The last two posts I did came from my yelling “Someone close the door” when I saw it open. My son had just come in, and walked past my wife. He may have thought she was going out, and left it open. She may have thought he was going back out, and did not close it. So it stood open a couple of seconds. Had I said nothing, I’m sure one of them would have closed the door.
Is it a big deal the door was open a few seconds longer than it “should” have been? Here and now, no it is not. In the past, it was. We use to live where it was very hot. The AC sometimes ran non-stop for days, and leaving the door open meant it got warmer in the house, and stayed warmer. It did not help my son was then younger and less responsible, and the door being open for a couple of minutes, or ajar for far longer, happened all too often.
Now we live where it does not get so hot. It hit 96 a couple days ago (with a heat index of only 92 due to low humidity). The temperature was in the 90’s a few hours, and it cooled down to below 6o overnight. The door being open a bit longer just is not that big an issue here and now. If we had always lived here, I doubt I would react the same way to the door being left open a bit longer.
The point of this story? Why should my past determine how I act now? Why can’t I act the way I would if my current experience was my experience all along? Why am I working from a reality I no longer live?
This is a significant issue for most (all?) of us; how we act now is based on things no longer true or relevant. We are reacting to, and from, our past. At best, we look silly or uptight. More often than not, we create frustrations and problems because we are reacting from our past.
The first step to changing such things is to see and understand them. That sounds good, but it is not easy. Once something becomes habit, we stop thinking about it and do it without checking to see if it is still the best (or right, or sane) way to react.
If you want to find habits you should change, you will need to be alert and introspective. Ask yourself why you do everything you do. Ask yourself if you are acting from an old habit. Ask yourself if there might be a better, nicer, kinder, or more effective way to act.