Habits

Thought I’d start off this post with the above cover of a modern song. It’s a lovely cover, isn’t it?

This is going to be a difficult post for me to write. Habits are things that we don’t think about that often, unless we’re looking to change them. And then, we have to really work to make those changes happen.

I’m not proud of some habits that I (still) keep. The Internet meandering, the fanfiction reading, the overanalyzing of situations I have little to no control over, the staying at home instead of going out… they’re not exactly lifting me to my highest self. Yes, they’re comfortable places to sit in, and nothing awful happens to me. But actually, the awful thing that happens to me is nothing. Nothing happens when I stick to these habits. And that’s something you don’t exactly want to realize when you’re working towards self-improvement.

So, what do I do from here? Do I punish and berate myself for wallowing in complacency and self-pity? Do I have that pity party, If so, for how long? Or do I take a deep breath, furrow my brow, and make my way through the trenches and will myself to come out on the other side a person with good habits?

All of the above sounds so, well, bad. It sounds like a lot of work. It feel like pulling out teeth or going into battle. I would rather not have to go through that discomfort.

… And now I can hear Pema Chodron talking about how we shouldn’t run away from discomfort. There’s a reason why we feel that way, because it’s trying to teach us something. She’s asked if we can soften and open ourselves up that icky feeling, and see whether we can look at the feeling and at ourselves with compassion instead of disdain.

I guess it’s not a matter of whether or not we should let go of certain habits or acquire new ones simply because it feels good or bad. We should do it because it will make us better. We already know what’s best for us if we’re willing to listen. And then we can take it one step at a time, showing forgiveness and kindness to ourselves along the way. Once we open ourselves up to that kind of love, good things will happen.