I used to have an “important” corporate job and I used to work way too many hours a week at this corporate job. During this time, I used to spend my evening hours binge watching TV and eating crap food. I told myself this behavior was justified because I worked so hard during the day I deserved to spend my evenings any way I wanted. I never thought to ask myself, just until recently, that maybe this pattern was telling me something.
Was my ideal really to spend my limited free time in front of the TV eating junk food? I have since come to believe that the patterns that emerge in our lives have two root causes; swinging our pendulum too far between extremes and covering up our feelings/wants/needs. Both were true for me.
During the day (and sometimes night) I was working myself to the bone at my job. Going extremely hard in my daily life caused me to have to go extremely slow in the hours I left myself free. Imagine a pendulum, if you swing it really far one way it has to come back and swing equally far the other way. Living life in extremes. I am not saying this can’t be a good thing, but when you find yourself swinging to an extreme take a minute to think about where that extreme is going to take you once you start going the other way.
During my working hours I knew what to do with myself. I had a very clear purpose and direction. During my free time, not so much. So I spent my time binge watching TV and eating leaving me with very little time to look at myself and my life. I didn’t have to think about any of the things that maybe weren’t so great. I didn’t have to think about the fact that maybe I was lonely, maybe I didn’t really love my job, maybe I didn’t feel much purpose in my life, maybe I had no idea what the hell I was doing or what I wanted.
We can create wonderful habits that enhance our life and make us feel safe, secure and purposeful. We can also create patterns that cover up how we really feel on the inside. Patterns that are compensating for other extreme behavior that may or may not be serving us.
I urge you to practice mindfulness in your life and take a look at the patterns you have. Listen to what they may be trying to tell you. Perhaps you’ll find your spirit has been trying to talk to you for quite some time.
Don’t lose yourself to mindless patterns.