Destructive Ways To Happiness. ~ Tracy Crossley

Via elephant journal
on Feb 28, 2012
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I am lying on the table having an amazing massage.

(Photo: Tracey Crossley)

As I lay there becoming more relaxed by the second, I feel a familiar pain in the right side of my chest. More like a tug of loss. What is it?

I go into the old-as-my-Mother’s-Tupperware feeling for a moment. I am resolute. I no longer want to carry this timeworn wound. It has messed with me for years.

The ridiculous pain of what is missing or what isn’t right in my life has created a permanent lesion. I will volunteer this about the wound: it ain’t as bad as it used to be. These now lukewarm sensations, used to rip me into a million pieces.

I call it the yeah, but feeling. As in, my life is great, yeah, but the guy I love hasn’t committed, has foot fungus or is taking a year long sabbatical in Nepal.

Of course, the needle prick of past pain gets triggered from thoughts I choose. Those thoughts are usually based on some or several current situations, which surprise, almost always fall under the topics of love or prosperity. What started as a wonderful massage and I have figured out a way to sabotage my inner peace. All the while I’m floating semi-serenely along to the sounds of the ocean in the background.

Autopilot is great for knowing how to use a fork and a knife, or to button your shirt. Autopilot in everyday life means I am orbiting the planet and am emotionally checked out of the moment. An obvious oldie but goodie, my favorite autopilot action is pressing the rewind button and stopping the reel to play the same ol’ situation.

I especially love it when I think, my whole life is great, but let’s see if I can look at what is out of whack. Thereby giving myself permission to focus on the negative, which grows into a mushroom cloud. Awareness is half the solution. Choice and action are the rest of the answer.

I am in a place of choice.

I regularly catch these soul-sucker thoughts before they hit the zone which colors my mood and how I feel about myself. The zone called my life. My current understanding is that I used to find comfort in this yeah, but torment. I used to see it as a challenge, as something that I must rise to like a ghost on Halloween, to suffer and punish myself. WTF was I on?

Old beliefs and cruddy, cloudy crap to ensured that I always ended up feeling like shit because some part of my life was a yeah, but. In other words, it is how I reject my life or myself when I am feeling groovy. Why do we do that? Why do we have to attach a problem to an old pang o’ pain?

Let me see if I can f—k up this relationship, not trust a friend, believe the golden opportunity in front of me is full of rust, or any other mind-fuck which takes me out of heaven and drops me to the floor of my own hell?

The yeah,buts appear when I am with a group of people wishing that someone special could be by my side. I am having a rockin’ good time, except for the fact that my boyfriend Luke Skywalker is on his first mission to Mars. Nothing like raining on my own parade.

The yeah,buts pretty much turn up whenever something good is happening for me, as though it is not good enough. Screw the yeah, buts.

So, I stop. I let the older than dinosaur’s pain be, and decide I am not going to let the thought add fuel to the fire. I ask myself, do I believe my life sucks ass. No I don’t, that is the answer. So, this pain is not really a current issue? Hell no!

Then I can think a different thought, one of possibility.

The familiar pattern of thought which leads to doom and gloom, has been moving on down the road and out of my own tornado alley in large and small bursts over several years. I read for many moons, and understood intellectually, the tenets of Buddhism and other philosophies, about the ability to choose a different thought. I absorbed the ease of it when I was in the grips of having to have my way, of letting go.

Even though I could do it, the pain underneath always seethed in the past. Thankfully, the yeah buts don’t steal my peace all the time. Bit by bit, piece by peace, I have become more sane.

Instead of the anxiety sledgehammer or some other mind-numbing, depressing over the top beacon of pain shining on me, change has cometh! It has been quite a long time since I kicked my ass daily, weekly, or in any timely manner. Even though the yeah buts are a dull roar, they are the uninvited obnoxious party guest who shows up as an unpleasant surprise with their presence.

In my wonderfully haphazard practice of non-attachment, which is shaken with a little belief and stirred with the faith that all is right in this moment, I find the trust I developed holding hands with the Universe to cover my ass, pretty cool.

I look forward to those moments of yeah buts because they make me pause. I take a step into the moment, embracing it fully. I take a clear assessment of my activities, and choose to see all that is positive right now.

It makes that wound more of a fleabite, which itches. Then I scratch it, and then it bleeds becoming a wound once again. Just a little smaller this time.


Editor: Jennifer Cusano

Tracy Crossley is a hyphenate: female, writer, curiosity quencher, artist, poet, gardener of real gardens and existential ones, clairvoyant, momma to grown ups, life coach and real, imperfect chick. Loves life, even days when she doesn’t like it and appreciate, appreciation for everything. Website: and Blog:


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5 Responses to “Destructive Ways To Happiness. ~ Tracy Crossley”

  1. Eric says:

    Great post!! I think Fred Flintstone said it best when he said: "Yeah–but, yeah–but, DO!!!!" (groan 🙂
    "If we believe we are who we THINK we are, we believe the limits of our thinking–it distorts who we are."
    ~Elihu Genmyo Smith
    Thanks Tracy.

  2. Tracy says:

    I find that very funny! Do you know that catchphrase from good ol' Fred kept going through my mind as I wrote this piece? He was the King of getting in his own way! And I agree our thinking is what limits us, the perception of who we are rather than what we are …we make the possible, impossible or when we let go and stop the "yeah, buts" we are unlimited. It's a moment to moment opportunity. Thank you for commenting Elihu!

  3. Eric says:

    yeah, but–I'm Eric. Elihu is a zen priest, I just borrowed his quote because it seemed apropos 🙂
    I used to say, "I'm double jointed because I kick my own ass regularly." so we both have that unique talent, but I want to remain open and welcome those 'moment to moment opportunities'.

  4. Tracy says:

    Hi Eric~ You are very kind, thank you (and I am laughing my ass off lest I ever take myself too seriously!) I have learned two new things–a new quote and the name of a Zen priest. And I love the double-jointedness…I will say, I experience a lot more joy even when I find myself in the midst of being "double-jointed"…be well.

  5. Genny Eberline says:

    Bolt cutters,,,that was a good one, well done.