Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thermostat or Thermometer?

A thermostat sets the temperature.

A thermometer takes the temperature.

I remember once hearing the saying that when you enter a room you should be a thermostat, not a thermometer.

It made sense at the time.

Last week I realized..... I AM A THERMOMETER.

Ack!

Well, that can't be good.

I have been working hard to rise up out of anxiety and despair, and last week I felt like I was winning.

I woke up one morning in a really, REALLY, good mood.

Those around me?

Not so much.

I felt my mood slipping, being caught up in the upset of another.

But I stopped myself.

I AM A THERMOSTAT - I kept repeating over and over to myself.

It may not be the mantra that Buddha was professing, but hey,

it works for me.

And today?

Today despite the temperature outside being hot and the humidity being high, I am in a good place.

Thermostat: 1 Thermometer: 0

14 comments:

  1. You go girl... Be the blue sky as the clouds drift over and pass...

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  2. I am happy that you are getting to be in a good place :-)

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    Replies
    1. me too, thanks to the support of good people like yourself.

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  3. I like that. Don't let the temperature of the others in the room dictate your temperature.

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    1. yes, it is a good one. I wish I could remember where and when I heard it first.

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  4. Glad you're having a good day.

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  5. Both have their advantages, I guess. A thermostat can set things on their own term. A thermometer is bound to work more flawlessly with others.

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    1. yes being a thermometer may help me work with others but at what cost to my own health, that is the quandry.

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    2. both have their disavantadges too. A thermometer can be damaged, putting others' needs first. A thermostat can loose their social safety net, working at their own pace.

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  6. I had never heard that metaphor before but it is an easy one to remember.
    You cannot control the behaviour of others, but you can control the way you respond and control your own behaviour. I suppose it is the same sort of thing.
    If we dwell on the things we cannot control, of course we will feel like the effort is hopeless and useless etc. These are not helpful feelings.
    But we can learn to control our own behaviour and headspace. When we can do that, it reinforces the belief that we can influence our lives and make a difference with our own efforts. That brings hope and a sense of confidence.
    We can't always change things around us, but we can change things within ourselves.
    I saw an interview with Kurt Furnley the other day (paralympian) and he is all about the strength of the mind - it should not be underestimated. It makes a big difference.
    Good luck with your quest to be more of a thermostat than a thermometer. Perhaps setting some emotional boundaries might help there too - deciding what you will allow to affect you and what you need to dismiss, not taking on board the unnecessary.
    I call it the NMP filter: is this really MY problem? No? NMP - Not My Problem. Sure, I can be sympathetic but it isn't up to me to solve or invest too much energy into it otherwise it could be detrimental to my own needs.
    I hope this made sense and is helpful.
    Termostat v. Thermometer - much easier! :-)

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    1. yes, it is helpful if I can figure out how to successfully set those emotional boundaries...I will try to use the NMP filter ;)

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  7. I have not been visiting lately but I am sorry to read about the bad spot you were in. Hope things are going better for you. I work very hard to not be influenced by negativity that other people sometimes exhibit, but it is so hard especially when that person is someone you really care about. I would love to be the thermostat, but when I am being less than stellar I wouldn't want others to be influenced by that. We are social animals and as such other people are going to affect us, for better or worse.

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    Replies
    1. yes it is true about the social animal part - and the better part is wonderful! The worse part is a good place to start to learn more about myself and my reaction to others' moods.

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