How many times have you heard yourself say, “I know I shouldn’t be doing this, but . . .” followed with an excuse for the bad choice you are about to make? Everybody has done this, but those who are fooling themselves keep doing it instead of learning from it and moving forward.
We are creatures of habit. The big question is “are you a creature of good habits or bad habits?” If you are a creature of bad habits, maybe it’s time to look at how you have been fooling yourself by telling yourself things like, “it’s not so bad” or “I could be doing worse things.” What do you REALLY, REALLY want in your life? Are the choices you are making helping you reach your goals, or hindering you? Maybe you just don’t know. You are confused about everything these days, and without exploration, that can lead to worse habits.
I have always been a bookworm. As a child, I participated in every read-a-thon and reading contest offered at school. I enjoyed the challenge of moving up levels in the accelerated reader activities, and most of all I enjoyed going to new and different places in my head and learning new things-even if it was only solving the latest Nancy Drew mystery. Not much has changed today. Sometimes I read as fun escape. Others, I read to really learn, to challenge myself, and attempt to understand all that I am called to bring to this life. I have a few favorites that I am reading right now. While one is Valerie Bertinelli’s Enough Already-love her! I have two others on the table and in the lineup waiting to be called in-depending upon the day and my mood. The quote below is from one of these books.
“I need time for my confusion.” Confusion can be a cue that there’s new territory to be explored or a fresh puzzle to be solved. – Adam Grant, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know
Take a minute to think of one are area of your life in which you are confused or have been “fooling yourself”. Did you know that it truly is possible to be grateful and in pain at the same time? We have all heard that life can be “bittersweet”, or maybe you’ve also heard that life is “brutiful”. Do we let our confusion about these seemingly contradictory states lead us to creating some bad habits? The other book on my table is Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole– by Susan Cain. Below is a wonderful description of this book, and the bittersweet lessons that life brings.
…she (author Susan Cain) employs the same mix of research, storytelling, and memoir to explore why we experience sorrow and longing, and the surprising lessons these states of mind teach us about creativity, compassion, leadership, spirituality, mortality and love.
Bittersweetness is a tendency to states of longing, poignancy, and sorrow; an acute awareness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy at the beauty of the world. It recognizes that light and dark, birth and death—bitter and sweet—are forever paired.
If you’ve ever wondered why you like sad music . . .
If you find comfort or inspiration in a rainy day . . .
If you react intensely to music, art, nature, and beauty . . .
Then you probably identify with the bittersweet state of mind.
And this quote from Susan Cain’s book, is one of my favorites. “Whatever pain you can’t get rid of, make it your creative offering.”
What are your creative offerings are you holding on to? Do you have some creative habits right now or ones that you would like to develop? How can you turn pain in to power, in a bittersweet and brutiful combination of a life lived on Purpose?
- Put your fears aside and let your voice be heard. Sing, write, speak, or draw. Do what feels right for your journey. Journaling is an incredible way to write with ease and allow your voice to be heard in a safe place. This is powerfully good habit.
- Step outside of your comfort zone. Do new things and make new memories in any way that you can-more memories made= power.
- Practice Resilience. Change your perspective-why is this happening FOR me and not TO me? Owning your response, your reaction to life is your power.
- Create a positive environment. What and who are around you? Is it peaceful? It is your space. It is safe? This is power.
- Take time each day for self-care and reflection. Start with one minute a day. This is power.
If you aren’t happy with the way things are going in your life, it’s time to stop fooling yourself. Take an honest look at what you might be doing to create bad habits and begin to make the change. It’s time to create the life you want-No fooling!
-Tonya Hitschmann, Director of Community Programs