Do you have a happy place that you go to? You know, like when things get really rough and you need a mental escape. Is there a place that you can go to either figuratively in your mind (or literally, for that matter) where you just feel better. Instantly?
My mind doesn't really work that way but I ran into someone today who will literally go to her happy place when she is in the midst of chaos. She closes her eyes...breathes deeply...thinks of her "happy place"..and GOES THERE. In her mind. Takes a little mini-vacation. She claims that she can't hear anything that is happening in the outside world when she is in this place. Everything is completely shut out. She is THERE totally and completely, at least in her mind. She never actually told me what she is imagining but as she was talking about her happy place her whole demeanor changed--she was calm, peaceful. So it must be a pretty great place.
Now, this is a coping mechanism that she has had since childhood, which frankly sounded hellish. Abuse, neglect in different forms, awful stuff. She has used her happy place to escape any horror that was going on around her.
On the one hand I am envious of her ability to shut down and check out at will. I have always been jealous of people who could meditate for hours on end. I can't even be in my house without the TV on or music going. Silence is hard for me. Really hard. I think most people are probably like me, though. Silence is not my happy place.
On the other hand this strikes me as a really sad statement on this woman's life. She has had to create a place for herself that is imaginary. The only place that she has known, at some points in her life, that has given her solace has been a place that doesn't actually exist. That makes me so incredibly sad for her. She is not looking for people to feel sorry for her, though. She really loves that she has the ability to calm her mind in a healthy way...whenever...wherever.
We all have our own way of coping, and this is hers. I just think it's amazing. I tend to be the more external coping person--like I will cry or eat french fries or call my best friend if I need to check out. This woman is the complete opposite--she goes completely internal. Isn't that fascinating? I think so.
It makes me think that the mind is a vast and mysterious place. I am convinced that my mind, on the other hand, is just filled with gray matter and goo. But that's a whole other story. But still, I am amazed at the mind's ability to act as a filter.
By the way, since I am unable to use my mind to get to my happy place I choose to use my car instead: The movies. That has been, and is still, the place that I escape to when I need a little "happy".
Where is your happy place?