On Being One … And Of The Power Of Habits

Some habits, such as working out, meditating, etc., are beneficial. Others, such as smoking, gambling, etc., are harmful. Regardless of whether they’re beneficial or harmful, recent studies indicate that our actions and thoughts are 40% habits.[1] In other words, almost half of what we do and think is simply something we repeat over and over again without really thinking about it. For example, no doubt most of you can remember a day, if not every day, when you drove to work but, once you arrived, you couldn’t remember driving there. While you were off in dreamland, your mind and body automatically took you to where you were going. That’s because you had driven the same route hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Your body and subconscious knew what to do. Repetitive patterns happen without us thinking about them because if we had to think about most of our behavior, our brain could not function. Of course, our body functions mostly on automatic. How many of us think about blinking, breathing, keeping our balance while walking, etc.? These are habits. Repetitive patterns also happen in relationships.

No doubt most of us enter into romantic partnerships because we feel the need to love and be loved.  We feel the need to be complete. When we feel loved by someone, our sense of self-worth and self-esteem are momentarily uplifted. We feel that we are worthy. If you are like most people, you have been questioning your self-worth since you were a child. For most of us, we felt entitled to the love of our parents. Yet, invariably, at some point in our childhood, there came a moment where that love was withheld. Usually when we most needed it. This moment shattered our sense of self-worth. We began to question whether we were worthy of being loved. This thought was reinforced through repetition when some of our peers picked on us in school. For boys, it may have been because we weren’t picked first, or not at all, for the football or hockey team, or were made to feel nerdy. For girls, it may have been because you didn’t get a Valentine’s Day card, or you were made to feel ugly. As we grew up, this thought was repeated through exposure to the media, whether it was advertisements making us feel less than worthy unless we drank a particular beer, drove a particular car, wore a particular pair of shoes or jeans, or used a particular cell phone, etc.. Like most people who have jobs, your sense of self-worth was also attacked at work. The germ of a thought that you were unworthy was repeated enough that it became a habit. Like any habit, it became subconscious.

This sense of being unworthy of being loved drives, consciously or unconsciously, some of our most self-destructive behaviors. Most of us, if not all of us, have entered into and stayed with partnerships that did not serve our highest good. Some of us may still be in such partnership. Some of us drink to excess or do drugs, legal or illegal, or both. Mostly to forget that we feel unworthy. Some of us literally fight for this sense of worthiness by joining gangs and committing criminal acts of violence. Some of us overeat for, in doing so and becoming bigger, we not only lay a subconscious protective layer around us that insulates us from other people, but we can also blame our physique for our lack of a romantic partner. Some of us go on sexual binges in an effort to feel loved. As the song says: The things we do for love.

But habits that we do not like or that do not serve our highest good can be changed. Yes, it takes effort and focus, but you can be free of the shackles of feeling that you are not worthy and all the negative behavior (habits) associated with this belief. Ironically, changing a habit requires … well, a new habit. Let’s call it a ritual just to make a difference.  Habits actually form in a three-step process which is known as a ‘habit loop’ – a cue is followed by a behavior which is followed by a reward. The behavior is what we all associate with the habit, but what we need to recognize is that the entire process is important if we want to make significant changes.

Each of us has the ability (forget about will power) to change our thought patterns. We can do it in a myriad of ways. We can choose to watch a comedy when we feel sad. We can choose to work out, which has been proven to lift our mood. We can choose to listen to upbeat music, also proven to lift our mood. The most effective way is, no doubt, to treat ourselves with respect. Would you do to your best friend what you do to yourself? Would you talk to your best friend the way you talk to yourself? Would you feed your dog what you feed yourself? Most likely the answer is a resounding NO! We keep feeding our bodies so–called food that we know is harmful. We keep drinking until we throw up, throwing our entire system in chaos. We inject, smoke, swallow, and I don’t what else, drugs to see our world differently. We tell ourselves that we are stupid, fat, undesirable, unlovable, lonely, etc. Really?

