Archive for April, 2018

Sanity Hacks

April 28, 2018

Listen to Your Fixations

Actively listening to the words you tell yourself inside your head is called metacognition. It’s the first step in stilling your mind and figuring out who you really are. This can be very frightening and very painful, but it’s worth it.

It’s a lot more fun to think about other people’s problems than it is to think about our own. That’s why we do it all the time. But fixating on other people’s lives is a colossal waste of time and effort.

What’s going on inside our heads when we fixate on people? Usually, it’s one of these three things:

1) Jealousy
2) Something about their life or their behavior makes you feel insecure
3) They’re exhibiting some trait that you recognize in yourself and that makes you uncomfortable.

Listening to your fixations and looking inward for their causes can teach you more about yourself than you ever wanted to know. But it’s worth if you want to live your own life.

Don’t Expect Life to be Fair

We are complex social organisms and our intense preoccupation with fairness is an essential aspect of our biological makeup. This trait is even observable in other social organisms.

But life isn’t fair. And you can drive yourself crazy fixating on how everybody else deserves to be punished for not being as righteous as you are. But it’s a colossal waste of time and effort and it won’t get you anywhere.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t be held accountable for the things we do. We need to have rules and laws and courts and judges for society to function. And we need to be vigilant in our efforts to make these institutions function as fairly as humanly possible.

But don’t fritter away your precious time on Earth fixating on the great unfairness of it all. That will only make you miserable.

Live Your Own Life

When I hear myself thinking about what other people should or shouldn’t be doing, I try to quell my overactive mind by repeating this mantra:

Mind my own business. Live my own life.

This happens several times a day. Unfortunately, fixating on what other people are doing and assessing the rightness or wrongness of their behavior is a natural part of being human. But so are jealousy and hatred. That doesn’t mean they’re good for us.

We can’t prevent ourselves from wanting to regulate other people’s lives, but we can monitor our thinking and try to focus on our own behavior as much as possible.

Don’t Let Resentment Rule Your Life

Some clichés are really helpful and this bit of folk wisdom is invaluable:

Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Even if you have a legitimate gripe with the person you resent, your resentment is your own issue. Unless magic and voodoo dolls actually work, there’s no way your resentment is going to change the world. It’s just going to make your spirit ill.

Work to make the world a better place and spread as much love as you can. You can also go to yoga class and try to breathe your resentment away. It helps.

by Richard W. Bray

Cultivating Melodrama

April 27, 2018

Constant crisis
That’s what
Life is

My soul is overbooked
My brain is overworked
My synapses are frazzled
I’m about to go berserk

Numb to everything
But trauma
Cultivating melodrama

Every time I turn around
Something hits the fan
The universe collapsing
It’s more than I can stand

Buried in catastrophe
I spend my life
Avoiding me

by Richard W. Bray

You’re saying you’re a dumbass when you’re ragging on your mate

April 22, 2018

You’re saying you’re a dumbass
When you’re ragging on your mate
You’re the one who picked her
It’s not a cosmic twist of fate

You’re saying you’re a jackass
When you complain, complain, complain
You act like such a victim
Like your marriage was arranged

You’re saying you’re a loser
When you say she treats you wrong
Do you wanna live your life
In a sorry country song?

You’re saying that you’re helpless
Cuz she don’t love you any more
Like I should draw you a map
To help you find the door

By Richard W. Bray

Seven little words

April 17, 2018

Seven little words built the blade
Twisting like a steak knife
In my heart

I really like you for a friend
(I always knew this thing would end)

Seven little words that never fade
Echo like a foghorn
In my head

I really like you for a friend
(Now I have parties to attend)

Seven little words my hell made
Tearing like a buzzsaw
At my soul

I really like you for a friend
(It was amusing to pretend)

by Richard W. Bray

All up in my Kool-aid

April 14, 2018

Known you for five minutes
And you’re all about my bizness

You’re the type of guy
Who can never a hint
You say I looked your way
But ya know I really didn’t

All up in my Kool-aid
You won’t even let me breathe
I never showed an interest
Now you’re calling me a tease

You give a lot of orders
But you don’t respect my borders

Asking bout my family
Asking bout my kid
Every place I ever been
And everything I did

A girl has got a right
To be left alone
You’re six feet tall
So act like you’re grown

By Richard W. Bray

You won’t find your truth in me

April 8, 2018

Everyone wants to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant.
Cary Grant

You won’t find you truth
In me
You can’t live
My biography
You might admire
Celebrity
Too bad it’s
All illusory

Life is short
The world is cold
Try to love
Someone you know
I could never
Warm your soul
Or make you happy
When you’re old

I don’t say this
To be mean
I’m just a flicker
On a screen
Don’t live
Imaginary scenes
Go outside
The grass is green

by Richard W. Bray

selling loosies on the street is a capital crime

April 7, 2018

Trying to raise your kids
Living life and working hard
And you ain’t even safe
In your grandma’s backyard

The crooks in DC
Ain’t doing no time
But selling loosies on the street
Is a capital crime

They promise people hope
They promise people change
Politicians only care
About the stock exchange

The crooks in DC
Ain’t doing no time
But selling loosies on the street
Is a capital crime

Time to hit the streets
Time to make some noise
Cuz the people in charge
Don’t give us no other chioce

The crooks in DC
Ain’t doing no time
But selling loosies on the street
Is a capital crime

by Richard W. Bray

My biggest hurt was hurting you

April 5, 2018

My biggest hurt
Was hurting you
I’m dumber than
A worn out shoe
Ain’t nothing
I could ever do
To make up for your pain

I sit and cry
And fret and moan
Deserve to spend
My life alone
I miss your smile
And your cologne
I need another brain

Your memory
Is all I get
The sweetest girl
I ever met
And happiness
I can’t forget
I live my life in vain

by Richard W. Bray

We’re the Neoliberals

April 4, 2018

We’re the Neoliberals
Making sure the hawks will soar
We celebrate our soldiers
By starting lots of wars

We’re the Neoliberals
We’re shutting down the stores
Haven’t cared about the working man
Since 1984

We’re the Neoliberals
We love the One Percent
If you don’t like Austerity
Get out of our tent

We’re the Neoliberals
We’re modern day pagans
We idolize the dollar
And we worship Ronald Reagan

by Richard W. Bray