The SEO on this is for crud. Who would ever in 100 years search these words together. Maybe 100 years ago, but Detox and the internet weren’t things then, so there is really no way…..
A number of years ago, I heard or read that children’s consequences for undesirable behavior shouldn’t cause discomfort. OK, so how do we persuade them to avoid that behavior. Every time I snatch my brother’s toy or spit on my sister, mom gathers me in her arms and tells me tales of love, and then takes me to the kitchen for a warm chocolate chip cookie. You can bet I will spit and snatch the live long day.
How do we get to the point where we stop staying up too late, eating too much food, or frittering away our money?
That’s the short road to the long view.
If I stay up too late reading and prowling around because, “I can’t get anything done when the kids are awake,’ how many times do I have to feel like Keith Richards looks, before I say, “I know exactly what’s causing this,” and go to bed at a reasonable hour.
If I eat exponentially more calories than is necessary to maintain a healthy weight, at irregular hours, and of a diminished or nonexistent nutritional value, how long until my clothes hurting, my ungainly coordination, and my self-consciousness about my appearance prompt me to put down my fork?
You get the idea.
I have to get uncomfortable with the way things are, in order to accurately assess the value of the change.
If someone keeps bailing me out by taking up my slack when I underperform due to lack of sleep, or telling me I’m just big boned when my jeans cause me physical pain and I’m taking in a cool 3000 calories between 4:00 and bedtime, it will take longer and I will be fatter and meaner and broker when I finally reach the threshold where I personally can handle the pain (discomfort) no longer.
Basically, I am hiring an architect, a contractor and a decorator to build my comfort zone bigger. It’s a free country. Nobody has to take the contract.
Discomfort is nothing more than the brain nudging itself to make a few key decisions. “You know you’ll spend a lot less time in this corner if you stop coloring on the walls.” “What’s with you and the night eating? You don’t even like barbecue chips.” If we feel sad, mad, or frustrated, it might be a sign we are trying to have our cake and everyone else’s too.
Congratulations on figuring out the cause of your low grade irritability and hyper-criticism of the people you live with. You’ve identified the thing that has to stop. And when I say you, I mean me.
As I write, I am a picture of the above- a toy-snatching, sister-spitting, over-eating, over-spending, hyper-critical, save-some-room-on-the-corner-of-the-roof-for-the-boy- Jabba: the home educator. Officially, I can blame COVID (
bullshit. Nonsense. COVID gave me more opportunity than ever to work on me, because I didn’t have any place I needed to be for, like, a year), a broken ankle, and a lot of life transition. But I know the truth.
Here’s the problem. To undertake to change the thing, it has to be removed. It is taking time, mental and emotional energy, and sometimes physical space. When it’s removed, there’s a little vacuum there. What will I do with the time I used to spend playing free games on my phone? How will I cope with the open mental space vacated by the number of people in the household changing?
I could dig into the neuroscience, but suffice to say, like any junkie, the chemicals that bathe your brain with every decision, every habit, every drink or bite of food, have become your norm. When you remove the unhelpful pattern and replace it with the positive one, your brain is looking for its fix. You are detoxifying.
This is why people are mean when they start diets. It’s why they give up on day three. It’s why they lie. We think we are going to get the good stuff easy. Detox is hard. You are changing your brain chemicals. You are literally training your flesh. And some things have no substitute.
With food, I can largely substitute “bad” food with “healthy” food, and must. This is a direct substitution. But It is more difficult to knock alcohol off the throne. It’s more death defying take the wheel on my finances. Because the healthful substitution looks, smells, and acts completely differently. We have to sit there and wait for the non-thrilling chemical to start feeling, somehow, like slot machine pay-out chemicals.
That uncomfortable waiting is detox. It’s why wealthy people go away to an all-inclusive resort. When you first stop eating dairy, suddenly, the whole world is covered in cheese. When you first start exercising, the amount of prep it takes to go for a mother-loving walk is stupid. Years ago, when I tried to address my coffee problem, my cousin (helping me get comfortable) said, “It’s not heroine.” I decided she was right and abandoned the project.
The clock ticks slowly and most people abandon good projects that haven’t come up between them and their doctor. But at the end of the line, is pay out.
Order that you had to sacrifice for is called Discipline.
When you start to emerge from the discomfort, and start to like the feel of lift-off when the room is still clean a week later, or you pay-off your car or you had to try on the next size down; then
we me you are beginning to trade one neurochemical pay off for another. It starts to feel better than the alternative. Like muscles built from carrying weights around the neighborhood, you begin to notice other things you like better than the unhelpful neurochemical security blanket you left behind.
My problem is, I am so comfortable here in my mess, and every time I “check” Facebook, someone tells me how
freaking great I am and that I have an excuse to stay right where I am. I never let my discomfort do the job it was designed to do. I’d rather just identify it and call it everything other than what it is. I never step over the rotting carcass of the elephant in the room. Because to get to the place where a cleared off dining room table thrills me like the aforementioned jackpot, I have to go through the discomfort of trusting God and eliminating the unhelpful thing, addiction, bad habit, obsession, craving, idol without dictating or even knowing what He might do with the freed up space in His own temple.
He’s the Owner, the Architect and the Cornerstone and the One Worshipped. I really don’t need to do much but trust.
Pretty exhilarating if you ask me.