This is my first published text written firstly in Greek and, at all random, is inspired by the observations and the recent months that I live in Greece.
I often hear the word 'habit ' used with a sense of weight as if it is something very powerful that keeps us prisoners on a specific, repetitive route.
However, like everything else, in order to be whole, it has its other side.
And the other side of the 'monster' of habit that 'swallows' us when we enter it, is the Power.
'Habit' is not the faceless, innocent and uncontrollable underground corridor that people unnecessarily enter in the course of time.
When people fixate with constant repetition on behaviours, situations and conditions (dynamic relationships, daily actions, beliefs, routines etc), we do not do it randomly and without reason. This is how we construct our places of strength and safety. Within them we confirm our existence, we feel safe and we strengthen our stability every day.
A person with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) presents those behaviours to a greater extent. The person checks several times the devices before leaving their home, repeats the same routines (e.g.. hand washing) in the same way and all for the same need, to answer the feeling of agony, fear and dis-order.
Many people's childhood experiences of chaotic environments (the lack of systematic rules of organisation of the environment and relationships within it) was associated with painful feelings, such as the agony of punishment and fear as the environment (parents, other important, school etc) could not guarantee the smooth and stable reality and safety that comes with it upon which a person can base their sense of self. What is 'right', acceptable and ultimately beneficial for the environment (as society defines it) and for us may have been very or not at all specific and/or conflicting to each other.
What we want, what we like, what we feel etc and what we do and what we do not, what we reject, compose a sense of self consciously or unconsciously. All of this is under the umbrella of "this is who I am," and because they happen repeatedly, they reinforce that 'that I am'.
The sense of self and as it manifests itself through our actions gives us the feeling of security and stability we need in the world in order to continue to build our lives on a solid ground.
Lets imagine what would be like to wake up one day and do things differently or do the same things in a different way or we had 'different' desires and we were feeling different altogether?
How much more difficult and chaotic our world would suddenly become!
Or is it already so? Do we wake up with different thoughts every day, at a different parts of our bed, saying ' Good morning' in a different way, to different people, doing perhaps similar things in a different way or in a different time and living already in a world of uncertainty and constantly changing?
Aren't all these reasons to shake any sense of self that we created the day before?
My comment here does not aim to prove that habits are necessarily 'good' or 'bad', but to underline that in the 'space' of habit two things happen simultaneously: the 'surrendering' to a flow of action, result and state of being which is sometimes experienced as 'powerlessness' to change the habit (e.g. smoking) and at the same time the exercise of our own power (and control) to define ourselves and our world through our field of action, where the unknown is limited to the minimum possible. In that controlled field we became the kings of our castle and everything unknown, different or strange becomes our threat including other parts of ourselves, especially other parts of ourselves.
For the sake of our awareness, growth and freedom, shall we ask ourselves the next time 'who' and 'what' is served by what is happening and by what are doing?
With Love and appreciation,