make progress not excuses

We humans are often not comfortable dealing with troubling emotions. This most emphatically includes awareness around self-defeating patterns we are choosing to repeat. We frequently deploy “Three Futile Strategies”:  

1) Attacking:  

We condemn ourselves, we beat ourselves up, whip away at our self-concept, criticize and shame ourselves and then wallow in our guilt in between lashes of our internal critic’s cat o’ nine tails! We “suffer” after a fashion but not in any useful, constructive way. Furthermore, because it is us doing it to us, it can be oddly comforting i.e. we are pretending to atone for our sins, therefore we can kid ourselves that the cosmic scales are being balanced in some weird fashion.

2) Indulging: 

We attempt to justify, rationalize, defend, excuse, explain away, and validate our behavior: “I’m not responsible, they did it to me.” They can be parents, spouse, world, life, boss, job: fill in the blank; doesn’t really matter does it? You may not be fully responsible for the situation, but if you want it to change for the better, you’d best assume responsibility for finding a palatable solution!

3) Ignoring:

Running away is always a favorite! And it seems to work for a while; but then, everywhere you go, there you are, dragging your past around with you like a ball and chain. We can try to go numb, to distance ourselves from reality but somehow reality has a habit of catching up with us when we are least prepared and the consequences are rarely pleasant. Dissociating yourself from life is like driving down the freeway with your eyes closed; dumb as can be.

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier