The past few days I have been finding it tricky to pinpoint exactly how I feel. I’ve been feeling tired, but there was more to it than that.
After bashing around with the feelings for a bit and attempting to convince myself that I felt ok and didn’t need to look more deeply, I FINALLY sat still. Oh how much can be seen in a still moment!
On the surface I thought I was ok, however, I had observed certain behaviours of mine that I know only come out when I am feeling less than my best. I think most people know what I’m talking about. Usually we stumble across these behaviours when we are young and they kind of just hang around. The way you can tell what these behaviours are for you specifically is how you feel about them when you engage in them. I know for me when I notice myself resorting to these behaviours more I feel sad. I feel angry at myself and feel like I should have more strength and conviction to refrain. I feel weak. Unworthy. I also tend to compare myself to others who I believe would NEVER do such things, and convince myself that I haven’t made any progress (usually this is SO far from the truth). The fact that we even notice is a sign we are progressing 🙂
I was attempting to define exactly what the feeling around these behaviours is. It’s not simply feeling tired. It’s more than that. It sort of feels like “I-can’t-be-bothered-ness”. It feels like complacency. “I-can’t-do-it-ness”. It feels lukewarm. Undecided. It feels like I have tried and failed to be absolutely aligned to my values 100% of the time (see how impossible this standard actually is!?) so what is the point? It feels like I’m tired of failing. It feels like feeling good and loving myself is just not worth it. Everyone else can do it just not me.
As I sat with this for a while I felt a light go on. First of all, let’s reframe this. We aren’t failing, we’re progressing. It’s always wobbly when you are breaking new ground. Secondly, these behaviours aren’t really what we would choose to do if we knew we were capable of choosing absolutely anything. They are sort of more just our default.
I looked up default. Failure to fulfil an obligation; a preselected option adopted by a computer program or other mechanism when no alternative is specified by the user or programmer.
Woah. Could it be that the default happens when we don’t choose options that promote us to thrive? Not choosing takes us to the same place as choosing the default directly because that is where we will end up if no better path is selected! It’s not really the current default itself that is the problem, it’s the fact that we haven’t defined clearly enough what we choose as our ‘anti-default’ or our preferred pathway. We need to be clear, know our reasons why, and see it playing out. We need to believe in our strength and be super dooper specific.
To continue with the computer analogy I looked up in computer terms what one needs to do to change a default program. The answer? You need to be specific, customised, and user-defined. As one tech guy replied, “The moment you define them.. (as in the programs or pathways).. they are overwritten.” The way I connected this to life is that we need to define a pathway that is specific and customised to who we are and where we want to go from here. Our program needs to be detailed, it has to be “user” or self-defined, and it has to be written by us personally!
Seeing things this way inspired me! We just need to pay more attention to where we want to go from here rather than trying to resist where we know we don’t want to go. I’ve seen it like this before but now it makes even more sense. Let’s start fleshing out the new programs. Add in the details and see it playing out instead of the default any time we feel ourselves slipping into indifference. Once we do that we just need to trust the new program to “overwrite” and do it’s thing.. we will have created a new kinda default. One that we have customised and set to thrive.