It’s been months since I’ve seen my watch. I last remembered having it at the health club, taking it off and putting it in a locker while I exercised. When I couldn’t find it after a day or two, I assumed that it would turn up; I probably took it off to wash dishes or do something else around the house and set it down somewhere where I typically don’t put it. When it didn’t turn up after a few more days, I asked at the front desk at the gym, and they reported that no one had turned in a watch. “Well, it’s gone,” I assumed.
It was a gift from my wife one Christmas. Truth be told, while it wasn’t inexpensive, it also wasn’t “break the bank” expensive. We’re not talking about a Rolex or Tag Heuer; however, as it came from my wife, it had sentimental value to me. I sheepishly informed her that I had lost it–that, in all likelihood, I had left it in the locker room and someone pocketed it.
Each time I subsequently entered the locker room, I quietly wondered if the man who stole my watch was in there with me. While I wasn’t exactly scanning men’s wrists to see if the thief had the audacity to wear my watch to the scene of the crime, I couldn’t help but hold my fellow male gym-goers in some degree of disdain.
Until today, when I found my watch in a seldom-used compartment in my gym bag–the gym bag that I thought I had previously thoroughly searched. No one stole my watch; my dumb ass had been toting it back and forth to the gym this entire time. Gentlemen of the Cameron Wellness Center: please forgive my silent accusal of you all.
Strange how we assume something, and that inevitably becomes “what happened.” I had initially thought, “I misplaced it,” then came to think “Someone probably took it,” before being certain that “Someone stole my watch.” When in counseling sessions I hear people say, “I know that’s what happened,” or “I know that’s what he thinks,” I’m quick to point out that just because you think something doesn’t necessarily make it true. Thoughts are not facts. I, however, seemed to have forgotten that bit of psychological truism with respect to my missing watch–just because I thought someone stole it doesn’t make it true.
Whenever I hear people say, “That’s my truth,” I inevitably think, A) what a narcissistic thing to say and B) just because you think that something is true doesn’t necessarily make it true. Okay, I also tend to think C), “Hey, Millennial: something is either objectively true or it isn’t,” but I digress…
Question your thoughts! Why am I thinking what I’m thinking? Where is the evidence that what I’m thinking is true? How is it helpful to think that way? How does it logically follow that because I want something that I must have it?
Don’t confuse theories for reality. Certainty about opinions can lead to rigidity and can hamper growth. Flexible thinking is generally healthier thinking; it is more scientific thinking.
Just because you believe you can’t do something doesn’t mean that you can’t.
Just because you believe he did that doesn’t mean that he did.
Just because you believe that you’re right doesn’t mean that you are.
I believed my watch was stolen, but it didn’t mean that it was.