Obsessions — gotta love them!
I’ve gotten sidetracked so often by these little power vacuums, it’s not even funny anymore. Loosening the grip of my obsessions is becoming my new obsession…. see how that works?
Seriously though, the differences among enthusiasms, collections, hobbies, passions, addictions and obsessions are sometimes only degrees. Does it cause harm? Is it gobbling up time better spent on “more important” activities? Is it too expensive? Illegal? High caloric? Dangerous? And who gets to decide these things?
I have been experimenting with the idea that switching the objects of my obsessing will weaken the strength of the emotional bond. It seems to be working to at least some degree. Becoming conscious of over-the-top desires and subsequent behavior (as opposed to merely temporarily suppressing the behavior) is a powerful act. It allows me to separate myself a little bit from acting; to simply observe the internal process and note the feelings that lead to such strong desire.
Often, for me, it’s a sense of scarcity and fear of not getting my needs met. A simple talk with myself (“there will be more pasta in the world tomorrow”; “that’s not the last Coach bag ever to be offered on E-bay,” etc.) bears results. The anxiety engendered by the belief that I’ll miss out on something essential to my well-being lessens, and I can choose whether to act — and to what degree. Bid on the red bag, but not the seven black or brown ones. Eat two extra bites of pasta, not another whole bowlful. Take advantage of the sale on bulk food and buy an extra pound of beans and some nuts, but not a whole grocery cart’s worth.
Reason and moderate actually feel pretty good — I could wind up pursuing them obsessively, fact.