Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Habits are Hard to Break

Lesson for the day? Habits are hard to break. We all know that, right? Ask anyone who has tried to give up smoking, and they'll be able to attest to this. Or any drug addict. Or someone like me who is addicted to Diet Coke and Chocolate. No one is going to argue with this. I have a lot of bad habits. I procrastinate. I eat junk food. I am addicted to Facebook. I chew on ink pen lids, even though as a nurse I know how nasty that is. The habits I'm talking about, though, go a little deeper. This habit is one that goes back to my childhood, and my mom and dad will agree that it is a bad one. I'm coming clean, here, y'all.
I AM A YELLER!!! (Note the uppercase letters. Yes, I did just yell at you. I was making a point... yelling is what I do.) It started at a young age. Stomping. Slamming doors. Screaming when I didn't get what I wanted. Oh, it lay dormant through my mid-adolescent years... namely because I was giving everyone the silent treatment. It came in handy when I was a cheerleader and also when I worked with the elderly who were slightly hard of hearing. But right now, it is causing me trouble.
My husband hates it. My child gets nervous because of it. And I don't even realize that I do it. I yell when I get excited. I yell when I get mad. I yell when I'm anxious because I'm running late and I can't find my car keys and Caleb is wanting one last hug. I yell in defense when Wallace questions me or argues with me or sometimes just speaks to me.. yep, I yell... and they react. More anger. More frustration. More chaos in our already chaotic, run until you collapse in bed at night world. NOT what I intend to do at all.
Habits are really addictions, or learned behaviors. What do you do to break them? Learn new behaviors. So what I've learned today is: I've got to change my reactions. Become a little more soft-spoken. Not react... or at least not overreact. Speak deliberately... AFTER I've thought about what I want to say. Count to ten. Read my Bible more. Pray. Blog about it. Above all, open my heart to His Spirit... because it doesn't yell.

"Then he was told, "Go, stand on the mountain at attention before God. God will pass by."

A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn't to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn't in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn't in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper. "- 1 Kings 19:11-13, The Message

Lord, help me remember this... That sometimes the quietest response is really the loudest, and that my passion can be demonstrated apart from yelling.

1 comment:

  1. Lauren, I am a screamer too. Don't beat yourself up too bad. It happens sometimes. We are all flawed. I fight with my temper all the time. I think you nailed it when you said it comes from frustration. Mine does too. I just forget how it impacts others. Often it is nothing personal toward them but how I personally cope. Do you think part of it is a tendency to be a perfectionist? That is my issue. I want things just so. It is a control thing. I come from a very jacked up home though so now I overcompensate by trying to control everything I can. Sigh.