Stinkin’ Thinkin’.

Posted: February 2, 2014 in Sometimes...
Tags: ,

Sounds dopey, right? “Stinkin’ Thinkin'”? Sounds like something a new-aged eight year old would say.

But it sticks in your head. And that phrase, and it’s stickiness are responsible for allowing me to change EVERYTHING about my life!

When my Z-Wife and I finally divorced, it wasn’t a 100% amicable thing. We both still had tons of hurt and anger and, quite frankly, neither o us were even remotely complete human beings. Way too much shitty stuff had either happened to us, or been perpetuated BY us for any sort “inner peace” business. (I dislike greatly using pop-culture terminology to describe life-changing events. Bu yo, sometimes, they be the bestest word for the occasion!). Both of us have found better, separate paths that have ultimately led us to the reality of one another. She’s my best friend. Divorce was the best thing that ever happened to our marriage and it was this unlikely event that set us on our respective journeys to ourselves. Here’s a but about mine;

Anyway- I wound up having to go to a therapist. And I did NOT want to. I was fine, rest of the world is fucked up, yadda yadda. And I went in with a bit of a chip on the old shoulder. But see, what I wasn’t expecting was this- she was WAY smarter than me, and, albeit in the most pleasant and kind way- she took ZERO shit and called me on EVERYTHING. However, her most constructive contribution to me fixing myself was that silly-assed term: STINKIN’ THINKIN’

And it was ME fixed ME. She just read the instructions to me- same for everyone, gotta do it YOURSELF! If you go into it thinking somebody else is gonna do the fixing, you’re fucked from jump street. But I digress…

Here’s how the term is applied- Say you’re driving down the street and somebdy cuts you off. Normal reaction (mine, anyway) “That motherfucking fat fucker! He didn’t even look! Trying to kill me! Bet he drinks! Bet he lies to trip old women carrying their grceries! Ten bucks says his mother hated him….” You get the drift.

Here’s the thing- what if I apply all that to the scenario, only I didn’t even SEE the driver, so even my assumption that they were a guy is based ONLY on speculation. So…where does that leave the entire pile of assumptions I based on THAT one? STINKIN’ THINKIN’! My therapist told me to repeat that word whenever a situation arose that I compounded my anger with assumption.  And because it disguises itself as such a moronic term- you almost CAN’T forget it! It pops up whenever you start working yourself up just by nature of it’s absurdity, then it triggers you to THINK about what you’re doing- eventually CHANGING the way you think!

Now, I was used to Freudian therapists who had never made any progress with me. “Tell me about your muzzer” didn’t help me, because my mom was kind of awesome, plus, MY problems, not HERS were the issue! This new therapist was a cognitive psychologist. Change how you think NOW- not WHY you think that way. Not that past issues aren’t something to be dealt with, but if you think like an asshole, you won’t ever be able to deal with them properly anyhow, so… learn how to think CORRECTLY first! A simple “Free your mind and your ass will follow” process. It was an amazingly different approach and although I’d STUDIED cognitive psych in college, I never actually saw it applied in a practical situation. Now, suddenly, it all began to make sense. It eventually resulted in the archetypal “AH HA!” moment.

So- once I realized nobody was telling me I was sick, once it was established that the ultimate goal was that I STOP needing to come, not that I need to visit her in perpetuity, I felt at ease and safe enough to dive in. An it worked. Not in a few months, or a few years- within days. Within days the “Stinkin’ Thinkin'” phrase popped into my head whenever I assigned attributes to a situation I had no evidence of.  Anger, I learned, was a natural and real emotion. All the shit after it, I made up.  BOOM! That’s the “AH HA” right there.

So- I steadily became a much, much less angry person. Something I never even WANTED to do- I always thought anger was bitchin’ and these peaceniks were idiots. But again- that was Stinkin’ Thinkin’ based on a paradigm I’d set based on one or two people who rubbed me the wrong way, and used to generalize anyone who reminded me of them even a little, combined my own feelings that mean meant safe. Took me a while to separate mean and tough. Tough guys are at peace, and they can take whatever is hurled at the, mean guys ain’t, and tend to create their own misery. Well- THIS mean guy, anyway. I can’t speak for any other mean guys, I don’t know how or why about nuthin’ but me. I was beginning to realize how little of what I thought was real was simply imagined, and if it was imagined- any anger attached to it was imagined as well… I was changing from the inside out!

Think about that for a moment- freedom from the misery of anger. Freedom from useless shit like road rage, bar fights, family arguments that last years- all because instead of going “They think they are so much better then me, THAT is why they talk to me that way” or some such stuff, you instead say “That dude is angry.”.

A few years after my therapist sent me on my merry way, I finally committed to Buddhism, which I’d been dipping my toes into for years, but too afraid to dive into. While studying, wouldn’t you now it- there is an identical philosophy to “Only see what is there”. As a matter of fact, it was a large factor in taking the actual first step into re-defining my ideas of faith and salvation, happiness and right-living. By only seeing what is there, you remove fear of the unknown, without removing caution. Because the old adage “Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there” is reduced to “I don’t know if it’s there unless I see it”.  It’s friggin sweet, man.

Basically, what I have found to be true (because I’ve SEEN the results) is this : If you want to be truly free, truly at peace, truly fulfilled- then stop reading BETWEEN the lines. There’s nothing there except Stinkin’ Thinkin’.


  1. Rich Scott says:

    If-it-is-to-be … it-is-up-to-me. 10 most powerful 2 letters words you’ll ever put together

  2. Soundalike you are on your way to a higher level of self-actualization and certainly an incredibly higher level of contentment with life.

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