Hello class, I’m Sherpa Anxiety. Welcome to Negative Meditation class. Now, I know you didn’t sign up for this class; rather, your mind mandatorily placed you in it like a family member dropping one off at rehab, but let’s get started anyway.
First, let’s make sure you’re in the right location. It’s 4 a.m., so you should have just gotten in bed for a fitful 3 hours of sleep. Now, we also want to get into the right mindset before we begin. Assuming you’ve just spent the last eight hours staring at your phone, keeping informed about the latest horrors of existence while a movie you’ve already seen four times plays in the background, your mind should be racing at full speed as your body attempts to rest. Are you feeling the afternoon’s third iced coffee accelerate your brain while your legs lay limp? Perfect.
Let’s get into our poses now, class. Begin by laying flat on your back in the bed, then roll into the fetal position, shielding yourself from the terror that is consciousness.
Alright, let’s begin. Close your eyes and focus closely on your thoughts. Think of someone you love, perhaps. Someone you truly cherish. Now think; do they love you back? Why would they? Will you ever be enough? Will anyone love you? Probably not. Your friends, your family, they’re probably just pretending to care about you because they’re supposed to, right? Or maybe because they feel bad for you; that would make sense. Wait! That has to be it. You’re a burden on them. You have no value! You’re merely mooching off the goodness of those around you, emotionally weighing them down like an anchor, preventing them from realizing their own happiness.
Okay, great first step. Now take a short, panicky breath. Three quick puffs and a shiver. Now a sigh and a yawn. Excellent. Shall we continue?
This next one is an exercise in memory. Think back to your childhood, when the world seemed safe and fair. Now remember that one time you lied to your mother? You told her you had finished your dinner, but truly you had just snuck it into the trash behind her back. She believed you, and you were able to eat dessert. But that guilt remained, and it should. You are a bad person. You’ve always been a bad person. You are dishonest and untrustworthy. This is why your relationship with your mother is strained to this day; you can’t bear to look that sweet woman in the eye after the way you’ve deceived her. She is an angel, and you took advantage of her good nature. It’s what you always do; it’s how you’ve always been. This isn’t undue anxiety keeping you awake at night; it’s an honest assessment of who you are. You do not deserve this night’s sleep, you must stay awake and think about those you have harmed.
Okay, do everyone’s eyes feel glazed over? Perfect, soon you’ll be able to keep them open 24/7 with no effort! This last one’s a little tricky, but try to work with me. Think about the vastness of the universe and all its contents. So vast; endless. Nearly eight billion people. How crazy is it that not a single one of them understands you. No one knows what it’s like to be you; no one will ever truly know you. Emotional intimacy is a myth and aloneness is the only thing you’ll ever truly know!
Alright, look at the time, 7 a.m. already! Great job class, you’ve all done an excellent job today; I’m very proud of you. Some of you may be feeling tired after spending the meager allotment of sleep time in my class, but don’t worry about that. Just grab a triple shot espresso for the day and you should be absolutely fine. Shouldn’t keep your mind racing at all. See you back here tonight for our special “why did I say that?” session.