What is dwelling.
In the dictionary, for the meaning I’m referring to it says:
– to live or continue in a given condition or state
– to linger over, emphasize, or ponder in thought, speech, or writing
I usually think of dwelling as negative. It implies obsessively thinking about something that won’t change anything and for no good practical reason other than to satisfy our need to beat ourselves up, which is counterproductive. I’ve always said, the world has more than enough people bringing us down, for us to be doing it to ourselves. We don’t need it,… but apparently we DO need it.
Do we need to rehash thoughts and memories, to beat ourselves up? To prove to ourselves over and over why we were wrong in one way or the other.
On the other hand
There isn’t much good that comes out of dwelling. The only good I can think of is if your problem solving or contemplating the meaning of something. I suppose one could dwell on a positive experience too,.. that then may be considered day dreaming I guess. Otherwise, it’s a waste of our time and energy to obsessively think about what we can’t change (e.g. the past), what ifs and what might happen. I’m making the distinction of saying when it’s done obsessively, otherwise, thinking isn’t always bad, just don’t ‘dwell.’ It’s not far from being “Obsessive Compulsive,” which I’ll talk about in another post.
Either way, they’re all really just ways we check-out in our daily lives. When we dwell, we are like zombies, our thoughts stuck on something we can’t get past. Stuck, in the past, in our thoughts, in our heads, in the future of what could be, what should be, what would be, etc. There is no end, as dwelling can be an endless cycle. If there was an end, we don’t want to get to it until we’re satisfied.
What we do
Why is it that we desire to ‘escape life,’ so much? We will create any and every reason in the world to continue to do it. It almost doesn’t matter why, so long as we know it’s not something we want to do,.. shite just STOP! But, we are trained to want to know WHY!!!
Well, in thinking about something over and over unnecessarily, do we hope to eventually feel differently about something that has happened? Is it just how you process?! How’s that been working out for you? If it hasn’t, then maybe it’s a good bullshite reason.
We justify all our bullshite with “thinking,” literally. Oh, you’re just figuring something out. Rerunning events that happened or could happen over and over to convince ourselves of something that I’m sure we’ll end up being upset about, and probably continue to replay circumstances to convince ourselves of how much we suck.
Sometimes I may find myself thinking about something to give it the weight of importance I feel it needs for me to feel ok about moving on from it? That’s some bullshite too. But, lets not be too harsh. That’s why we should acknowledge what bothers us, let ourselves feel what we feel, because it’s valid. BUT, then, not dwell on it. Perhaps if we didn’t ‘care,’ we could just move on. “oh,.. I lost $1000, la de da.. ” and continue on. Lets just say, we’ve been conditioned to value things in a specific manner. Our culture or society or even as humans, we value certain things, and we would seem cold and inhuman to not care. I suppose that’s what a sociopath is. So, we can say, most humans can’t help but care, because others care. We learned to care, cause we were told to care, and it’s expected of us, and we all want to fit in. So, whatever it may be, especially if it’s something others may be aware of, we may feel the “need” to dwell on something. To give it the socially acceptable response, the expected weight of importance, to properly punish ourselves, and feel shame as we were taught to. For me, properly punishing myself could mean going over details in my mind, and needing to understand every detail and angle of what occurred, in what went wrong, and the need to be able to see it; to visualize every moment, every person, their every gesture, every glance, and every micro-expression, and the exact moment and intensity a feeling hit me. It must be recreated, and burned in my mind or I haven’t done it correctly. WTF!! WHY!?!?! Who cares?! Why burn that garbage in your mind? So then you can be reminded of it again in the future, when something else reminds you of it? So that you’ll then be paralyzed, paranoid and upset? So you can sabotage every spontaneous moment of your life with the possibility of it occurring again? What if you just didn’t.
No one is judging you MORE than yourself.
We often seem to think we’re being watched, but most of the time, NO ONE is watching or cares, cause they’re too concerned about themselves. So, it possible maybe some things, esp. when out of sight, and perhaps only in the mind; we can just let ourselves skip over the guilt, shame, and punishment. IF, we could.
Feeling judgemental towards ourselves is a way we “feel wrong” which I discuss in another post.
But we can’t, cause we’re so scared. Of everything.
Scared that someone will judge us for dismissing something so easily? Well, it really all depends on what it is. Maybe it really isn’t a big deal in the long run, and at the end, everyone would agree that getting over something like that quickly would be a good thing. Yes, so it depends, and I’ll let you judge what’s important to actually give some thought to, and what isn’t.
