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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Habit, Part 2

Here's what I know for sure.  Habits, and the mechanism that creates habits, is very real and very powerful.  And while habits may define aspects of your life, of your thoughts, words, and actions, they are not you.  You are so much more than that.  You are an amazing soul with great potential, who maybe has developed some bad habits, but those habits aren't your destiny.

Old, deep habits are hard to break.  The older they are, the harder they are to change, and I'm not sure if the pull of old habits ever really goes away all together.  But when you fill yourself with power - your essential, pure self - through meditation or prayer or another spiritual practice, then you can see how much easier it is to change, and especially to create new habits that better honor who you truly are.

If you spend all your time trying to break habits, all your time trying to fix the old stuff, you don't have enough energy to build the new. And building the habits, new attitudes, new understanding...all that is the key to real change.  Real change doesn't come from fighting the old; it comes from creating something new.

I can see for myself all the ways that habits developed from times in my life when I was reacting to my environment as best I could, but not very well.  And these habits have a very deep hold in my life. They aren't the best habits, and they don't serve me so well now, but I can see how strongly embedded in me they are.  The more clearly I see them, the less power they have.  Not because I'm spending time fighting them, but because I'm spending a lot of time getting to know what I want instead and taking steps to build that.

Connect to G*d, to the source of all virtue and spiritual quality, and let that strength become your own. Turn within, even if just for a moment, and notice what's inside of you, away from the roles you play and the distractions of your life. Let that strength lift and inspire you right out of the rut of old habits. Stop trying to do the impossible, which is dig yourself out of a hole.  Harness all your enthusiasm and creativity to begin forming the kind of habits that are the basis for the life you want.

It takes some time and some focus and some energy, but it's so worth the effort.  Plant the seed of new habits now.  They will grow and bear such sweet and succulent fruit in your life.  What takes real effort now will become second nature soon enough.  So instead of feeling bad about everything you're not, spend some time, starting right now, paying attention to all that you are, all your good qualities and your endless potential.

Then pick one thing, and build on that,  And if you can't find one thing on your own, then ask someone who loves you to tell you at least one thing about yourself.  And if you can't find that person, then ask someone who knows you well.  And if you can't find that person, then just sit with an open mind and an open heart, and ask G*d to show you who you are and all the amazing gifts with which you've been entrusted.  Because He will.  G*d will reveal your own beauty and value to you in ways you maybe only hoped for.  And that's the start of something amazing, something you can really begin to build on.

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