Thursday, both my Skype account and my brain were hijacked. The day started out calmly as I went through my routine in preparation for a flight to Florida. Yet the moment I gave my brain a break, the hijacking started.
As I drove to the airport, I reran the final scene of a television program I had watched the night before. It was the cliff-hanging season finale. One of the main characters was about to die, maybe. Yet the picture of a crazy person holding a knife to the character’s pregnant belly haunted me that morning.
Then the news played on the radio. The reporter described in detail the brutality the Taliban had been inflicting on women in Pakistan, among other atrocities. They predicted an upcoming war that eventually, could engage the entire free world.
As I turned the car off, a strange anxiety flooded my body. I began worrying that there would be trouble on my flight or something terrible would happen on my trip. I never fear traveling even when I am off to Africa or Russia. This was odd for me. The feelings had to be premonitions.
From that point on, the day was full of mishaps. I left my reading glasses and special back pillow on the plane during the first leg of my journey. This confirmed that the day would be lousy.
While waiting for the next flight, I found that someone had hijacked my Skype account and had used up $40 worth of phone calls to Nigeria and Egypt. The calls were being made while I sat there. Since there is no Skype person to contact (only emails that reply with form responses), there wasn’t anything I could do to stop them. So I frantically raced to shut down the auto renewal function and possibly my account. Again, the day’s events confirmed my fears.
As I sat on the next plane, I started picturing what else could go wrong. My brain spiraled out of control. At that point, I figured all my online accounts were going to be stolen. Someone was going to break into my house. My cat would run away. My health would fail…
Do you ever do this? I took out my computer and started writing. That is the best way I know how to refocus both my emotions and my thoughts. Yet the anxiety kept creeping back in.
When I finally got to my destination, I checked my email on my phone while waiting for my bags. A message came in from a friend announcing that Mercury went retrograde. I sighed in relief. Of course! It wasn’t me. It was the planets. I was now free to enjoy dinner with friends. The following day, a white sand beach and a fabulous dolphin sighting secured my mental freedom.
So who is in control of my brain? The television shows, the news reporters, the email scammers, or Mercury?
Today, as I am flying back home, I am choosing to listen to beautiful music. No television, no news, no email threats of viruses and planet positions. Yes, I live in this world so I need to know what is going on. However, I need to be conscious enough to rise above the chaos to stay in control of my brain.
They want my brain. I know it. There is value in hijacking my thoughts. Yet they can’t have my heart. We will fight wars, people on TV shows will live and die, there will be viruses floating around the world, people will scam me out of my money, and mercury will continue going retrograde.
Yet there will be strangers who find and return my lost items, dolphins who play to my delight, white sand to dig my toes into, friends to greet me when I return home and a cat who lies on my suitcase to remind me that taking a moment to play is more important than unpacking and getting back to work.
The love in my heart is my secret weapon to keep my brain from getting hijacked. What’s yours?