Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Learning to Forget

There exists a fine line between regularly revisiting problems in your mind and obsession.  I know this from experience.  In younger years, my constant dwelling on girls that came and went eventually snowballed into full-blown depression.   Somehow, I gradually converted that depression into one focused on questions of retributive justice.
You know those questions.
Why do bad things happen to good people?  If you do only good things, shouldn’t only good come to you?  Why do innocents suffer?  Why did the small child perish in a fire caused by a drunken man who staggered away to live another day.  Why did the Nazis kill the Jews?  Why did General Amherst purposely send smallpox through Native American populations?
I dwelled on those questions for several years.  I read of Job in the Bible.  Job, God’s most upright man, saw his life destroyed simply because Satan challenged God to do so.  I read Thornton Wilder’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey and saw five innocent people plunge to their death.  I read modern discourses.  I focused on the questions.
No answers.
God eventually spoke from a whirlwind and told Job that there is no place for proffering such questions.
I was very bothered by all of this.
At some point, I finally realized the problem was not the questions.  The problem was me.  I needed to disconnect from my own thoughts.  My mind had become a cat chasing its own tail.
The human mind—as all things we know—thrives in direct accordance with what we feed it.  I stopped feeding my mind these questions.  When I discovered my thoughts slipping in that direction, I quickly diverted to thoughts of puppies bouncing through wildflowers or guppies swimming in fishbowls.
I severed all the dark connections.  I gradually forced my mind to reattach to things brighter. 
Sure, I still have my questions, but they are mostly stored in a box in a spare room.  I play with them from time to time, but soon go back to feeding the guppies in the fishbowl.

--Mitchell Hegman

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