The Terrible Tango

I subscribe to very few email lists. Sure I get my Groupon on… who doesn’t love a deal? But for the most part, I only receive regular emails from 4 groups. Mostly it’s because I believe these 4 people have some incredible content and I don’t want to miss it. One of them in particular I receive every single day. I look forward to the wisdom and insight that’s packed into this one particular daily newsletter. It’s powerful. A few weeks ago I realized that it had been over a week since I had received an email from my friend and mentor. I was used to getting them daily and thought that he must have been out of town, or super busy. In fact, as I thought about it, I couldn’t remember a single day where he hadn’t sent his encouraging note. It was not just something he took pride in; it was his work to make sure he connects with his hundreds of thousands of peeps every day. So I went to his website to see if he had indeed been posting his regular thoughts. Sure enough, there were some incredible insights posted for each day that I had not received an email. Then it hit me. Like a left hook that I never see coming. I must have done something to make him mad or disappoint him and so he took me off his newsletter email list. When I felt that knuckle sandwich it totally through me for a loop. The skin on it’s knuckles was coarse and pulled taut over those jagged bones, and made quite a connection with my jawbone. After the punch had landed it left the taste of sulfur in my nostrils and palate. A putrid punch that cold-cocked me. I frantically began to wonder what I had done that disappointed him so much that he no longer wanted me to be on his mailing list. I immediately created at least 5 different stories in my internal narrative of how I must have done something wrong to offend him.

Ridiculous isn’t it? That’s the first place I went and I sat with it for a while? Here is a guy who has thousands of people on his newsletter list. And yet somehow I thought he would single me out and remove me. And this is someone I’ve spent hours upon hours connecting with on a personal level, who has done more for me as a writer and mentor by lovingly pushing me and encouraging me than any other single person.  On top of that, it usually takes an act of congress to be removed from a newsletter.

It’s crazy isn’t it? No matter how far down the path of self-acceptance and love that we travel, we can still be blindsided by the most ridiculous thoughts. And that’s OK. It is completely acceptable to be struck out of the blue by absurd negative thoughts. We constantly have them running through our minds, ponging back and forth, even taking both sides of an argument! It’s ok to allow these thoughts to come and go. It’s when we grab on to one of them and take it for a prolonged spin on the dance floor that we end up being sidetracked from the good stuff in life.

I couldn’t shake the possibility that I had somehow done something to make my friend mad at me. I tried several practices that normally shake me loose of random thoughts of destructiveness, but to no avail. So I went in for the kill. I reached out and asked him if there was a reason I hadn’t been receiving his daily emails. Within seconds I received a quick reply that let me know that indeed they had been sent from the company he used to send his newsletters, along with links to show they had been sent, and a few suggestions as to possible problems with my IP server. To boot, there was a nice personal note of encouragement as well.

The music stopped and my dance with inferiority and the absurd ended. No sooner had those feelings dissipated than another immediately tried to take its place. Shame. “How could you allow this to happen? I thought you were past these farcical feelings and thoughts of inferiority and insecurity. How could you let this happen?”

This time, I immediately declined the request to hit the dance floor with shame. I walked away.

Have you found yourself listening to the plethora of voices that are trying to hijack your internal narrative, the story of your life? Is there a way you can go for the jugular and step off the dance floor? Is there a TRUSTED friend or mentor you can call and say, “I have this thought that won’t let go, can you tell me if this is true?” Go for it. Now. Don’t spend another moment dancing with the partner you have a hard time saying no to… especially when there are so many lovely partners that are just waiting for you to ask, “Can I have this next dance?”


"It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts." - Robert Schuller
"Question: Why are we Masters of our Fate, the captains of our souls? Because we have the power to control our thoughts, our attitudes. That is why many people live in the withering negative world. That is why many people live in the Positive Faith world." - Alfred A. Montapert