The wound with which she travelled vibrated within her. She thought, I shall never have what I desire. I shall become bitter and defeated and dim, and I shall never really paint, I am a freak, a crippled animal, something to be put down, put to sleep, put out of its misery.
Iris Murdoch (from The Green Knight)
Self-inquiry is the key to understanding what makes our soul sing, or our spirit suffocate – it is how we learn the difference and get to the centre of our being. I hope at least some of the questions in THink will enable you to do just that – to tarry a while and tease your thought processes out into the open, so that you can reflect, imagine, and then visualise who you want to be.
Do you think you have a wound with which you travel through life?
My late gran certainly did. She had two old medical volumes and the slightest ache or pain would send her reaching for them. There would then follow hour upon hour spent poring over the pages until she had narrowed it down to at least one terrible affliction, resolute in her belief that it would surely mean a long, slow and agonising death.
In those days it was just ‘Gran Being Gran’ but now I recognise it as catastrophising, for which I also have been known to turn the odd drama or two into a world-ending crisis.
Many of us tend to do it in varying degrees – create absolute worst-case scenarios, picking away at them until we are spinning in circles of pain and misery.
Exhausting isn’t it?
Are you a fellow regular catastrophiser?
Maybe you are but didn’t have a name for it?
It’s not only imagining the worst though – there are those who catastrophise to gain sympathy, or excitement, or even to make themselves appear significant.
Could you be one of those?
If so, why do you think that is?
How do you catastrophise?
Is there a particular time when it happens?
Or one thing that sets it off?
How does it make you feel?
Why do you think you do it?
And what messages are sending yourself by doing so?
Is there ever any evidence to support your impending ‘Catastrophe?’
There are no right or wrong answers here – these questions are merely an aid to help you explore your emotions and circumstances so that you can start to develop self-awareness and move forward in a more positive way.