To Be Free

To be free, we have to want to escape our self-imposed limitations — and most of the time, that’s all they are. But it can be surprising sometimes how little we actually want to escape our self-made prisons. So when I’m really struggling with something, I ask myself: “Do I even want to get past this?” If I do, then I make a stronger effort in that direction. If I don’t, well, then I decide maybe it’s not so bad feeling the way I do after all, and if I’m going to stay that way I at least try and learn to enjoy it.

Then there are habits; things we don’t really enjoy, and might want to change, but they’re such a part of our every-day lives that we either overlook them or feel hopelessly bound to them. It takes one step at a time to defeat old habits, and you will lose battles before you win the war. Some habits seem almost impossible to break. If you can’t break the habit, you can at least be aware. You always have the power to acknowledge that a habit is a habit — that it is a bad habit — and sometimes even that small recognition is a huge improvement. Or maybe the habit isn’t so bad and you just feel shameful about it for some crazy reason, and in those cases the key is realizing the habit isn’t so bad after all.

So that’s my lesson for today: 1) Try to break bad habits. 2) If I can’t: ask myself, do I really want to break this habit after all? If not, accept and enjoy it for what it is. 3) If I want to break the habit but can’t, I’ll at least acknowledge that it’s a habit I should break, every single time I engage in it. My obsessions have a lot less power over me if I call them out for what they are.

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