I woke this morning to prepare for my daily runÖ Hum... Part of me said, "Holy hell, Iím not doing that today!" And the other part of me said to myself, "Oh yes you are, get up-up!" The first side said, "My bodies good enough for what itís for; itís not happnin today." The other side said, "You made a commitment long ago donít think about it. Go. Now."
So indeed, I got up and put on my cold bra, floundered to find my socks in the dark, got my dog and her leash and started out into the chilly winter wind for my daily run. The crunching sound of the cold snow seemed louder today under my feet; arr-arr-arrr. Usually, at about a mile in, I get in a trance zone and its all OK and smooth, but today, NOT! Today both sides of my brain we chatting loudly against each other. I had the biggest fight with myself. The sleepy part kept saying, "Abort" and the other side said, "Shut up." It actually became amusing. I think my body language was even swaying back and forth and I almost fell down! I wondered if others could see the boxing match inside my head, and I would not have been surprised if someone pulled over and called 911.
And if thatís not all, that evening the kids and my husband were finally asleep. The house lay still and the moment had now arrived and I could leisurely waltz around as I pleased, for the first time today. It was about midnight and my movie was about half way through. Now ladies, you know the drill, my mind turned to the possibility of sugar looming around somewhere, in some form in or around the kitchen. I stood up like a zombie that was programed to not think, but to just obey the urge to find that double chocolate donut I got from the gas station that day. Where did I hide that piece of deliciousness? Where would I have stashed it away from my husband and kids? Where would I have placed such a delicate morsel knowing that later I would want to retrieve it in itís fresh state?
Well, as I was looking around, lifting up the bread, looking under the Tupperware containers feverishly, I heard a loud voice, "Oh no you donít! Donít you dare eat that hideous piece of evil this late at night! Donít you know how bad you will feel in the morning? Donít you know how fat your waist will be and how lethargic you will feel this week?" I turned around to see who was yelling at me. I couldn'tít decide if the voice was a male of female, young or old. I stopped. I listened and the voice repeated itís self, even louder this time.
Wow. I slowly turned my head around in all directions and then my eyes settled on the mirror that was above the piano. I saw my reflection. I looked at myself closely and to my dismay, the voice seemed to, um, come from inside my own head! At that moment, I heard the first voice reminding me how comforting and pleasurable the donut would be, then the "Oh no you donít" voice came. I realized I had a fight on my hands.
Do you find that periodically during the day you have debates with yourself? Are you constantly discussing matters with yourself in order to make appropriate decisions? Or am I the only person who feels that way? Well, I actually know the answer to that one. Hundreds of my clients have been in my office throughout the past years, explaining the fights they have with themselves in areas of health, business, relationships, and even down to daily decisions like decorating their house, of parenting styles, and choices. This is called self-sabotage and is a very normal malady we all experience most of the day, all day long.
Just think of the fights youíve had with yourself this morning. How about what you ate for breakfast? Did part of you want to eat this and part of you want to eat that? Maybe for health reasons or maybe for ease and convenience? I know part of me wanted to fry some eggs for breakfast but part of me was craving a Carmel Macchiato from the local coffee shop. Part of me wanted to wear open toed shoes and part of me wanted to wear my boots for the last time this season. What parts of your mind did you notice this week and what contrasting opinions did you have? What small or large fights did you have with yourself?
Letís look at common conflicts that you may be experiencing and see which ones seem to hit home.
ē Part of me wants to be good and serve God, yet part of me is mad at God be causeÖ
ē Part of me wants to read this article and learn more, yet part of me feels that it wonít do any good, or Iím too busy.
ē Part of me wants to be a business person, and part of me wants to be a stay-at-home mom/dad.
ē Part of me likes hanging out with my kids and part of me doesnít.
ē Part of me wants to exercise, but part of me wants to rest and eat.
ē Part of me loves my spouse, but part of me wants to be single.
ē Part of me wants to get up early and get a lot done, but part of me wants to sleep in.
ē Part of me wants to live in this town but part of me wants to move to a new city.
ē Part of me wants to go forgive a specific person but part of me needs to stay resentful.
Many people walk around in conﬂict to some degree for most of their day. For example, letís say that part of you wants to go to the movies with your kids and spend quality time with them. This part of you knows that they will grow up soon and you enjoy watching them have fun, but the other part of you wants to stay home and get your work projects done. The deadline is coming soon and if your kids were at a movie with someone else, you would have the time to concentrate and be productive. What should you do? Doesnít it seem that if you didnít have to spend this time arguing with yourself you could spend more quality time enjoying your life?
With any conflict take these three steps:
1. Recognize the conflict and acknowledge it. Know what conflicts you are having and write them down.
2. Give attention to both sides of the conflict, looking at the intent underneath the desire. Ask yourself, "Where does this intent come from?" What does each side want? What is common about what each side wants?
3. What are you going to do about it? How can you compromise?
Once you acknowledge that both sides present a good outcome, you may realize that slick time management may solve the problem. Make the time to focus and get some work done, clear the two hours and then go enjoy the kids.
What kind of conflicts do you feel? What kinds of lectures do you give yourself? With a little practice and planning, most of the time you will find a way to fulfill both sides of your conflict, without having to give in to one side or the other.
Cheers to a Happy Congruent Day,