My Favorite (Inappropriate) Mantra
I went to boarding school. I have a bachelors’, a masters’ and a doctoral degree. I am well educated. At times, I can even be articulate. That said, however, I find that some thoughts are best expressed bluntly.
Over the years, I have found myself repeating the same ‘mantra’ to myself during times of stress. I say it at least once per day, usually in my car or under my breath. It calms my nerves every single time that I say it. And yet, I never share this little gem with other people. Why? Because I worry that it will make me look uncouth, angry or unsophisticated. But, even as I write this piece, I’m saying it over and over in my head.
My favorite mantra is: ‘fuck everyone.’
OK, so now you’re thinking:
- Wow, Lauren is still angry from that divorce 4 years ago (not the case… this mantra preceded my divorce)
- Lauren must be from Jersey (you are right on that one)
- Lauren cannot possibly be a clinical psychologist (and yet I am)
Let me explain why I love this mantra. Left to my own devices, I tend to worry about what other people think of me. Even as I am writing this very piece, I am thinking ‘oh boy, my mom is not going to like this blog, I am going to alienate everyone that does yoga, and my colleagues are going to think that I’m insane.’ If I validate these anxieties, I become paralyzed, or worse, I sanitize myself.
When I utter ‘fuck everyone’ to myself it reminds me that:
- I need to focus on making myself happy
- Not everyone likes me and I don’t like everyone
- I need to be myself and trust my instincts
- When I’ve censored myself in the past, it made me depressed
I’m not arguing that this mantra is for everyone. I’m only sharing it because it works for me. Personally, I think you should come up with your own highly inappropriate mantra.
Lauren Napolitano, Psy.D.