The centipede was clearly mocking me.
It sat there, perched on top of the plug that was inverted over the drain in the kitchen sink. It was just sitting there all leggy. And entitled. Looking like a couple of false eyelashes twitching in anticipation for me to make the next move in our little stand-off.
Seeing those thousands of grimy feet right there where I do dishes and prepare food made me want to sell my house and start over. Still considering it.
A friend tries to comfort me by telling me that centipedes are naturally shy creatures. Like I care. Hibernate like the rest of us introverts. He also says that they help out by eating other bugs. They are the only bugs I can see in my house so unless they eat themselves, again, I don’t care.
I have a perfectly good system to keep them in the damp basement where they belong and it involves keeping all the plugs in all the drains in the whole house. Might seem crazy to some but works extremely well until I forget to put a plug in or if I leave one inverted with the slots open for easy escapes.
But when I forget to plug, I pay. Then I get mocked.
Pretty twisted, huh?
Funny thing is that it may not even be one of my most distorted thoughts.
- I pretty commonly catastrophize daily situations.
- See things as black and white.
- Blame others to avoid taking responsibility.
- Use the words ‘should’ and ‘must’ much too often.
- And I can throw mid-life tantrums with the idea that life is supposed to go the way I want it to.
Yet time to challenge the rapid-firing cognitive distortions is time I just don’t seem to have.
It is possible to challenge them. Not easy but possible.
It means harnessing the ‘power of the pause’.
- Intentionally stop
- Practice mindful breathing
- Notice when thoughts have become pretzel-like
- Consider how the thought may not be so beneficial when it’s so twisted
So, after a short pause, maybe, just maybe, the centipede wasn’t actually mocking me.
And maybe I won’t need to move after all.
Just a thought.