Everyone has a bad habit. Some are frustrating, such as nail biting. Others, however, such as stress eating or gambling, can be downright destructive.

Habits are a substitute for love. I’ve written about this before, but your success boils down to whether you are in an internal state of fear or an internal state of love.

We are all built to love. Life is a test - will I choose love or will I choose fear? When we don’t get the love we need, we experience pain. We tend to blame ourselves even in painful situations that are not our fault. For example, children of divorce nearly always blame themselves for their parents’ failed marriage. Even if the parents tell them it’s not their fault, they think it is.

Through the fog of pain and rejection we start believing untruths about ourselves: I’m not good enough.  I’m not attractive enough. I didn’t do the job well enough. When we feel like we aren’t enough in some way, we experience pain and unfortunately in dealing with this pain it is human nature to develop habits. Habits are a love substitute.

Still unsure about this? Think about the internal conversations you might have with yourself if you use chocolate to help you feel better: “If I can’t be happy, then at least I’ll be happy for a few minutes eating this chocolate bar.”

Now eating chocolate, of course, isn’t inherently bad, but any habit used to substitute love is bad because you miss out entirely on the sincere enjoyment of living in the moment and you’re ignoring, and not healing, the underlying hurt.

This bait and switch of your mind, again, can occur on many levels, from the seemingly innocent addiction to shopping to more serious bad habits. I’ve never met anyone who did not have some habit or addiction that is keeping them from what they want in life.

If  you have to have a habit make sure it’s one that’s not going to ruin your life. For example, as a teenager I became obsessed with fitness and exercise. I achieved what I wanted (getting fit) but it became an obsession that was really destructive in a number of ways in my life. In other words, I was doing a good thing for the wrong reasons.

So think about the habits in your life. Why are you doing it? Do you have a healthy balance or is it a substitute for pain that you are not dealing with? If the latter is the case, it will be a big negative on your life and even if you stop, you’ll just get addicted to something else.

The solution is to deal with the why. You must identify the reason you are reaching for a love substitute and heal that painful memory.

I’d like to remind you of an effective four-question test I wrote about in an earlier blog (hyperlink back to four questions blog). This simple exercise can help reveal your internalized fears.Tonight before you go to bed, take time for a completely quiet, meditative moment -- no TV, no music on your headphones, no cell phone. Ask yourself these four questions as honestly as possible to help bring to the surface perceptions you have buried deeply:

  1. Do you feel safe?
  2. Do you feel you are a "good" person?
  3. Do you feel successful?
  4. Do you feel loved?

Rate these on a scale of 0 to 10, zero being the least problematic and 10 being one that is the most troubling for you, and the question that elicits the highest score is probably the area you need to address to conquer your bad habits

Using the Healing Codes you can work on this area until you have healed the memories associated with this hurt and ultimately conquer your bad habits.

I actually consider bad habits to be a gift because they can be a diagnostic to show you where you are malfunctioning. Use your bad habits to determine what is keeping you from your healthiest, happiest most successful life.

Alex

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