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The importance of the next step


I have been thinking about inertia, the illusory comfort of not moving and here are some of my thoughts. My education which took part in the 1960's, was comprised of the carrot and the stick, and there was very little carrot. At that time, in private schools, the starting agent used to motivate us was often sudden violence, a raging tirade or torrent of blows. Of course this worked to ensure a brittle compliance.


Later on in life, it became clear that I had the choice, continue to do to myself and others, what had been done to me, or seek another way. Addiction recovery opened the door to that choice, because I was no longer motivated by fear of punishment, I needed to learn to be a better friend to myself, or relapse would likely follow.


Interestingly this is where the friend of inertia showed up, namely perfectionism, which I think is the real block to productive activity and relationship. I had been, for so long, unaware of my perfectionism or how violent childhood conditioning had taught me that not moving meant safety, and that if i was to undertake any action, it had better be perfect , or else.


Thus dominated by the fear of rebuke, criticism, shame and humiliation, I learned to become immobile, to take absolutely no risks with other people, which meant I blocked myself from social, professional, educational and artistic activities for fear of getting it wrongToday, i see the effect of this conditioning and feel some loss because of the time it took me to learn to proactively counter it.


Today I choose to take a micro step, it may be a phone call to a prospective client, an old friend, some cleaning up, writing a piece for my blog, or taking a walk, in fact, anything, that doesnt numb me into the unquestioning compliance of childhood, but moves me into the present. Tiny acts are good, and momentum starts with the first one, right now, that first tiny act of rebellion that moves me to a new perspective on life and the part I can choose to play in this broad river of ever-changing possibilities.



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