- The first trap is rumination. Yes, it has stolen my serenity in the past and may do it again. It can steal your serenity too. Rumination is the constant looking backward towards yesterday in hopes that if you can figure something out you will have control over not letting it happen again. It is like a stuck record and your mind goes over an event over and over again and again.
- The second trap is worry. Yes, this too has stolen my sense of serenity from time to time. Worry is a looking toward the future with a dread about the possibilities of something bad happening. The attraction to worry is that it can give you a false sense of power. If you think about something enough and believe you can figure it out you will have control over it. Your mind tells you that you will be able to prevent something bad from happening. I know in my life worry has never left me in control, but it has zapped by energy, sleep and focus.
- The third trap is fusion. It is a term often used within Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. It is when we believe we are the story and roles in our life. We are more than an employee, spouse, parent or family member. We are the holder of the story which includes roles we assume in life. Fusion can steal away serenity when roles change, such as when you lose your job. You can end up feeling like a failure, lost or worthless. Fusion is when your identity and value are defined by what you do or what has happened to you. Fusion almost always contains a judgment of being good or bad, right or wrong, or negative or positive.
I believe we all experience these feelings from time to time. Then again, I could be wrong. The problem is when your mind spends more time ruminating, worrying and fused than what is useful in creating a life you desire.
How can you safeguard against these three traps? Check back and I will tell you what I have learned.
Click here for PART TWO