Today I realized it … I’ve been shadow boxing most’a my life. It occurred to me just this morning, when I noticed myself having a mental conversation with someone who wasn’t even there.
Not in a looney-tunes way, in the same way so many of us do. It usually comes in the form of either a flash back or flash forward. Like this:
Flash back …
Do you ever relive a past event over again (and over … and over …)? Immersing yourself in thoughts and memories … all in the name of “figuring it out,” right?
Ok so let’s think about this.
Do we ever really figure it out by replaying the scene on endless loop, reenacting it dozens of times?
Hmm, highly doubtful!
Flash forward …
Do you ever have a fictitious mental discussion (or even an argument) with someone you’ve been hurt by?
Imagining what you’d say / what they’d say / how you’d respond to what they said / how they’d then respond to what you said.
Putting words in their mouth … words they may or may not ever even consider uttering.
Wow, look how hurtful that person is, right? Wait, it’s just YOU talking to YOU. Now that’s not even fair!
Helpful? I think we both know the answer to that.
Perseveration ain’t pretty.
Whether flashing back or forward, we’re doing ourselves a horrendous disservice, allowing our minds to swim in garbage and hoping for the best.
It’s mental torture and the crazy thing is, we do it to ourSELVES.
Punching and punching away at the air. The ghost we’re throwin’ jabs at is not even there.
And we wind up beating up ourselves. It’s like kicking a man when he’s down … and that man is YOU.
When I realized the useless exercise I was mindlessly participating in, I decided to pay attention. To notice when I’m shadow boxing and make a choice:
Put down the gloves.
It’s really as simple as that. Declare your choice and move your mind over to something—anything—else.
Shadow boxing is not rehearsing.
If you want to have a talk with that person at some point in time, trust that in that moment you will connect to your heart and then, without any rehearsing, you will say the exact perfect thing. You do not need to figure out what words to say or how to resolve the situation.
Shadow boxing is not remembering.
It serves no purpose to go over the details again and again. You do not need to remind yourself of the story, you already KNOW the story.
Shadow boxing isn’t of much use for any other purpose than beating up yourSELF.
So join me, we can do this together. Next time you find yourself shadow boxing, be kind to YOU and put down the gloves.