One of the braver soul-warriors I know recently had a Bad Day. I know that, because they contacted me during it to let me know that the Brain Weasels (aka self-doubt, anxiety, repressed fears, unrealized expectations – you know, Brain Weasels) were especially rabid on that day, and so our usual pleasant interactions might be a little curtailed.
Not, you understand, because they were giving in to the Onslaught of Brain Weasels. They were letting me know that they were preparing themselves for battle – a hot shower, meditation, consulting other friends, reading inspiration, making sure their body had been fed and rested and exercised.
After the Battle
The following day, my friend messaged me letting me know that the Weasels had been beaten back once again. Then it got weird – because they apologized to me for cutting off our conversation the day before.
I found that very confusing. I mean, I know what it’s like to have the Brain Weasels – I was dealing with them at about 3am this morning, in fact, juggling social media strategies in my head (the Social Media Strategy Weasel is a slick and proficient thief of sleep). And when they had said they were going offline to deal with them, I had pictured a great warrior, girding on their armor, preparing to go off and defend the ramparts. I love those kinds of movies, and I had been cheering internally when they were gathering their tools in the same way you admire a trained soldier who has been training hard and is now facing combat with “a very select skillset” (to paraphrase Liam Neeson).
And then they came back victorious! Ticker tape parade! Brass band! Sailors kissing nurses spontaneously (but with consent, please) on the docks! The enemy was vanquished, the defenders were bruised but strong, and now life could go on!
Why would you apologize for that?
The New Mantra
Even better, my friend shared with me their new mantra: One Weasel at a Time. Apparently that had been how they’d dealt with the nasty mental varmints on that Bad Day; taking them on one by one, bringing the practices they’d developed to bear on each and eliminating them one by one. In my brain, the metaphor changed from a “Great Wall” kind of movie, with monsters battling soldiers, and more into a “John Wick” style, with my friend pulling Gun-Fu on many Weasels (wearing suits).
That mantra is a good one – I don’t think they’d mind if you shared it with them. Because life has its Bad Days full of Brain Weasels, but we can handle them – one weasel at a time.