
I have come to accept the fact that I am not the director of this play called Life. I have not been given control of the screenplay or the set direction. I am just a bit actor, a fleck of dust in the universe, and I am no more, or less, important than any other bit actor in the play. The planets do not revolve around me, nor do they revolve around anybody else. We are all equal in our importance and equal in our insignificance.
Most importantly, I now have a safe place inside of me where self-love is fostered and encouraged. I cannot be hurt by someone else in my safe place. I cannot hurt myself in my safe place. All that has happened in the past is ancient history, important only as a textbook to learn from. All that will happen in the future is as nebulous as star dust and it will be dealt with when it happens. So what is important?
Today is the only thing I am concerned with. I can handle today and anything that happens in it. I have twenty-four hours to focus on, and when that twenty-four hours has concluded I start all over again with the next day. Talk about liberating! I am no long weighed down by the ghosts of the past, and I no longer have to devise a battle plan for the future.
It is incredibly liberating to only concern myself with my actions. It is also incredibly liberating to not be affected by the actions, thoughts and opinions of others. When I have accomplished these things, the most dangerous real estate in the world begins to resemble a quiet day at the beach with fluffy clouds floating overhead and a gentle breeze at my back.
It is my choice whether to live on dangerous real estate or peaceful real estate. The choice is mine daily and believe me, it is a conscious decision each and every morning. I do not give people power over me and I do not allow them to rent space in my brain. I protect myself as if I were the most valuable and priceless treasure on Earth and do you know why? Simply because I am!
Have I bridged the gap between reality and perception? Most definitely, and the more I do so the better my life becomes. I am no longer that person from years ago. I have read the textbook and I have learned from it. As long as I keep learning I will keep growing, and sooner, rather than later, I will have grown into the person I always wanted to be.
And that, my friends, is Nirvana for this man.
2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
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