Going Towards the Unfamiliar
In human nature it’s not uncommon for someone to choose what’s familiar over what is healthy. We are wired biologically by the patterns and experiences we had during our childhood. Specifically, ages 0-7 years old can be some of the most important years developmentally in terms of what is considered normal in our perspective and our world. Our ideas of what home, family, comfort, and normal human behavior are tend to come from these early years. Much of these are subconscious impressions that are made and we are unaware of as we develop into adolescents and then adults.
I challenge you to list 5 things now to yourself that may be unhealthy but are normal for you. These can be things such as regular alcohol or drug use, poor diet, lower education level, thinking of yourself in a negative way, having toxic and hurtful people in your life, living in chaos, not taking care of yourself, etc.
What is ‘normal’ and familiar to you but may also be causing you a lot of pain and discomfort?
Now imagine there is another version of you that feels amazing, happy, great and peaceful all the time. This version of you doesn’t think the same behaviors are normal or the things you’ve been exposed to are healthy and it’s not familiar to them. Since it’s not familiar to them, would they have the same interest or attachment to it? Would it be easier and simpler for them to walk away or change some things? Or would they participate in the same harmful patterns over and over like you do?
A simple practice is to meditate at least once a day on an imaginary version of you that is healthy, happy, peaceful and doesn’t have the same harmful habits, beliefs or negative cycles that have become normal to you. How does this person feel? What do they normally do on a day-to-day basis? How is this person different from you or the same?
This exercise can be very enlightening and revealing for repetitive attachments we have and our tendency to cling or reenact the harmful but familiar in our lives.
So try it out!! Try something new! If it feels uncomfortable or foreign, that’s ok! In fact, maybe it’s even a good sign that it’s a break from the unhealthy norm.
If you need support or help with this we are here for you at Silver Lining Recovery. We understand the courage it takes to make changes in your life, and to begin and maintain recovery. Please call us today for more support at (866) 918-5547.