Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tangled Shrubs and Minds

I have been trying to get my yard ready for spring.  While trimming hedges, I would cut a branch that was too long only to watch it stay in place.  I cut again.  The branch didn't move.  Finally, I would begin to untangle the branches and discover that the long piece I was attempting to cut was actually part of a different branch.  Many times I had to untangle the shrubbery to "get to the problem".

It occurred to me that sometimes our mind is that way.  We work on improving ourselves and getting rid of a problem behavior, with little or no satisfractory results.  We attend 12 steps programs.  No results.  We go for counseling.  No results.  We get involved in hobbies.  No results.  We attend church.  No results.  We read to improve our minds.  No results.

We can do all these things with little accomplishment if we are not working on the real problem.  Much like my shrub trimming.  I will not achieve the desired effect if I am not cutting the real problem.  We are notorious at 'covering up' issues.  We are great at 'excusing' behavior.  If all else fails, we call the behavior an 'illness' or a 'disability'. 

Dr. Phil often argued with his professors in graduate school.  He tells of one time when the professor talked about a scenerio and said, "She needs to get in touch with her id, ego and super-ego."  Dr. Phil replied, "No, she just needs to accept responsibility for her actions."  The professor was not impressed.

I have to agree with Dr. Phil.  The first step to untangling our minds is to accept responsibility for our actions and then we can work on the behavior with no cover-up, excuse or disability. 
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