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“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tired into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.” Martin Luther King Jnr 

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When the pain is more comfortable than the change

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You have to know, every aspect of your heart, to know yourself, You have to know, every corner of your mind, to know yourself, You have to see, every recess of your soul, to know yourself You have to have, a feeling for mankind, to know yourself

When the pain is more comfortable than the change

Life is a precious gift, which offers us so many possibilities. We have the potential to create ourselves and to experience the wonder and awe of being. Life is our entry into the magic of experience and we are responsible for how we use it. It’s also a complex series of experiences to navigate, situations to navigate and interactions to understand.

How we choose to behave is the one thing that we can keep control of, in our constantly challenging experience of the world. Our behaviour has an important impact on the way that we are perceived by others. Behaviour is a complex nexus of traits, habits and choices. Traits and habits are the building blocks of behaviour and these, along with the choices we make, have long lasting and huge impact on how our lives are lived.

Choice is a massive factor in personal development. We all face challenges and difficulties as we accumulate life experience and develop our characters. The truth, that we control how we respond to those challenges, is what many people find it difficult to accept.

We learn manners and social conditioning to assist us in being engaging socially, but we still analyse our interactions with others, looking to spot the ‘mistakes’ we made, berating ourselves in ways that we wouldn’t accept from others. Many of us have an almost in-built perception that other people are getting things ‘right’ and that we are the only ones feeling vulnerable and insecure, yet the balance of probability suggests that we’re all exposed to feelings of self-doubt and confusion.

This is compounded by the habit of negative or destructive behaviour. The examples in human interaction are myriad. We understand that being possessive, jealous or controlling can affect the way that a partner responds to us, but stopping the impulse seems impossible. Similarly, the detrimental effects of abusing food, drink or substances is totally apparent but the short term pleasure is so great that we ignore good sense.

Negative behaviours have a seductive pull, we know that they’re ‘wrong’ but we just can’t help ourselves. It’s noticeable how reluctant some people can be, to see,  that the things that they believe are damaging or hurting them, are the very things that they repeat. Generally, because they offer the comfort of familiarity or a reward of some kind.

The inability to acknowledge the part that we play in our own 'suffering' coupled with the denial that we can change most things that we do or go through, is at the heart of why so many people don't change their behaviour. Even when that behaviour is taking a terrible toll on their lives.

It’s one thing to see this but another entirely, to change it. Change is a choice, a decision made, from good sense or desperate realisation, that it’s necessary. The truism that addicts only change when they reach rock bottom, contains the kernel of the truth of the matter. Most often real, effective change is only implemented when the shit hits the fan, a partner leaves, we lose  a job, we have to be winched out of our dwelling for emergency surgery or the gutter becomes a comfortable pillow.

Too often, our social reality is littered with “ Oh, he’s just like that”’s or “ Don’t worry, she’ll calm down” or, “ I’m sure that will buff out”.

Why not consider change before things get that bad? It’s possible to build self-awareness and engagement with change into your everyday life. When someone points out a particular behaviour that you know you indulge in, don’t reject the idea, become defensive and build a ridiculous argument against it. Consider the truth of it, as much as you are aware, consider the person delivering the message and why they might be saying it, and get over yourself!

Accept who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are and be open to suggestion about change, and life will become more comfortable, your skin will be become more comfortable and you won’t have to endure the “slings and arrows of outrageous” delusion.

Alternatively, stick with old habits, entrench yourself with indignance, and take the pain, because it’s more comfortable than a change.

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