Come, come, whoever you are
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving
Ours is no caravan of despair
Come, yet again, come.
It’s too easy to fall into ruts.
The brain likes patterns it can repeat. That frees up our energy for other things.
But what if some of our repeated patterns aren’t serving us–and yet they keep repeating on autoplay?
Come, yet again, come. This is a sweet invitation to come back to ourselves, to stop the autopilot of habit and wake up.
Wherever we are, whenever we notice, we have the chance to choose freshly again.
We can take a look at what we’ve been choosing.
When I’m not present, my type One orientation habitually and unconsciously chooses to try to improve things–me, you, my environment…life! I just have to learn a little more by reading one more article, to make the fridge look better by cleaning up that spill on the shelf, to bring order to the dining room by putting the Christmas wrapping supplies away…There’s always more to do and never enough time…Your way of getting lost may be very different from mine, but we all have them.
When we notice we are on autopilot, we can ask: Does what I’m habitually choosing reflect my values?
I often find my value for contemplative quiet time gets relegated to last on my list. Sure, I fit some in every morning, but if it’s something I truly value (and need to be well!) wouldn’t it make sense to create more space in my life for it?
Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving… Why do we wander away, leave what we value?
We forget.We get pulled back into the automatic pilot of repeating habits.
These are so compelling because they are familiar–the patterns have been traveled so often that they feel known, safe, comforting…even if we’d like to change them.
They don’t challenge our sense of who we might be, which might happen if we didn’t follow them. Our self-identity relies on them. In my example, I know myself as someone who is always making things better. This is an integral part of how I define myself, recognize my value, and orient to the world. Who would I be, how would I interact with life if I didn’t need to know myself in this way?
Holding what I am repeating on autopilot along with my values creates a paradox. How can both be true? And yet they are.
If we hold this paradox with mindfulness, we can receive the wisdom of right action. There is no ultimate “right” way to always respond, no one tried and true way to reconcile these opposites.
When I’m not present, I fall back into habit.
When I am present, I can hold both the habit and what I value, and see what arises as true in my experience right now, in this moment. Letting these guide me, holding the tension, and listening will result in the right action I seek. The next time I ask, the moment may require something else of me.
Come, yet again, come. Being present means I am responding freshly each time I wake up enough to come, yet again, back to myself and hold the paradox.
OK, your turn! What habits do you fall into without thinking? How do these fit with creating space for the things you value?
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