Why do we do what we do when we do it?

Spirit asks me if I know why I behave the way I do.

When?

At any given time.

That depends.

On what?

On the situation.

Have you designed a specific beahavioral response for any given situation?

I don<t think so.

Then, what?

I respond as seems appropriate, at least for me.

Then different people might respond differently to the same situation?

I guess so.

Why?

Perhaps they have learned different coping strategies.

How?

I suspect you know more about this than I do.

Yes. We each began to develop general coping strategies in early childhood,
in response to personal experience. We learned, through practice and
experiment, what behaviours seemed to serve us well in different
situations. These we added to our tool kit of coping skills. With
use they developed into habits that may no longer serve us as well as
they once did.

Then we need to become more flexible in our response.

Yes, and more aware of what triggers our particular responses.

That would require paying attention to our behaviour.

Yes, with intent to adapt to changing circumstance.

Such as?

Our progress along the path of enlightenment.

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Practice is habit with a purpose

 

Spirit tells me that practice is habit, but an intentional one,

With a goal, and requires intent to improve or maintain

What we have developed in skills or in establishing

A way of life.

 

Practice can result in patterns of behaviour; physical, intellectual,

Emotional and, or spiritual that may appear to some others to be

No more than habits.

 

There is also the danger, He cautions, of practice becoming

No more than a habit, when intention is no longer involved.

 

How can I be sure that I still have intention?

 

Are you satisfied?

 

No.

 

Are you still making progress?

 

Yes, but …

 

Even a little is more than none.

 

 

 

Practice or Habit

Spirit tells me that

Practice can result in

The development of

Physical, intellectual, emotional and, or

Spiritual patterns of behaviour, but that

Habits can also result in

The development of physical,

Intellectual, emotional, and, or

Spiritual patterns of behaviour.

 

The difference between

Practice and habit is that

Practice requires intent to

Continuously develop

 Desired patterns of

Thinking, feeling, behaving and being.

While habits can develop

Through the lack of intent and

Conscious self-control.

All choices are based on outcome expectations

Spirit tells me that

We make choices based on

Outcome expectations and

A cost-benefit analysis,

When we are conscious of

The choices we make.

 

When our choices are

Based on habit,

Even these habitual choices

Have to have had

A beginning, conscious choice

That seemed to have had

Satisfied us, more or less,

At the time.

At least enough for us

To choose that same behaviour

Again and again, until, perhaps

We forgot that

In the beginning,

It was a choice,

Not intended to

Necessarily apply to

Future situations,

And to replace the need

To choose according to

Particular situations.

 

As conscious shoppers know,

One size of shoe does not

Fit all feet.

 

I’m playing a game I can’t win, and know it.

Spirit tells me that

I’m playing a game I can’t win.

Somehow, I suspect this may be true, but,

How am I supposed to respond

To Spirit’s sometimes power strategies.

 

Are they designed to weaken my resolve

To resist accepting as true,

anything that I can’t understand?

even knowing that my capacity

to understand is limited, or

Do I resist for the sake of resisting? or,

Have I developed a habit of resisting

The mind boggling concepts Spirit

Presents me with, to simply deny

The limitation of my mental capacity

To understand them?, and, if this is true,

Then why?

 

Wouldn’t it be so much easier

To simply give in, and say,

Okay, you win.

Am I just to stubborn to do so?

 

But, what if Spirit’s intention is

To encourage my capacity to resist being

A mindless sponge, or

A spineless sponge, if

There be such things.

 

 

 

Abuse as beauty – in the eye of the beholder?

Spirit seems determined to force, or almost force me to face my understanding of the concept of abuse.

And, before you suggest (He was reading my thoughts, again) that my focus on abuse is itself abusive, consider the idea that you may call abuse in much the same way that a certain story book character called “Wolf”.

There is no similarity whatsoever.

You sound annoyed.

Yes.

As if I was being abusive in suggesting the similarity?

Yes.

I was being abusive?

Yes.

Yes. Perhaps I’ve proven my point.

How?

There was no similarity between your almost eager claim or complaint of abuse and the story. But, hopefully, you can now see how eager you were to claim a self-righteous position by threatening me with the label of abuser.

I was reacting from habit.

Yes. Why?

Perhaps I lacked the skill to..

No. You took an easy way out.

How?

It saved you from facing the situation and accepting that calling “abuse” protects your so-called ego, that has no need of your efforts.

Then, are you telling me that abuse does not exist?

Yes, I am not telling you that. But, it cannot exist unless you acknowledge it’s existence.

What I consider verbal abuse may be no more than someone’s personal style?

Yes, sometimes. And, it expresses where that person is in his or her emotional or intellectual development.

And, when I take it personally, then it expresses where I am in mine?

Yes.