When I first stepped on this path I had to change most of the ways I did things. I had to face the fact that me doing things my way brought me to my knees. That my best thinking had gotten me to my bottom. And that I couldn’t do it alone, and that trying to do so I caused myself a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering. The habits I formed were based on two things, fight, or flight, none of them were healthy, and the unhealthy part of myself loved that, thought I deserved that, and gave me a small twang of pleasure when I would act out on those habits that were harming myself. So, because I practically had to start from scratch I had to look at all of those changes as new healthy habits, not restrictions.
Restrictions were something I always pushed back at, I still do, but try to soften and look at the reasoning behind them, but when I was starting to get better, even though I had positive intentions, I still had a negative mind, the word restriction was still, very much, a four letter word to me. The last thing I wanted was something that was labeled as limiting or controlling. I had already cut out all of the things that I had been using to numb myself and to get by, so to think of replacing all of those things, which I thought freed me from my thoughts and feelings, I certainly wasn’t going to be on board with anything that was a restriction. And, because this new path was one that was one of better mental health, replacing those vices with healthy habits seemed like a better fit, and one I wasn’t going to rebel against as much, because when I did come up against that resistance I would remind myself it was for better health. Going back to the word health, I also had to remember that old habits can be difficult to break, especially when you’ve used them most of your life, so you’re going to slip back into old behaviors, so when I did, I had to learn to be kind to myself and recognize that even if I slipped, even the recognition that I had slipped was a win, and to love myself for that and try the better choice the next time. Those negative voices in my head would pop up and tell me that I was a failure and that I couldn’t change, but I had to try to ignore that as best as I could, and, counter those thoughts with something positive to show myself that I could change, and that doing something good for myself, and loving, through the learning process was change and proof that I could make that positive change if I just kept trying to do it.
It’s just like going on a diet. When we restrict the foods we eat we tend to just want them more, or we feel deprived, but if we just strive to eat healthy and make better choices in our diet, even if we slip it’s not the end of the world, we just make a healthier choice next time. The idea of a restriction just makes most of us want to rebel and plow through that restriction with a vengeance, or at least I do. Looking at something as a healthier choice is a positive way to look at the changes you want in your life. It’s about making a choice to put a positive spin on the work you are doing to be your best you, even that itself is a healthy habit.
I continued to add more and more healthy habits in my life which eventually replaced most of the unhealthy ones, some of those old ones just don’t want to go away and pop up from time to time, but the good far outweighs the bad, and when the old ones do pop up, I can recognize them and use them to identify what’s going on for me that my old, negative, ways have jumped in thinking they were right for the job. They now help me pinpoint what may be wrong and what I need to address or work on, so, even those negative habits can be turned into something positive.
SLAYER, if you’re working on making changes in your life and the thought of restrictions, control, or limitations make your skin crawl, flip the script, and think of them as healthy habits, ways for you to walk in the light, to be someone you can be proud of, and someone who may just inspire others to do so as well. Make healthier choices for the life you want to live, and the person you are meant to be, it’s all in your hands to make it happen.
SLAY OF THE DAY: When you hear the word restrictions what do you think of? How does that make you feel? How have you reacted to restrictions in the past? If you hear the words healthy habits, how does that make you feel? What healthy habits have you implemented in your life? How has that changed or life or made it better? Which negative habits do you struggle with? When you notice yourself fall back into old behaviors, what is your reaction? Do you beat yourself up? Or, do you acknowledge them and strive to do better next time? Habits take time to form, good or bad, so set your intention to make better choices, with that intention you are always looking to do what’s right and best for you, but no one gets it right every single time so include, with your intention to make better choices, the choice to let yourself make mistakes and learn from them, it’s within that place that we learn the most. SLAY on!
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you