I took the dogs for a walk tonight, alone, and because there was no one else with me to pull my attention outward, I had little choice but to confront my noisy thoughts. They have a way of commanding my attention like little else can. Nothing else comes to mind, anyway.
Now, even now that I've had the experience I haven't yet broached here -- now that I can describe it from a small distance -- my thoughts interrupt the task of writing; they encourage me to doubt what I mean to say and the way I mean to say it. And they are winning. They are keeping me from saying what I wanted to say.
That's tonight's meander, in essence: A harried, distracted mind, leaping from one unpleasant take on my life's events to another. Experiences like these keep me from trusting myself. Of course, this is my greatest weakness. It's the cliche of being one's own worst enemy. I'm happy to report I am that cliche: I am my own mortal enemy.
My sole moment of respite arrived as the dogs and I neared the end of our walk. I asked myself -- as I do, sometimes -- what I would say or ask or give a client who reported an experience like the one I am having. I decided, quickly, that I would probably take a narrative approach: externalize the thoughts, externalize the enemy within, and regard it as if it were separate from myself. The mere act of imagining my troubling thoughts and my inner enemy being outside myself as something I can see and examine was (and usually is) liberating -- instantly. It reminded me that my enemy is not all I am or have been or will be; and it simultaneously offered me a glimpse of a hypothetical reality free from undue worry, fear, self-sabotage, and doubt. I felt confident, relaxed, and clear-headed. It was lovely.
In that moment, I was free. I felt the warm breeze dry my lips. I saw the light in our window across the gulch. The dogs and I found our rhythm as we made the final turns of our trip and strode into the air conditioned mud room downstairs.