Determining to change an ingrained habit or a destructive behavior is likely one of the most difficult journeys an individual can take. It seems logical that the longer you allow a habit or destructive behavior to continue, the more difficult it will be to interrupt that behavior and change directions. Makes sense (to me).
I have allowed myself to demonstrate a behavior of criticalness for so many, many years. I can not change what I see or observe but I can choose to make better decisions with those observations.
For me, it began when I finally allowed myself to see the destructiveness of my actions. It seems pretty simple to sit here at this keyboard and bang out “I have destructive behaviors.” But it isn’t really that simple. I mean who wants to look at the negative impact one’s actions are having? Who wants to admit that they are (in fact) pretty screwed up in the way with which they interact with people as a whole? That’s not an easy thing to do. However recognizing your faults, as the first step, may very well be the easy part of any intentional lifestyle change. Recognizing and naming that “wart” is one thing but figuring out the best way to remove the “wart” is an entirely different undertaking all together.
At this point, this is what I have figured out or recognized. I will still see and observe the same things. Life is life and I can’t change that. I will not make any progress by saying (internally) “Keep your mouth shut! Don’t say anything critical!” I’m no Harvard educated PhD with a sheep skin in psychology but it seems to me that if I keep reinforcing the negative by telling myself to not be critical then I am still being critical. I’m just being critical in stealth mode. It’s much like saying, “Don’t think pink. Don’t think pink.” Well guess what I’ll be thinking? Pink!
I am not able to undergo such a monumental task of change simply through my own genius and self-will. I must recognize and draw on the strength of the One who lives within me. Therefore, I have begun a concerted effort of trying to view people, situations and circumstances as I imagine the One Whom created them would view them. Imagining how or what the Creator may or may not observe doesn’t have to be so difficult. Just look for the good in that person. Even the most dysfunctional individual has some worth, some good in them(hand raised here).
I haven’t begun yet but…. Quite some time ago, through selfish acts of my choosing, my family went through a very dark and traumatic season. That too was very difficult and I was only able to pull out of that season through Devine intervention. I was (literally) brought to my knees. I began a regular, dedicated time (with a written list) of prayer. I can not begin to explain the change in the circumstances of my life or the intense internal peace I felt as some point. It was incredible and I can’t understand how or why I have allowed myself to fill that time with inconsequential things. A new season is upon me and I am committed to begin anew with this.
I am committed to become the man, the husband, the father, the grandfather and the friend I was (intentionally) created to be.