“Ah, Nevermind…ful”

Compassionate Love:Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2014 Nancy Virden  

Confession time. I have a flaw only my family plus the few people who have allowed me to drive them somewhere know about.

I get lost.

Easily.

Ask Asanka, my passenger to church each week. Asanka has stories about the varying number of miles it takes us to get from Point A to Point B.

Ask my aunt who rode over a curb with me because I thought I was supposed to turn at that spot. Ask my sons who spent the bulk of their childhoods in downtown Cleveland while their mother drove for hours trying to find a way out! Ok, so that last one is exaggerated. A little.

Still, the English woman in my GPS once told me to navigate off-road, I suspect because she was getting dizzy. I thought satellites were going to start dropping from the sky whimpering, “I give up!”

Until recently I blamed an outside force – distraction. “My mind is busy. That’s all it is.” However lately, the term “mindful” keeps coming up. I didn’t know what it meant when I first heard it.

It is up to each of us to do our best to focus on the task at hand and choose to keep our thoughts present and in the moment. When we do that, we are likely being mindful and feeling better about our situation.

Yesterday didn’t have to happen as it did. In the morning I left early to be on time to a meeting. The car followed my wandering thoughts, instead.  Early afternoon, I lost my Google map printout. Late to meeting number two. Ready to return home in early evening, a twenty-five minute drive morphed into a two-hour lesson in patience. Let’s just say I now know more about this area of the country than I did when I woke up yesterday. 

It’s annoying being lost. Trying to make it into an adventure did not work this time because I have a work deadline. Still, fretting in slow traffic would accomplish nothing but to make me miserable.  Worry might be one of the most common of distractions. I practiced mindfulness by focusing on and singing along with happy music.

What do you think is my response when people  suggest I “just” use my GPS, or read a map? I smile and say thank you. They mean well in the moment. 

Mindfulness. One of the keys to peace, calm, and mental health.

***********

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline   1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.

*picture from Quality Stock Photos

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