Sunday, May 13, 2007

the way we know ourselves “It’s impossible to be bitter and happy; bitterness is about taking a perverse delight in stroking our wounds, becoming so wrapped up in them that they become the way we know ourselves.” -M.J. Ryan, The Happiness Makeover: How to Teach Yourself to Be Happy and Enjoy Every Day “The way we know ourselves.” That phrase jumped out at me from the page while I was reading this book. How is it that I know myself? What habits of thought have I spun in my brain so often that that’s “just how I am”? Do I want to know myself on those terms? If I could choose, would I keep them or trade them in? During the time of my divorce and for several years afterward, there were reflexes so ingrained in my thinking on the subject of my ex that it was nearly impossible for me to respond to interactions with him in any other way than – well, let’s just say not very constructively. There was a point at which it became obvious to me that the energy and time I was spending reacting was not only wasted – this emotional roller coaster ride amounted to large negative balances in my ledger of life. I just didn’t want to feel this way anymore. With the help of a supportive coach, I was slowly able to train myself to step back from the oh-so-inviting thought-ruts in my brain and choose differently, one neuro pathway and one interaction at a time. Periodically I wish I could pin down where that line is that I crossed in my head and dissect how I got there. All the books I’ve read and the tapes I’ve listened to and the thinking I’ve done over a lifetime prior to that moment contribute to the breadcrumb...

Deb Schanilec

Connected and Committed relationship transformation strategist.

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