Some of us spent the week aware of election results.
Some of us spent the week aware of Hurricane Nicole
Some of us spent the week aware of Twitter and its changes.
Some of us spent time and thinking fretting about those national and international uncertainties.
Some of us spent the week aware of disruptions of our schedules that came from the time change, or job changes, or accidents, or, well, any of the 100 things that can disrupt our schedules, our plans, our hopes.
Some of us spent the week aware of the pain in our own bodies.
There are all kinds of things that can distract us in any given moment.
If we were having a conversation, I would expect that you would interrupt me at this very moment and say, “distract us from what?”
Distraction means that we are looking at one thing and then we shift to looking at another thing. And distraction isn’t, by definition, a bad thing.
The other day I was talking with a family. Their loved one was in surgery. They knew, and I knew, that it could take an hour or more before they heard any updates. They were concentrating on the clock and on thoughts of what could happen.
I talked with them for a bit about the quality of the care, about where the other family members were, about where they were from.
We agreed that I was distracting them. We agree that it was helpful.
Let’s talk for a minute, then, about the kinds of things we think about.
We think about nothing.
We think about nothings.
We think about possibilities. And about probabilities.
We think about plans.
I think that it’s safe to say that thinking about things that would help us or others are good things to think about. Taking steps to do those things is helpful.
Thinking about things that would harm us or others, and taking steps to reduce that harm may be good things to think about.
What could we be thinking about, devoting our time and attention to? How can we distract ourselves from concentrating on the harmful and think about what’s helpful?