Rejection; another way to feel wrong
We get rejected, a LOT. A lot of times, we feel like shite after rejection. A lot of times, there wasn’t even a blatant rejection, but we feel it anyway! As an actor, after an audition, we may start beating ourselves up. Sure, if there’s something to be learned from it, then fine, learn from it, but don’t for a second use it as an excuse to just beat yourself up for fun. Most people would agree it’s best to not let it bother you, as you just don’t know what they want, and often it might not be determined by your ability, cause ability wasn’t even a factor, when the role required that you be 6 feet tall, and you are 5’6″. You just don’t know, so why, WHY bother torturing yourself, creating reasons why YOU didn’t get it?! Move on. If you did, and can, you’re lucky! Don’t be so hard on yourself either, we all have our bad days, fuck it, so you beat yourself up, get over that, and move on with that TOO, if it’s what you did. Whatever you do, don’t dwell on it!
WHY? WHY? BECAUSE, We LOVE to beat the shite outta ourselves
Sometimes, when we “feel wrong,” or something happens, or doesn’t happen, we may automatically jump to beating ourselves up. We’re a bit addicted to it. It’s so much fun! We can’t help replaying things in our head over and over to really get it through our heads how much we messed up, or how sucky something is. Though, in time, we usually get over it and move on. Sometimes, we KNOW we’re just wasting our time and energy on beating ourselves up, but we still either can’t help ourselves, or we tell ourselves that we’ll allow it at first, to just acknowledge it, and THEN move on.
We’ve been conditioned to be self-oppressive, but knowing that, we can start to recondition, to “unlearn.” With that said,.. lets “move on.” Once you know you’re just beating yourself up or dwelling, and that whatever it is, is something you can’t change cause it’s in the past, or hasn’t even happened, you just need to stop, asap!
HOW do I stop?!
Yeah, all I keep saying is to just NOT do it. To just stop. And that really IS the answer. Don’t “think” about it too much. Don’t THINK about not dwelling. Just DON’T! Ha ha. It’s something you have to be ‘Pro-Active’ in being aware and adjusting your thoughts.
Tell yourself “stop!” Literally. Get yourself back out of your ass,.. I mean your head, “check” back into the present. This is where “Attitude/Belief and Perspective” comes into play. Try adopting the attitude of owning your life, taking responsibility, and not being a victim or martyr.
Some things I say to myself when things don’t go my way…
I just keep telling myself, that whatever the circumstance, “it’s exactly what I wanted,” “it’s just right” “it’s the way it’s supposed to be,” etc, and letting it go, into the universe. For some, the idea of “Godspeed,” helps them, to let things go; to hand things over to a greater power.
“I Never Did Mind the Little Things” – from the film, Point of No Return
“Mind Over Matter” – Sheila, from the film A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Master
Dwelling is an obstacle and I talk about it briefly in the “Obstacle” post. As with obstacles and pretty much EVERYTHING, the answer is in your “Attitude, Belief and perspective,” which I talk about in the “Obstacle” posting, and more in-depth in the “Attitude, Belief and Perspective” post.
I also refer to “feeling wrong” a couple of times. There are many things in which I categorize under the umbrella of “Feeling Wrong,” which you can read more about in another post.
In the end, if we already know what there’s to be learned about the circumstance, it really IS a waste of time to dwell on it and beat ourselves up. All it serves to do is to reinforce our self oppressive conditioning, our self-hate, our self-loathing. Why do that. Why not just cut to the chase to the “moving on” part, so that we can get things done. Use whatever works, “Change it up” and find or create “support systems” (Other topics I mention in the “Obstacle” post.)
Also, make sure to check out the song I wrote that basically sums everything I usually write about from the “Obstacle” post’s accompaniment Vlog.
This post comes out of the shared group:
The Weekly Writes Prompt
The #WeeklyWrites prompt is given on Wed. & shared the following Tues. weekly. If you’re interested in participating and we’ll add you.
Free-Write on “Dwelling”
thinking too much
in a cave
stuck in a loop
checked-Out of life
can’t move forward
living in the past
wasting your life
contemplating for too long
can’t move on
not focused on the present
worrying about something you can’t control
something in the past
something that hasn’t happened
something that you can’t change