It’s just stuff. It’s just a job. It’s just words. It’s just a distraction.

This seems to be one of those weeks when I am being assured by others using the phrase “It’s just [fill in the blank]” followed by “Don’t be so invested. Don’t care so much. Just be. Let it go.” And, I found myself frustrated even as I thought, “Easier said than done.” Then I found myself wondering if being too invested is wrong. 

Is it a crime to care?

I’m a passionate person who often gets hooked in my emotions and the feelings of others. Whatever I do, I give it my all. And, that might be a problem. Often I look at others and perceive that they aren’t giving all they can. They just aren’t invested. Even as I write those words I feel judgment seeping from my pore impacting how I view the world. If I do not pull myself back, I go into full judgment mode. Stuck in the unrealistic parts of my socially constructed reality (SCR) that creates unhappiness.

An SCR is our perception of the world. 

It can be a tricky thing. While some of it is based on accurate perceptions, there is a lot based on our judgments, assumptions, and beliefs. Those skew our perception of what is really happening. If our skewed perception is unchecked, we are triggered and react. We react based upon our interpretation of facts instead of doing what Merton suggests — “looking at the factors behind the facts.”

Those factors behind the facts provide the real information. 

I might see someone who is habitually late for work and believe they have a poor work ethic. The truth may be somewhere in the gray. Because of finances they may need to take a bus and cannot control its timing. They may have family responsibilities or something else that has little to do with who they are and everything to do with external circumstances.

A response to “it’s just…”

When I bump up against someone who says, “it’s just [fill in the blank],” I recognize that my SCR is not in alignment with theirs. They do not view what I see with as much importance. Does that make my SCR more accurate than theirs? Or, is their SCR a more accurate world view? No to both. Those words, an insight into their SCR, provides me with opportunity to reflect and introspect on my SCR. I dig deep into its soil to discover the roots of my reactions. Those roots? My judgments, assumptions, and beliefs.

The movement from reaction to response.

So, instead of getting upset or anxious because I’ve failed to realize the importance or lack of importance of an event, I can look at the item, the relationship, or the situation and honestly figure out what I am hooked by. When I name the hook, I can decide for myself what is truly “just” or what deeper meaning it has in my life. 

What in your SCR catches you?

Let us know!


Who is Van?

In addition to being co-founder of Limen Place — a really cool, creative, contemplative community, she is an intuitive-coach-catalyst and a contemplative coach. She uses mindfulness practices and intuition tools to create strategies for navigating those scary places. 

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