When I was growing up, my father used to tell me never to put myself down as they were plenty of people waiting in line to do so. And, you know what? My father was right! Yet, there are moments when I too feel unworthy of being loved. Our surrounding environment is full of potential events and cues (most of them on electronic media) that can shatter our belief in ourselves. We can choose to use those cues to invalidate ourselves, or we can choose to ignore them and know – not just believe, but know – that we are worthy. For those of us who are spiritually inclined, we believe we are Source. For those of us who are religiously inclined, we believe we are children of God. Either way, she could only create beings who are worthy.

Start with being conscious of your thoughts and behavior. Listen to how you talk to yourself. If you have time, keep a journal where you write these self-talks down and you’ll be amazed. Even if you do it for only one (1) day, you’ll be amazed. Then create a ritual around yourself that enriches you and lets you know you are worthy! These can be simple such a weekly bubble bath with candles and soft music. Or setting a nice table with, again, candles, fine silverware and soft music. Be conscious of what you eat. Taste the texture of the food. Smell its aroma. Delight in nourishing your body. Or go for a run, or a bike ride, or a simple walk around the neighborhood. Watch your muscles move to the rhythm of your breath. Or grow a garden. Delight in feeling Mother Earth under your fingernails. Watch her nourish your plants and flowers and enjoy their growth. Life is full of miracles all around you that you let you know you are worthy. You just need to take the time to create a ritual that lets you believe it, and then know it.

Take that first step into self-love. What have you got to lose?

[1]       If you provide your email, I’ll be happy to provide you with a copy of: Habits – A Repeat Performance, Neal, D., Wood, W. and Quinn, J, Current Direction in Psychological Science, Duke University.

As always, in love – Jean-Pierre

You can now follow me at HeartWhisper

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “On Being One … And Of The Power Of Habits

  1. I tried to suggest you to my daughter and son-in-law, who were having difficulties. They had sought “couple counseling” but it didn’t meet their need. I am hoping my daughter will contact you, as I am urging. I just sent her a quote from your blog about the subconsciously held belief of being unworthy – esp. of love – driving self-destructive behaviors. Because my daughter is now a recent widow, at her husband’s own hand, I want to help unburden her of the guilt she is experiencing, compounding her enormous grief.

    Like

    • Hello Suzi and thank you. I appreciate the fact that you are acting as a loving mother. I “worry” that you too may be carrying some grief (nothing wrong with that) and guilt over your daughter’s choice(s). Please remember that she has a path to walk for her soul to experience. She may need time to process her grief and, when ready, will reach out to deal with her burden of guilt. I am happy to help her find the answers that are within her if she so chooses. In the meantime, I invite you to hold her in the light; to view as a complete and happy person. Remember Suzi that your energy goes where you focus. It is wise to hold your daughter and yourself in a high vibration as you cannot help her if you yourself vibrate at a lower level. It may be difficult at first to do so, because you love her and want her to be happy. However, that is something that she herself must choose.

      In light and love always, Jean-Pierre

      Like

      • I so appreciate that you are a spiritually aware man, and I thank you for your reply, Yes, I feel very protective of my daughter. My first awareness of the issues came in a very clear dream, which I shared with her. In the dream I asked her to tell me what was happening and her reply was, very significantly, “I can’t”. Her husband was very private about the depression he was dealing with and did not want it discussed with anyone outside the 2 of them. My daughter is a shaman, studying for a PhD in psychology, having raised, along with their father, 3 amazing children who are now adults. I do hold her in the Light, along with my grandchildren and all extended family and friends. There have been some very light, loving, and reassuring ‘touches’ from ‘beyond’, one that she herself clearly recognized from him. But she sees her children suffering the loss of this amazing father, and is bombarded with all the sweet memories and missing his physical presence, his voice/touch/smile. Most of her spiritually awake friends are women (of course – I don’t think your will disagree with this observation), and I feel she would benefit from contact with what you know. Her own therapist is out of town/reach for weeks to come. My son-in-law was a lawyer, and a deeply soulful man, but communication and harmony of energies became disrupted. I do hope she will contact you. You will know it is she, if so.

        In light and love to you as well,

        Suzi

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s