Continuing on from yesterday's post about habits, is that the other thing about habits is that they need to change. I find that I need to be reevaluating and changing my habits regularly. As I grow and change, my habits need to change too. I can outgrow habits and they start to pinch like a coat that is too small. But the thing is that I don't always realize that is what is going on. And I have found out, the hard way, that my habits don't automatically change just because I do.
I have a few outgrown habits at the moment that I am finding difficult to change. I may have had very good reasons to form these habits, but the situation has changed yet the habits remain. Life long habits.
For me these habits have to do with how I relate to people. I was always a 'sensitive' or an empath. I am not sure if these are the same, but basically I am referring to feeling what other people are feeling. It can be quite uncomfortable, and confusing, as I can mistake other people's emotions for my own.
There is a town near where I live where there are a lot of unhappy people. I say this because every time I used to go there I would feel emotional pain. It took me years, literally years, to realise that this pain was not mine. I mean, you just assume what you are feeling is yours, don't you? Well I did.
Then I heard a woman on the radio talking about empathy and ways of protecting yourself. I had tried things like surrounding myself in white light in the past but not had any success. When she said to wear a crystal I was doubtful but I thought "might as well give it a try". I was pretty desperate. I bought one and wore it under my shirt. From then on when I would go into this town I felt fine.
Anyway, you might be able to imagine the kinds of habits I picked up around being this way. Yup, avoiding people. And another one, trying to solve people's pain. Because when you are feeling it too there is a strong incentive to soothe their pain anyway possible.
Since I have been teaching I have noticed that spending time with others is not as tiring. That I still have energy afterwards. That I am not walking away feeling whatever everyone else is feeling. I think I am more grounded and have more stamina that I used to. I have changed.
But I have a lifelong habit of spending most of my time on my own. Now I can choose otherwise. But to be honest, it is challenging. It is a lifelong habit, in a way all that I know.
A dear friend of mine always reminds me: babysteps. Take babysteps. And I think that is the best way to change habits. Little changes that take you gradually in a very different direction.