Reorganizing Our Minds

Wednesday, I had kind words said to me. I had wild laughter with good friends. I had fresh bread, sunlight, projects finished, a courageous moment.

And I had a mind stuck on a text exchange that was a little tart. Tart might be an overstatement; brusque is probably more accurate.

But I had this sweet day, and I went to bed worrying over a few short words. It’s like looking at a lush blue sky and only seeing the one small cloud fragment in it.

I think this tendency is all too human. Our ancestors weren’t safe to lull in the beauty of a sunset lest the tiger in the tall grass sneak up on them.

Our minds are designed to zero in and amplify any possible threat. It’s a feature that served us well back on the savannas, but is less necessary in the wilds of modern life.

So it’s no reflection on our character or courage. It’s how we were made. The question is, what are we to do with it?

For me, it’s helpful to notice it. Wednesday night in bed, I caught up with my runaway worrying. Wait, I paused myself, you’re making a tiger out of a tiny blip.

Rather than judge myself, I aim to hold myself with some warmth, and some appreciation for the absurdity that the whole human species has minds that make ferocious beasts out of minor blips.

It helps pull me up from the hunch of worry and into the elongated posture of widened perspective. And from this vantage point, I’m better positioned to savor the fulfilling parts of our day.

They’re almost always there. Our charge is to reorganize our minds so we can better zero in and amplify them.

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