Force of Habit

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The other day Melissa and I came home after a day out shopping and doing errands.  After parking the car we started gathering our things and Melissa went into the house carrying the first load.  It took some time for me to arrange what I needed to haul in but then I headed for the house as well.  Upon getting to our door, I turned the knob and found that the door was locked!  Realizing that I did not have my keys, I managed to use my elbow to push the doorbell to our apartment.  In a couple minutes, Melissa pulled open the door apologizing and said, “Oh sorry!  Force of habit!”.  

The “force of habit” got me thinking.  How many of us do things habitually every day without even thinking about them?  I’d guess that there is a high percentage of things we do that are mostly “muscle memory” or habitual actions.  Habits aren’t necessarily bad or abnormal, and I say that they are good things if the habits are healthy. Habits enable us to function very effectively in many situations all while allowing our minds to contemplate and resolve other more pressing issues.  I believe that these cognitive abilities are part of why we has humans have been so adaptive in surviving on this planet.

In thinking deeper about the “force of habit”, I started to consider some of my own emotional habits.  I thought about how many times I’ve slipped into anxiety about a situation and I have really no idea why I ended up there.  Or when I find myself in a sort of dissociative state where I’m replaying something that happened until I’m in a full blown state of depression.  These things seem to happen to me even without much intent or proper cause.  What if these two states of emotion are more about being a habit and less about being mentally or physically ill?  

As I’ve been growing in my awarenesses around my depression and anxiety, I’ve been noticing that their cause isn’t just from once single source.  I’m finding evidence that mine has been related to physical stresses, emotional trauma, energetic sensitivity and even past life events that have carried forward.  I’m realizing that working through the issues of these emotions is not necessarily solved by doing one thing.  I believe we all need to be open to all possibilities that may be a source of whatever we are struggling with in our lives.

In doing a very quick and informal Google search on creating habits, it says that it can take about 2 months to create a habit.  While this might be true for some things, I believe that a habit can start as soon as you decide it should exist.  Granted it might be a bit bumpy at first, but I think it can be done rather quickly if sufficient intent is placed on the habit.  I think the human mind is so powerful that once we decide something and fully commit with a clear vision, we will implement this change almost immediately in our lives.

Recently I committed to myself that I wanted to evolve my habit of anxiety into a healthy state by the time I turn 54 years old (coming in May 2019).  What I found is that this simple act of seeing the Vision or end point, Deciding, and then Committing (VDC) to it, everything starts to shift into accomplishing that goal.  I’ve found that articles I read, people who talked with me, and communications I receive, all started to move me in that direction.  The other part of the VDC is connecting it to honoring yourself.  If you honor yourself through committing to the goal, then your chances of reaching it multiply rapidly in your favor.

The “habit force” is just another tool in your arsenal that you can now use and leverage to fulfill whatever dream or goal you have.  Consider it’s power and how it can help you, but remember what Stan Lee said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”  Use it wisely my friends.

Dwight J. Raatz
February 26, 2019

The Truth of Senses

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Do we make ourselves blind so we don’t see the color of skin?

But we could still hear and know the dialect, the language. We would still judge.

Do we also make ourselves deaf?

But we could still taste, touch and smell and categories would be established to segregate us.

Do we remove all the senses and become living vegetables with only our minds to interact within ourselves?

Our own thoughts would betray us and leave us utterly trapped thinking of what we did, what others have done, what we are missing and all manner of thoughts that mean nothing.

Do we stop living, abandon our corporeal self and free the spirit, the very essence of who we are? Is that what it will take to know that you and I are really the same? It will happen eventually and you will know the truth regardless.

But why wait?! Why not know the truth of how we are but reflections of each other in the shards of life. The truth is here in seeing the beauty of our skin, the rhythm of our voices, the tender kiss as we taste our lovers, the touch of our hands as we walk together, and the sweet smell of our bodies we are together in work and sex.

These all satisfy my senses, but it is my heart that knows you; that knows we are the same

Dwight Raatz – 07/19/2013

Pointless Protection

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We each have our struggles in life.  Many of these struggles are emotional pains that we have experienced at some point and we continue to carry with us each day.  These experiences at times have been things that have been done to use from others and some are things that we have done and we feel shame from them.  As we live our lives with these pains they not only have a direct effect on how we enjoy and perceive ourselves, but they also have a profound effect on those that love us.  Many times we think that the best thing for us to do is keep this pain away from others, that somehow by carrying it all on our own we will protect those around us.  The truth is that those who love us, who want to be close, see and feel the pain anyway.

The worst part for them is not that they are affected by it or that they are witnessing the pain even though you may deny it is there; the worst part is that you are denying them the connection with you that they so desperately want.  Even if you are going through the shit, it is better that you share your doubts and fears with your loved ones, allow them to comfort you and allow your vulnerability to show them what’s going on.  This will help them to at least partially understand and maybe enable them to help.  It’s in the sharing, that connects and binds you together.  If you continue to shut them out, their own pain will grow unanswered and their desire to be with you lost to time.

The key to relationships has been touted as communication.  I’d suggest that it is this, but much more.  I believe the key is being completely vulnerable to another and through this vulnerability an open place of communication can form which will create a space for you and others to grow and Know Thyself more fully.

Dwight Raatz