A little while ago, during my morning reading, I read an article from a writer here on Medium, Christine Stevens. She is a brilliant, fantastic writer, and this is one of the many great articles she has written.
Don’t Keep Drinking the Sour Milk. https://medium.com/swlh/dont-keep-drinking-the-sour-milk-6f82e2c932d1
I read this article, and I really hope you do too, because this article is about me trying this article as an experiment!
My theory was I would try this for a day, maybe more, and then write about my experience. SO- read the article for this to make sense.
The amazing article ends with this call to action-
“So, make this resolution today and tell everybody you can about it:
I no longer take anything personally. Life is too short to go around drinking poison hoping to harm my enemies. I want to enjoy my brief time on this planet, not sit around stewing in self-inflicted sourness.
Or something like that.”
And that is what we are focusing on in my article today.
So, I read this, and, realizing that I frequently fell into the trap of staying in a bad mood when bad things happen, if not a bad mood that festers, I do dwell on things, longer than I should, even if I am not per se in a bad mood, I am holding onto that negative energy, so I resolved to not do this. To not keep drinking sour milk.
The resolution was: I won’t drink the sour milk. I will let things go.
When I tell you that my ability to do this resolution, to stick to it, was impressive, please note, I am not kidding. This little challenge of sticking to the resolution was tricky. People, as it turns out, can be awful.
But Abbi, as it turns out, can be stubborn. I adapted the solution* of not drinking sour milk, to not hold onto the negative energy, to let things go.
So, my commitment began, and I couldn’t tell you what all people did to piss me off. I remember the flare ups of anger, and I remember focusing on the resolution, but I couldn’t tell you anything that happened.
Because I didn’t hold on to it.
The next day, I continued my resolution, and while I had to be very calm in the face of extreme waves of anger, I kept my cool, and let things go.
Breathing in. One, two, three, four….on and on until I could breath it out in a big breath of not caring.
“I don’t care!”
I would imagine a goofy scene from Adventure Time, I would breath deep and breath out, I would close my eyes and count to ten, I would do anything I could, to let the anger go, as quickly as possible.
Days passed. Things happened, and miraculously, I did it. Day in, day out, I let things go. Big things. GIANT ANNOYING OH-MY-GOD ARE YOU KIDDING ME kind of things. I let them bother me for less than ten minutes, and let it go. I allowed myself ten minutes, because I can always be productive when I am irritated, so I cleaned or whatever i found productive at the time and allowed myself angry time, where I could make all the “No YOU’RE STUPID!” faces and come backs to myself that I wanted. I could be as angry as I wanted, privately, to myself only, if I was being productive.
Cleaning, writing, working out, if I was doing things that were good, that I had put on my good list, I could be angry, for ten minutes. I allowed myself time to process the things, but quickly, I didn’t allow myself time to dwell, and was able to, sometimes, even get to the root of my anger.
I’m not mad at this, I am mad because of that, which has splashed onto this and created other anger that makes no sense. So on, and so forth, I made these epiphanies. I began to get a better hold on emotions this way, forcing myself to hyper understand why I was upset, and then letting the anger go. From this, I was able to learn the lessons, like where my anger was coming from, to adjust, to ensure those things wouldn’t happen.
I began to edit who I allowed much of my time, I started valuing my own time. I am still working on it, being so few days into this, tomorrow marks one week, so I don’t have it perfected, but I am seeing lessons to be gleaned from my anger, I am better understanding where it is coming from, and how to learn from it.
I am able to see where changes will not come, and decide what to do with that information.
Because of these lessons, I am better able to assess what changes I could make to be happier, which contributes to my overall goal.
I am no longer letting jackasses bother me. I breath it in, and breath it out.
Today, however, I was tested.
When I say tested, I mean a woman who is over twice my age with ten times my patience said she would have probably lit someone on fire, at least mentally.
I did, for the record, but, I kept pushing it, every time the anger boiled up, I laughed I off.
I would find a way to make the injustice less about injustice and more about something that didn’t exist.
I can’t fix this problem. I have looked at it from every angle. So, I worked at it all day, and finally, about ten minutes ago, I let it go. When I say worked at it, I mean I pushed the anger away, every time, until finally, it stayed away.
I still know exactly what it was, but that’s life, sometimes the thing is too big to forget, but I am over it, I have let the anger of it go. Now all that remains is the knowledge.
So, I modify the resolution a little. As Christine had said “Or something like that”
I won’t drink the sour milk. I will let things go.
And I will do whatever it takes to let it go, while learning whatever lesson there is to learn.
In this case, the lesson was “you are in fact able to let big things go”, and the whatever it takes to let things go was smoke four bowls from my favorite bong and write tonight’s blog.
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