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Habits

I feel that the greatest challenge we face as human beings is to overcome our own habits. 

My own experience has shown that unhappiness arises from extreme habit patterns of thought and action.  The more that we are free from our own patterns,  the more deeply fulfilling life becomes.

Life is like a swing.  If you pull the swing up one way,  it's bound to swing back in the opposite direction.

For example,  it's quite a rush to eat a bunch of sweets and take on a sugar high,  but then soon afterwards,  that swing falls back into a deep low.  This high / low pattern is true of a vast number of experiences, thoughts, foods, drugs, and feelings.

My true joy has always come from balance.  Not too high.  Not too low.  Just right.  This kind of joy is not at one side of a moving swing.  It is right about in the middle.

Balance,  I feel,  is the central aim of all of our motivations,  even if we are unaware of it.  We are all constantly shifting ourselves,  from one polarity to another,  all ultimately aiming for center. 

Yet,  this center is always present and available.  The only thing that might prevent us from experiencing a more complete balance is our own habits.

I've gone from letting go my more crude and obvious unhealthy habits, such as drugs, extreme foods, and senseless entertainment, into working with more subtle habit patterns such as emotional drama, wild thoughts, and unawareness.  All of this letting go feels like it's going in a certain direction,  one that is more and more enjoyable along the way.

I think this kind of refinement, a "shedding of skins" so to speak,  is potentially endless,  and it is quite a lot of fun.  Yet, it does take a willingness to "let yourself die" again and again.  This is not the graveyard kind of death,  but a change in who you are and who others know you to be.  This takes courage and strength,  but hey,  you're going to "die" anyway,  right?  So why not do it?

It may take a lot to pick ourselves up and begin living according to our higher ideals.  Or,  from another side,  it may take no effort at all.  I suppose this depends on us.  If we go with it,  no problem!

Authored by Andrew Vavrek

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