Forward progress

I learned a valuable lesson when was when I was making a rosary. It took forever to finish, and I took a lot of time off in between.  I’d work on it and get bored or my hands would hurt, and I’d put it aside.  I finally realized that when I got back to it, nothing had taken away the work that I’d done.  No “rosary elves” had shortened my project by five links.  What I had done was still there.

The same is true of our good habits.  Any forward progress is forward progress, no matter how slow. A difference with good deeds is that we don’t have something to look at to see our progress, so we tend to forget how far we’ve come.  We look at the time we took off rather than the work we’ve already done.  We look at the fact that we stopped rather than the fact that we started again.

When we are trying to start a good habit, like sitting up straight instead of hunching over, we will find ourselves hunched over, and suddenly remember to straighten.  Then, five or ten minutes later, we are back, hunched over.  This is normal.  We straighten again, and we tend to think “Ugh! Why do I keep hunching over?” It is healthier to think “Hey! I remembered to sit up straight!” instead.

Focus on what is working.    Focus on what you are doing right. Ignore the mistakes and the pauses.  That is part of the package deal of being human.  It will become habit to do the right thing, but it takes a while. All good habits are learned, just like bad habits. Having patience with the process is part of the process.


About betsybeadhead

Hello, and Welcome. My name is Betsy, and I like beads and prayers. Fortunately those two things are more related than I ever realized. You are invited to “like” my Facebook page titled “Betsy Beadhead” and thus see what I’m talking about in my posts when I try to explain something using beads rather than words. This whole thing started because of that. Then I couldn't figure out how to post pictures so I just started writing. I string together words the same way I string together beads, and both serve the same purpose. I work at a library, surrounded by ideas brushing up against each other. I draw, paint, and collage. I study world religions. In all these experiences I like combining different things and making new things, and stretching my understanding of what “is” and what “has to be.” You are welcome to share my posts - just please give credit where credit is due. I'm anti-censorship but I'm also anti-plagiarism.
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