Every now and then I get stuck in a loop. I find myself doing something that I don’t want to do, and that I’ve been doing it far longer than I should. It doesn’t make any sense. I’m an adult. I’m in charge of my life, right? It sure doesn’t feel like it to me sometimes, and I suspect you might know what I’m talking about.
There are habits that I fall into that don’t do me any good anymore, if they really ever did to start with. Doing the same thing over and over feels safer than trying something new, even if the old thing is a dead end. This is how I’ll end up eating a whole bag of potato chips in one sitting. This is how I’ll spend two hours scrolling through Facebook to see if anything is happening. This is how I smoked clove cigarettes and pot for ten years.
Mindlessness. It’s all mindlessness. It’s being on auto pilot. It is worse than death because at least with death I don’t have control over my actions. I’d like to think when I’m alive, I do. I feel so embarrassed when I catch myself doing something I know isn’t good for me. I wonder how I started.
The bad part is that when I get in these loops I usually recognize it. I’m aware of how badly I don’t want to be doing this thing but I’m still doing it anyway. Ten minutes later and I’m still doing it. Ten minutes more and I’m still there.
I’ve developed a way to help me break out of this negative feedback loop that helps me, so I offer it to you. Think of it this way – Would Jesus be spending his time like this? What if he were here with me? Would I be doing what I am doing? It works for food too – would Jesus be eating this? Would I serve it to him? As for the state of my house, would I be embarrassed to have him over? Is it welcoming, or a mess? And what would we do? Would we sit around watching TV or checking Facebook? So, if I wouldn’t treat Jesus like that, why am I treating myself like that? I need to show myself the love that Jesus showed to people. I need to remember that I am important.
I sometimes get my husband to let me do something nice for him by talking him into the idea that it benefits me. I’m trying the same trick on myself. Instead of thinking about my own needs, I’m imagining that Jesus is here. Would I be doing this? Would I be treating my body this way? Would I be spending my time this way? Would I be talking to myself this way?
I feel like Jesus wouldn’t waste his time but then I remember that he spent a lot of time alone, talking with God. So there was certainly some down time, but I can’t compare that to surfing the internet mindlessly or reading boring books or ignoring things that need to be done around the house.
What I’m trying to do is use Jesus as a reminder to be mindful. I’m not giving Jesus control. That isn’t what it is at all. I’m also not trying to guilt trip myself into doing or not doing anything. I’m trying to come up with a trick that helps me get unstuck from a groove, a rut. So far, when I remember to do it, it works.