Another moment just passed. Wait for it… there went another moment. It’s amazing to me how that works. What took place in that second moment was not determined by the first one. And the next moment that will come is not necessarily determined by this exact moment, unless we let it be. Bad habits and habitual destructive behavior suck on many levels. It’s not just that the bad habit or continued destructive behavior has negative effects on our bodies, minds, hearts and souls. It goes beyond that. Sometimes the worst part is how repeated destructive behaviors trigger something in us that tends to cause massive amounts of shame.
I struggle with exercising on a regular basis. I often make unhealthy choices when it comes to eating, exercise, and restful sleep. But what happens is as soon as I make an unhealthy choice, let’s say something as simple as eating a donut, I almost immediately begin to feel shame for eating that donut. But that shame doesn’t motivate me to make a healthy choice the next time. That shame makes me feel worse about myself, if I let it, and I begin to devalue myself even more. “I don’t deserve to have good health.” That’s the shame tape that plays in my mind. And if I feel like I don’t deserve to have good health because of my poor eating habits, I am even less motivated to make a beneficial decision in the future. Mostly because I now value myself less. It doesn't matter what the destructive behavior is... substance abuse, relational dysfunction, self mutilation, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, self hatred, selfish behavior, ____________. If it isn't an act of love and value for yourself and others, it is most likely a destructive act and will bring shame like an avalanche.
Shame is a disgusting and cruel enemy. Shame will never motivate you to care for yourself. Shame will cause you to hide and most of the time will drive you to embrace another self-destructive behavior.
But if I truly believe that I deserve to be healthy… if I truly care for myself and value myself, I have so much more motivation to choose caring acts for myself.
There is freedom. That freedom can often be found in some simple realizations. Here is one of those realizations and an axiom that I live by.
“No matter how many poor and self-destructive decisions I’ve made before this moment, I have the ability to make my next decision a great one.”
There it is. No matter how many times you’ve chosen poorly, your next choice can be for good. It is irrelevant if in the last moment you engaged your ‘stuff’ and embraced the destructive in shame… the next moment in time holds the opportunity for a choice that adds value to you and those around you.
It doesn’t matter if you chose poorly for 5 days or 5 years in a row. That does not determine your next choice. You determine your next choice. YOU DO. No power or entity determines that for you. With this realization you can find the freedom to choose well.
So what will you do with this next undetermined moment?