Monday, February 1, 2010

Bad Habits

When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up.

Muhammad
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It has been said that we are all creatures of habit. Are we all created to have habits? Is habitual behavior the natural way of life for us creatures? There is no doubt that certain habits get us through the day. Some activities are so habitual as to be automatic Getting dressed. making breakfast, going off to work, fulfilling the necessary tasks at work, and so on. Those are things we do that require a minimum of thought and we are usually thinking about something else while we do them.

But there are other habits that are also automatic but much more important. Habits of thinking and reacting that may disturb the "peace of" our hearts. It is also a habit, and a bad one, to be so used to having the heart disturbed that we live with it rather than resolve or dissolve the causes of it.

I once knew a man who was very much in love with a woman who did not respond. They had had a brief affair and after that it was not going well. He spent many hours in obvious pain talking with me about it. I was as compassionate as I could be having been through similar heartbreaks. Finally I asked him "What are you getting out of this relationship?" When he admitted that it was just causing him grief, I reminded him of an old saying "The best cure for a broken heart is the next bus out of town."

He relinquished the hope and desire and went on his way. A year later he met the beautiful, compassionate woman who became his wife and now they have a couple of kids.

Why do we hold onto things not absolutely necessary that cause us perpetual pain and conflict? I don't know. I've done it. But I've also reached the point of understanding and true trust in my own value as a human being. It has given me the power to be free to give up something that disturbs my peace for the sake of something better and to face down the temptation to feel sorry for myself if there is nothing better I can do.

Freedom and peace are two of the most important nutrients of life. Without them life is merely in a holding pattern, not taking off, not landing.

DB
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Tomorrow: An exclusive interview with Punxsutawney Phil.

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WINTER QUESTION
(This is not a contest.)

Given the resources and opportunity, what one thing do you want to do in 2010 that you've never done before.

You have all Winter to answer. Answers will be posted on the first day of Spring.
15 responses so far.

DB - The Vagabond

4 comments:

Mark and Elayne said...

My guess to why we hold onto things is because we are afraid to let go, that this is all we have, that we feel this is the best we'll ever have. It isn't until we let go, release those things that cause us grieve, that healing and love comes.
Laini

Kyle said...

DB, I think we tend to horde emotions and memories just as we do objects. Much of the time that hording is passive and is not guided by rational thought at all.

Selchie said...

DB, I find mysekf soothed by your words, good advice as always to be found here. Sometimes I think we carry things for so long we forget. When I was at school, I used to pass my books to my friend to hold for a minute and start chatting to her as we walked. She would always forget she was carrying them, it used to tickle me to see how long it would take her to notice.

Thank you for the thoughts,

happy day.)

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Knowing when to move on and try something new is priceless.