Week 12 - HABIT OF INVENTED SUFFERING

THE HABIT OF INVENTED SUFFERING

Seth Godin uses the term in his book What to do when it’s Your Turn “invented

suffering”.

He does not go on to say that ALL our suffering is invented.

We live in a world of contrast and injustice and disaster and greed and hatred.

We also live in a world where we CREATE suffering to justify our position, or to defend

negative self talk or to generate an excuse to stay small and stuck and have people

feel sorry for us.

Of course we dislike feeling like a victim or having others feel pity for us...but somehow

it beats the apparent alternative — stepping into out power to have others judge,

criticize or dislike us. So sometimes we invent suffering.

As artists this is easy to do.

We will create suffering any time we up level.

We will create suffering when we are afraid of the bigness we are stepping into.

We will create suffering on top of our suffering to justify how bad we feel.

We will create suffering when our expectations don’t get met.

We will create suffering, plain and simple, because we are used to doing it.

It’s our habit.

Habits are not correct or incorrect, they are just what we have grown accustomed to

doing. An automatic reaction to a specific situation. A settled or regular tendency or

practice.

A settled practice.

And we can be so much more.

Until we develop habits and practices that serve our highest and best potential we are

settling. And when we settle we cause ourselves suffering.

We live a live that is too small. And like a shoe that doesn’t fit, overtime we get

irritated. NOW we begin to invest in a new suffering — the suffering ON TOP of the

original suffering — the STORY we tell ourselves about how much we are suffering,

that of course, only causes more!

See how it is an unending cycle?

And psychology says there is only one true way to break a habit.

Start a new one.

When trying to cease a bad or outgrown habit you cannot simply stop the habit and

live in the void of it. If you do, psychologically speaking, statistically you will end up

going back. You have to REPLACE the bad habit with a new one in order to give

yourself the best opportunity to create real and lasting change.

So if you have a bad habit of being hard on yourself, you cannot expect your mind to

cease those thoughts and be silent. It WILL NOT HAPPEN. You have to first

consciously choose NEW empowering thoughts to fill the space. When the negative

thought arises you have to consciously replace it with the new thought, over and over

until over time the new thought because the first to arrive. Cycle broken.

Most of us halt our own cycle because we get so caught up in judging or being angry

at ourselves for the time it takes or the negative thoughts still creeping in. All this does

is reinforce the OLD habit. So it stays alive one more day. The transformation is in the

reinforcement of the NEW, not the commentary on the old...

This week, let us devote to a new habit.

The habit of self compassion.

If the old stuff of “you suck”, “you can’t do this”, “who do you think you are” shows up

just don’t feed it. Don’t give it any more time or energy than it already took. REPLACE

with compassion. “I hear you”, “I’m choosing a new thought now”, “thank you for

sharing”, “I’m worthy of a peaceful mind,” “I am worthy of my own love.”

It may take time.

Psychologists suggest up to 66 days to create a new habit.

So be it.

Just love yourself while you up level and watch how little you have to suffer.

Natalie

Jen Rudolph