Half-Hearted Living

I don’t know about you, but I have some rules for myself. These rules are actually more like guidelines that I have set for myself to better myself. They include not eating past 8:00pm, no watching movies during the week, and consciously-limited social media time.

I try not to break my rules.

But sometimes I do.

When I am breaking my own rules, it’s like I am try to hide that fact from myself…I know, that’s not possible but it doesn’t stop me from trying.

How do I (try) to do this?

It’s like I do the thing, but only half-heartedly. Like I didn’t really “choose” to break my own rules, it sorta just happened.

For example, after supper I usually want to do some sort of exercise. Lately, I’ve been into at-home yoga videos on YouTube. I know I “want” to do the yoga but I find my way onto Facebook or other videos, watching and reading non-educational and meaningless stuff. I feel kinda bad because I know watching this pith doesn’t help me feel better, learn anything, or grow in any way. It’s really just wasting time. So, I just don’t really give it all my attention. I become mindless and unconscious as I sit like a lump on a log, scrolling. Not really engaged. I go from one video or post to the next, I look half-heartedly. I don’t “choose” what I look at.

Another example, if I find myself snitching chocolate at 8:30pm, I eat it half-heartedly; not really conscious as I eat it, not really enjoying it or even tasting it, sometimes eating more chocolate to stuff down the guilt.

Now, it doesn’t really make logical sense, but it’s like I think that if I only do it half-heartedly, then I didn’t really make the choice to break a rule; it just sorta happened.

But I think what is better is for me, when I realize I’m “breaking my rules”, is to just fully choose to (sometimes) break them. Break the rule with full awareness. Break it whole-heartedly.

What do I mean?

If I choose to break my social media rule, then decide what video to watch and watch it! Watch it with my full attention.

If I decide to eat chocolate at 8:30pm, then get the chocolate I like the most and actually taste it and enjoy it! Eat it with my full attention.

I’ve tried this!

And guess what, usually it turns out that I really don’t want to watch other videos and I find a yoga video instead and I choose to do it. But sometimes, I find a movie and watch it. Usually it turns out that I don’t really want to eat past 8:30pm, so I choose not to. But sometimes, I enjoy every little morsel of a chocolate bar.

But I do it all with my whole-heart.

When we are half-hearted, we aren’t aware of what we are truly doing, of what we are truly feeling, of what we truly want to do, or what we truly desire.

When we are half-hearted, we are hiding from ourselves.

What’s the benefit of hiding from ourselves?

Well, what if what we are truly doing isn’t “right”? What if what we are truly feeling isn’t “good”? What if what we truly want to do isn’t “responsible”? What if what we truly desire isn’t “normal”?

Isn’t it easier to avoid judgement - from others and yourself - and just pretend to do, feel and desire the “proper” things? Isn’t it easier to disengage from life? Isn’t it easier to let the environment make choices for you? Isn’t it easier to live half-hearted?

While it may be easier to avoid judgement, disengage, and not make choices, do you really want to live your life half-heartedly? Do you want your life to pass you by as you half-sleep through it?

Life happens in the little moments. How do you choose to spend your little moments?

Whatever you choose, choose it with your whole-heart.

Here’s to conquering stress.

With heart,

The Stress Experts

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