(Warning: disgusting image ahead)

When I find myself indulging in old, not-helpful, habitual patterns of thought or feeling, I suggest to myself that I am “stewing in my own shit.” That image is so thoroughly disgusting that all I can do is roll my eyes at myself, and switch. I take a breath, chuckle at myself with fondness and a touch of chagrin, and switch to a thought or feeling that lifts me out of that noisome stew. No matter how stubbornly I want to stay put in the old way, after I bring that image up there is no way I can stay. I mean, yuk. Try it, you’ll see.

Once I get out, and shake myself off, as it were, I can look at the situation and see how I managed to end up in the old pattern. Then I can re-live the situation in my imagination, and choose a different path to a different and sweeter outcome.

Maybe my image is just too disgusting for you. I can understand that. For me, it’s so outrageous that it pulls me right back to present time, back to the me that knows a thing or two, and can make different choices. For that reason, I like it. Go ahead and pick a different image to try if you want, you don’t have to use mine. But pick one that will get your attention. And pick one that makes it clear that it is your response to a situation that causes the stink, not the situation itself. It’s my shit, and therefore I can do something about it. If I’m convinced that it’s somebody else’s shit, I’m powerless. In fact, if I’m convinced it’s somebody else’s shit, I’m the victim, which is an old, habitual, and definitely not-helpful pattern of mine!

Let me know.