I had a conversation running through my head today while driving. I was reminiscing
about an argument I had with a former colleague. He was telling me that my health
insurance company isn’t responsible for covering a medical procedure. He felt like people had entitlement issues when it came to health insurance and that the insurance
companies were not responsible for paying for hospital stays, etc. My point was that I’m paying for health insurance. It’s part of my salary package. I rarely use it; but when I need it, I want the services that they are supposed to provide.
But that’s all besides the point. The point is, I was replaying this conversation in my head, complete with rising blood pressure, clenched fists and teeth, tension in shoulders and racing heart beat. And the original conversation happened over whether or not my health insurance should cover an overnight stay in the hospital when my oldest daughter was born - the one who will turn 16 in August.
So I’m all angst-ridden over a 16 year-old conversation. This person, who undoubtedly went on to piss off a myriad of others, has no idea that he is renting space in my head - for free. And 16 years later, I am still feeling the physical effects of that conversation. Replaying that negative conversation over and over in my head isn’t doing me one bit of good.
Catherine Pratt of Life with Confidence calls those raging conversations. And ain’t that the
truth? I was raging while I was having the conversation. In my car. By myself.
Pratt stated that these conversations are a waste of energy. When we are replaying
these conversations, we are not paying attention to what’s going on in the real world around us. That’s the exact opposite of what I’m trying to create with my mindfulness practice. She also states that when we are having these raging conversations, other events, that
would normally go unnoticed, like someone cutting us off in traffic, can cause
an irate reaction.
So the other day, when the negative memory surfaced and I found myself hitting the old playback button for the third time, I stopped and reminded myself that this happened a long time ago. I centered myself by focusing on my breath and told myself that was one
person’s opinion and it doesn’t matter to who I am right now. After a few calming breaths, I turned up the music and I took myself to that happy place in my mind; the one where negative people and health insurance arguments don’t exist.