The Forces of Habit, Part 4

The thread of these most recent blogs began a little over a week ago with ‘Our History with Change’. As you realize, it wasn’t so much a complete history as it was a description of our initial experiences and an overview of its impact. Change is a constant element in reality. Even what we understand that word ‘reality’ to mean, changes. For numerous reasons, our underlying gut reaction to change changed. We became wary. We became fearful. Change was no longer welcomed and embraced. Change was threatening and to be avoided. To be sure, stuff in life still changed. But we fought it, complained about it, covered our eyes towards it and only begrudgingly accepted it when it was forced upon us.

The truth is: Reality involves change and we are emotionally fighting reality all the time.

It is no wonder that most of us are frustrated and exhausted.

When I realized this in myself and for myself, it felt like a light bulb moment. Not so much an exuberant “Eureka!”. More like an “Oh” that morphed into two other types of “Ohs” which ended in a trailing off “huuummmmmm”.

I wasn’t thinking this through. I was feeling it ripple.

There’s a cliché we’ve all used when something has finally occurred to us: “It just dawned on me…”. Light has come to where, up to then, there had been only darkness. These are awakening moments. These are when our eyes start to peek open and begin to catch a glimpse of the bigness that surrounds us.

I want to tell you that the bigness isn’t here to eat us. The bigness wants for us to come out and play…to wake up to wonder…to wake up to the unpredictable, the inexplicable and the fascinating.

I began by making friends with change. Sounds simple. Here’s what happened:

I started small. I moved my watch from my left wrist to my right for no other reason than to feel how I felt about that change. No big deal, right? Well, I have to tell you that after about an hour, my watch became a huge distraction. My mind wouldn’t stop picking at it. My right hand felt heavier. I swore I felt sweat and irritation under the band. (There was no evidence of that every time I checked, yet it kept coming to my mind.) It banged into stuff…the desk…the coffee cup…the keyboard. At one point, the watch (my body/my mind) actually gave me the sensation of being hot and I seriously considered that it was malfunctioning and that I needed to take it off before I got burned. I was manufacturing false adverse physical symptoms as a reaction to one simple change. My mind was throwing  a temper tantrum! “Just put that back where it belongs and be done with this silliness.” I was scolding myself.

I gave in. I moved the watch back. Quite rapidly, almost immediately, everything felt better and settled down.

That’s my first awake experience with the forces of habit. I witnessed and felt the experience from start to finish. I was amazed, somewhat bewildered but thoroughly intrigued. I wrote down my experience with the best words I had at the time as if I were conducting my own experiment with myself. Which I was. Which is, of course, perfectly OK to do. Which I didn’t know then but have come to smile about now.

After I wrote down my notes, I moved my watch again. I was on my journey to making friends with change.

 

 

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