Where do habits get their power?
Habits are hard to break! That’s not a news flash, but it’s a reality I recently confronted again.
People who know me well tell me I have a type A personality. I guess it is true that I am very goal-oriented and often try to pack more into a day than 24 hours will allow.
But last year’s cardiac arrest taught me how to slow down and de-stress. I learned how to breathe more deeply, move more slowly, and to let go of stress more intentionally.
And yet, last week the tension-pain in my back told me I had slipped into old routines of hurry and stress. So, I have once again started the practices of “no hurry, no worry” – and leaning on the peace of the Holy Spirit! (And my back feels a lot better now!)
How could I have fallen back into old patterns after a wake-up call like a cardiaac arrest? Here’s my best understanding:
1. A little at a time — it didn’t happen all at once, so I didn’t notice it for a while.
2. Habits are strong because they are based on our assumptions and beliefs. When I am moving too fast to be healthy, it is because I believe I must do this or that or else… (what??) I assume it is the way things get accomplished…vor that it’s all up to me… etc.
So to break habits like rush and/or stress I need to pay attention to the little routines and not let myself drift, and especially to confront my thinking. Asking myself “why are you pressing?” can lead me to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit through His Word and not to the assumptions I’ve carried inside.
You may have different habits which creep up on you, but I wonder if they are rooted in the same places?