What it feels like to let go.
Wow. Yesterday I wrote about resistance. Our resistance to all things good for us. How hard it is to resist, for instance, a Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream bar, and how easy it is to just fall back into bed after the alarm goes off.
In that post, I said I would make tiny notations of when I resist any of many temptations. I also said I would also engage my imagination in the moment. So that when there’s an unhealthy Whatever calling to me, I imagine facing it and saying no. And I told myself I’d imagine that ‘no’ as the wind so necessary to an airplane trying taking off. Without facing into the wind, the airplane can’t get airborne as easily.
Well, guess what? I did it. There’s this stretch of road that I frequent quite a lot, because of where it is logistically. I’m usually alone doing errands or whatnot. So I’m driving along, minding my own business, and what comes up but the Exxon gas station. Do I need gas? No. I filled up yesterday. But, but…
They’re the ones who reliably stock the Häagen-Dazs coffee ice cream bars.
Now, let’s not go demonizing Häagen-Dazs or coffee or ice cream. That’s not what this is about. For me, this treat contains copious amounts of sugar. And I’m trying to let go of sugar.
In the past, I have patronized this establishment almost every day. Usually I’m alone. Nobody has to know. I do it like an alcoholic. The gas station is there. I’m alone. I’m quick about it. And somehow, there’s magical thinking going on — If I’m alone when I eat it, and I’m not seen by anyone I know, then it didn’t really happen. I’m embarrassed by how true I made that sound to myself.
Anyway, yesterday, I’m driving along and I’m on the road with the Exxon gas station and all its Not Gas Products. I catch myself thinking nobody has to know. Then I remember my blogpost from only yesterday. (But I really really want that ice cream bar. And I’m alone. No one will know.)
This is where the rubber meets the road. (Or separates from it, if I’m successful.) I call on the picture of an airplane taking off, pointing right into the wind. I face the wind of my own effort to make a healthier choice. I imagine the difficulty of that effort creating all the lift for me to become airborne. It was amazing how much fun this was. That I was actually using how hard this was, and making it the very energy that was helping me take off.
The craving left me in that moment. I drove right by the Exxon place. And I was accompanied by that wonderful sense of lift, of taking off.
The beauty of this is that it was not a feat of will, or strength, or power. It was the opposite. It was a welcoming feeling, welcoming the craving sensation, and letting my decision not to engage create the lift.
I offer this in hopes that you’ll join me. What’s your teeny tiny problem that you simply can’t let go of? (or big problem)? Let’s support each other. I’ll keep writing about my journey. And if you feel like it, let me know how it’s going for you in the comments.
This gives me even more impetus to pay attention and improve. Because…I gotta have something to write about tomorrow :-)