Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Old Habits

You know how sometimes you try and change, so you gather up all your willpower and determination and you charge forward in some new and bold direction? It goes pretty well for a while. You get about a week into it, then you start to slip in little ways. You catch yourself remembering old things with fondness. Pretty soon you start to pick parts of your old ways back up, saying to yourself "this really wasn't so bad". Before you realize what's happening, you have gone straight back to the way things used to be and you find yourself having the same struggles you had before you tried to change. Just like that you're back where you started.

I have my beliefs about how you get out of this cycle. My perspective as a Christian is that we don't have capacity to produce true and lasting change apart from God which is why humans get stuck in these kinds of endless loops. Our own willpower and determination have limits if we don't experience real internal change.

 However regardless of your belief system, the cycle seems to persist apart from some kind of intervention. We go back to the familiar when we're uncomfortable regardless of how bad it is for us. We order the drink, we put on the Disney movie, we look at pornography. Somewhere in that cycle you have to realize what you're doing and snap yourself out of it. I'm trying to learn that process now. "Was it really that bad?" has become a serious checkpoint for me. I try to set up signposts that remind me of the way things were. With a little bit of that and a lot of help, I think I'll get there.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Alone in a Crowded Room

Right now I'm sitting in a room. On my left, a bunch of my coworkers are watching "Big Bang Theory". Behind me two other coworkers are browsing the internet. The room isn't that big and there's probably 9 of us in here and yet we're all sort of doing our own thing.

It struck me the other day while sitting in the same room with just one co-worker that it's easy to be alone when there are other people around. I'm sitting here engaged in my thing and you're over there engaged in your thing and other than incidental contact (a sneeze followed by "bless you" because I'm old fashioned like that), we're essentially alone.

Except when there's someone else in the room, it feels different than when I'm alone in my room at night. Sometimes its less lonely. The fact that there's another body in the room puts me at ease and makes me feel like there's the possibility of interaction. Sometimes it's more lonely, like when there's something preventing me from talking to the person even if I wanted to ("I'm awkward" or "We have conflict").

I really spend too much time thinking about this kind of stuff.