If you didn't think I was nuts already, this will probably push you in that direction, but don't blame me: I got the ideas from a book entitled "Skinny Thinking". If you click on that title it will take you to the author's website; when you get there you will say to yourself, "Oh great! It's just another diet come-on that is going to ask for a lot of my hard-earned cash.
I haven't spent a penny on anything you find for sale on the website. When I first got the book it was free for Kindle, which is the only reason I got it. I see it's ninety-nine cents. I've never gone to the workshops nor bought the lessons. In fact, there are parts of that tiny little book I've skimmed over without even reading.
This entry isn't about diet or losing weight though. It's about one simple concept that should help me do other things besides just eating right, and here it is. All of us have three individuals within: The Child, the Critic, and the Wise Witness. I have let the Child run the show most of my life. She tells me things like this: "Go ahead; you deserve it." "Life is short, and you're not getting any younger. You only live once!"
There is also the Critic. This is the part of me that, when I decide it's time to make some improvements in my life, whether it's eating properly or just being nicer to people I have a problem with, says, "You know you can't do that! You've tried and failed in the past, and here you go again, setting yourself up for another disappointment."
Of course the child then takes the ball and runs with it, because she didn't want to change anyway. Win/win.
When I first discovered this book, I found one tip that really, really helped me with losing weight. When I'm on the right track and the inner Child (I often call her the Brat) starts throwing a hissie fit for some ice cream or pizza or a second serving of chili, I just bring the Wise Witness forward to tell her this: "Not now. Maybe later."
Somehow if the Child knows that she'll eventually get what she wants it, she is content to wait (and she will, only not as much as she thinks she wants, nor as often as she wants it). And she has a short attention span, so by the next day she will have forgotten about even wanting it.
Hang in there, this may turn out to be a long post.
So this morning I was talking to God about my inner selves and said to Him, "Why can't I take that same concept that works with my diet and use it in other parts of my life just as successfully?"
He didn't answer, of course, but I mulled it over. The Child wants everybody to act in whatever way she thinks they ought to. She's a hypocrite. It's OK for her to do whatever makes her happy, but being an introvert, if somebody else makes a misstep, she just cuts them out of her life. Who needs them anyway?
The Child decides to try and be a good little girl because she has memorized that verse in the Bible about throwing the first stone, but in spite of her intention a judgmental thought comes to mind and the Critic steps in and says, "See there? Once a hypocrite, always a hypocrite! A tiger can't change her stripes."
Maybe the principle works better with eating habits because I eventually see results: My pants are looser, the numbers on the scale are getting progressively less. I can't tell the Child "Not now, maybe later", because if you're going to be a nicer person, you can't go deliberately plan to go back to being a naughty person later.
Of course, you can always get back up after you fall, which is what we need to do: Forgive ourselves and go back to doing right.
That's about as far as I got with this thought process, but going back to God I said, "You know what the trouble is? I like the Child! She's cute and funny, and it's a blast watching her do whatever she wants! (By the way, when I picture the Child, I see a picture of me as a two-year-old.)
All this was pretty much a waste of time, both my time and God's, not that He has a problem with lack of time, because I found no real solution But it was interesting to think about, and maybe eventually this thought process will lead me onto higher ground. (I can already hear the Critic in the background, laughing.)