Briseis is right, the moment we tell ourselves to stop obsessing about something, we will obsess about it more. It's so unfair, but so true. Think about it. If you tell a group of people not to look at the elephant in the room, the first thing everyone is going to do is want to look at the elephant in the room, right?
The main reason we obsess is UNCERTAINTY. We hate UNCERTAINTY. When something in our life is unclear or uncertain, we will obsess about it until we think we can create some kind of certainty.
The first thing to understand here is that nothing in life is certain. Until we accept this, we will never stop obsessing. What's the old saying, the only thing in life that is certain is death and taxes. So sad, but also true if you think about it.
We cannot control things that happen to us in life. However, we CAN control how we respond to life. I believe this is the biggest predictor of our success. Happiness or success in life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we respond to it. THIS is where we have the ability to control our destiny.
However, to think there are things in life we can control that we cannot, will only lead us to bang our head against the wall and obsess until we go crazy. Trust me, I've been there. I did lose my sanity at one point in my life trying to force CERTAINTY where there could be none.
My therapist always told me that I need to "Learn to live in the gray" and this has helped me tremendously. Life is messy. We have to stop thinking in extremes - black or white thinking is not healthy. Things don't have to be all good or all bad. They can be somewhere in the middle and to be honest, that's really what we should expect. We should never expect perfection. Life is a journey, an adventure and like I said, it's messy. It's not meant to be perfect or easy. Thinking it should be is not realistic and will only lead to disappointment.
In life, we need to accept that there are things we can control and things we cannot. The only person we can control is ourselves, which is wherein lies our ability to succeed. It's how we RESPOND to life that MATTERS as long as we understand what we can and cannot control. Think the Serenity Prayer!
In addition to accepting this fundamental truth about life, I believe there are three ways to help reduce our obsessing. The first is to "Get it Out" and process our feelings about it. We need to make sense of the trauma we experienced. Until we do, we will continue to obsess. "Getting it Out" is the soul purpose of the First Step. I truly believe we must give structure and form to the trauma we experienced. That is why we are here.
The second remedy is to "Understand It" which is another reason we are here. Knowledge is Power.
The third remedy is to "Accept It." You mentioned wondering if he's happy with the new woman. Until you accept that he has moved on and do not care whether he is happy or not, you will obsess about him. The best remedy for this is to get to a point where you do not care if he's happy or not. It takes time to get to that point, but I assure you that you will. In time, you will be so grateful that you are no longer in a relationship with him subjecting yourself to abuse. You will actually feel sorry for the new woman.
Trust me, as we've discussed before, he is not happier. They are never truly happy. They don't know how to experience that emotion and will continue to obtain and discard new sources of supply througout their lives, but never fill the void they feel inside themselves.
The good news is that we CAN feel. We can experience love and joy. As we move through the Six Steps, we will find this for ourselves. Be patient with yourself and know that this serenity will come to you in time and that we are here for you. xoxo