Less Muscle, and More Compassion

Why do we do the things we do?

Why do we gorge ourselves on sweets, when we’re trying to lose weight?  Why do we have that extra glass of wine, when we know we shouldn’t?  Why do we spend so much time glued to that computer, when there is a real world out there?

I used to think that I didn’t need to know why.  I used to think that all it took was more muscle.  If I could just will myself to give all that up, things would be better for it.

But we need to know why, because all of those things serve a purpose.  What if we’re overeating for comfort, because there is something stressful we haven’t wanted to deal with?  What if we’re having that extra glass of wine, because we want to forget about something?

Changing our habits, and improving ourselves requires more than just muscle.  And that’s why it’s so hard.  Making lasting change requires understanding and compassion, and it takes time.

I have realized this, in my efforts to spend less time online.  The community we’ve all created here, is safe.  For years, I had put up walls.  I felt alone and unworthy, and I was constantly running from what I believed to be a shameful past.

Whatever it was, I thought I was the only one.

Through your friendship, you’ve helped me to open up and to let love in.  My message now is, that we are not alone.  That there is no reason to be ashamed of the lessons we’ve learned, and that not a one of us is the only one.

You’ve created a safe place for me to learn and grow and share my message.  And that’s why it sucks me in.  That’s why I find it irresistible.

If you met someone on the street, who had been fearful for years, and had finally found somewhere safe, would you force them to never go back?  Would you tell them to will their fears away and leave?  Certainly not.

Moving forward from here is a process.  My journey now is to find the same safety and the same love in the “real” world.  Everything I’ve found here has been positive, but it’s time to find that positive outside of that computer screen.

Every single one of us is real.  We all live in communities.  So I know that love exists out there.

Do you struggle with online time, for the same reason?  What habits have you discovered in yourself, that you should view with compassion, in trying to change?


My Advent Calendar is still for sale, and I will continue to give 2 of them away every day this week!

11 thoughts on “Less Muscle, and More Compassion

  1. Hi Bethany, while I love the online community, I have a hard time reconciling face-in-computer time with face-to-face time. There are only a certain number of minutes we have to live, so each minute is precious. I think it’s always good, like you are doing, to prioritize and change our actions if they are no longer aligned with those priorities. My time is best spent talking with CJ, so I will always choose that first!

    • Hmmmm…How to put this? I think what I was trying to say was that if I’m NOT loving face-to-face time as much as face-in-computer time, then that’s a sign that some changes need to be made, in the “real” aspect of my life! (And I’m certainly NOT talking about my wonderful husband! LOL)

  2. You bring up a good point. Technology can be good if we use it properly. But for those who are going through tough times it can be easy to escape into the anonymity of the online community. I have watched couples who were having problems end up losing the battle when one turns to companionship in online/distance relationships and not realize they have crossed the line.

    If we take a good look around at our modern lives there is much that we can use as a crutch to escape, rather than face, our situations. It’s not just the internet, but like you mentioned food and alcohol, but there is also TV, gaming, on that subject there’s casinos as well if we want to leave our homes. We can schedule our time so we are constantly busy and running around. We need down time, time alone without all the noise to get in touch with our true feelings.

  3. I have off on Mondays. What I usually do if I don’t have errands to run or if I can accomplish them in the morning is I go to a local park that is right on the river. I put up lunch and sit there and eat my lunch and read my book. It is a wonderful way to spend the day without any interruptions and get ready for the work week. I even leave my phone in the car so I’m not interrupted.

  4. I agree that you can’t just ‘will’ change to occur. Compassion and understanding are two great tools in the habit and life changing process.

  5. You are once again, ON TARGET! Balance and self compassion are foreign concepts to some of us. For the last 3 weeks I gave myself permission to be imperfect. I didn’t write my blog and missed a writing class as well as cheat on my diet. I did not beat myself up even once. When the dry spell passes, I pick myself up and move forward. Each day, each moment we are different people, living whatever life we choose for that time. I had a few lazy weeks when I felt less than energetic; a bit off. I’m also trying to find a face to face community, It has proven more difficult than I anticipated but I will continue to work on balancing alone and virtual companionship with human companionship You have all been a life boat while I flounder. Thank you for that. There is so much I don’t mention on my own blog because my son reads and worries. Face to face, I can tell him I’m struggling but not in an e-mail, blog or phone call 1000 miles away. He’s a fixer. I just need to wade through whatever is going on till I reach the other bank. You know what I mean, I’m sure. You are really good at pointing things out. I’m glad I’m following.

    • I know exactly what you mean. 🙂 It’s been an interesting journey for me, over the past year, and I think things are settling and coming to a conclusion. Not that I’ll be perfect and never struggle again (don’t we all wish for that!), but I’ve taken some major steps lately.

      Hey, if you ever do need someone (who is NOT a fixer!) to listen while you sort things you, you always know how to reach me.

      • Thanks. Same here. I am the listener and secret keeper in my circle. Everyone comes to me to offload knowing I don’t share. Gossip isn’t my thing. I don’t even share with my sister because she over shares..
        Journal writing has saved me.

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