I seem to be doing a bit-of-a-series of blogs about processing emotions.
I blame Barb for this. 😀
It is interesting for me though, as processing emotions is a skill I have been learning more systematically over the last few years.
It is a skill I have needed to grow since embarking on a therapeutic journey, that I refer to in the book that I am currently rewriting/editing.
I would like you to help me in this, please.
You perhaps experience and process emotions in a very different way to that which I experience and process them. No doubt you have different issues, different traumas, different challenges.
But I would love it if you read my articles and think (for example), ‘I don’t find that at all, I do x,y and z, because I experience not a, but c.’ – I would love you to tell me about that.
Some people will identify with the thoughts and feelings I describe and some will not, but they might identify with yours. This is great.
I am very interested to know how you think, feel and function too.
Today I just want to share something about me which irritates me.
People speak about bad habits and good habits. This has always puzzled me, though I know what it should mean.
Confession 1: I do not have any good habits. The nearest to a good habit I possess is brushing my teeth at bedtime!
Every other good and healthy thing that I do is a discipline. I have to work hard to make myself do the things that I feel I should do and even when I become so regular that I do it every day, I only need to miss it once and the effort to continue is monumental.
Confession 2: I have a lot of bad habits! I was addicted to alcohol and to nicotine, until 7 years ago and 4 years ago respectively.
I no longer drink any alcohol and no longer smoke, but I am still an ‘all or nothing’ person. If I open a packet of biscuits, figs, chocolate, ice-cream, halva, etc it will be gone before the day is out. Sometimes I sellotape, wrap and hide the packet, but my short-term memory is good and it is not fooled. My mind obsesses about it until it is gone.
This disappoints me enormously!
Good habits disciplines: I have a range of these – and some are so useful and wonderful that I manage to discipline myself to do them daily:
– My Morning Pages and my time-of-prayer are two that I love to start my day with. They bring me enormous joy, peace, focus, insight and revelation, but some nights when I am setting my alarm I choose to ignore this and set the alarm to not allow the time for them! I can become quite disappointed with myself if I miss these.
– Language practice and keyboard practice. I am not very musical (this is an understatement!), but I managed to teach myself 24 favourite praise songs (by rote) and in order to practice them I made a rota of 8 songs per day, to ensure each song is practised twice a week. Are they? No! For the first year, I was disciplined and did it every day, now I feel pleased if I practise a group of eight each week.
The languages? So far these are on a good run. I use Duo-lingo to practice the languages and am very excited to have achieved a consecutive run of (streak) of over 300 days. The incentive there is if I miss a day, I’ll go back to zero and I can’t bare that now!
These are just some examples.
Of course I have commitments that I fulfil and it is very important to me to keep my word and perform the duties I’ve signed up to do. Doing duties and jobs is not a habit or a discipline, in my perspective.
Maybe I am more concerned about not disappointing other people than I am about disappointing myself?
How do I process my disappointments with myself?
- I have to forgive myself. I believe God forgives me, so I have to forgive myself.
- My addictions took a lot of preparation and work to break and having someone alongside me and to whom I was accountable was crucial.
- With things I have omitted, I try again – sometimes I will add it on to the end of my day instead.
- With my ‘all-or-nothing greed’, I have to avoid purchasing large packets of anything. I purchase individual ice-creams, small individually wrapped packets and I hope that next time, when I open a packet, I can learn to be restrained.
Some of the knocks in my life have left scars and given me a limp. It does me no good to beat myself up over the weaknesses still around.
I believe that I can change and slowly break the bad habits, but so far I maintain that the good practices remain disciplines.
Like my book, I am a work in progress.
How about you? Are you disciplined and moderate? Are you ‘all-or-nothing’? Do you beat yourself up, or accept your weaknesses for today?
Have you thought to have somebody to whom you hold yourself accountable?
Tell me if you want prayer for a habit you want to break, or an area you want to change.