by Glen Depke
Think about it, with the Internet, there is no shortage of information available. Most people understand on some level what they need to be healthy. We often know what to do, so why can't we achieve the health and happiness we desire. The answer more often than not is your saboteur.
You know the saboteur. This is the part of you that tells you to smoke a cigarette when you they can kill you. Tells you to over consume junk food when you know it is nutritionally void. Tells you to watch TV when you know you should be exercising. Tells you stay up late when you know you need a good night's sleep. Tells you to blow money on something you do not need, when bills are piling up. Tells you to lash out at your spouse when they have not done anything wrong. Tells you to eat gluten when you know it creates issues for you. By now, I think you get the picture.
Well here's my take on this as I see it with my clients over the years.
I look at saboteur as a part of you but not you. We could compare this to a parasite. A parasite can be inside of your body but it really is not a part of you. It is simply living within you, feeding on you and using you as a host while damaging you at the same time. Think about it. Your own personal saboteur is doing he same thing. It is living within you, feeding on your mind, and using you while damaging you at the same time.
So how do we become infected by this saboteur? I believe this infection starts with our domestication. For those that have not heard me talk about domestication in the past, look at it this way. We are all born wild human beings. From here we are domesticated on every level. We are taught what to say, how to say it, how to react, how to interact, what languages to speak, what religions to follow and the list goes on.
So who do we learn this from? Well actually we learn this from every single person we come in contact with. Each teaching us their own interpretation of the rules of life, the domestication, and often the infection. The most significant influences on teaching us this saboteur is our primary care givers, which is most often our parents.
While I know that our parents have the best intentions, but they are only teaching us the very domestications that they were taught themselves. They are just passing along the patterns of sabotage they plague themselves. Understand also that what we learn from the time of conception until about 5-7 years old, becomes a part of what I consider the old brain. This aspect of self forms the patterns that we live our lives by. Do you ever wonder why we consistently make the same mistakes? You would think we learn from our past mistakes but we often keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
Don't be too hard on yourself though. We are all trying to muddle through the same challenges. The biggest difference is that some of us are aware of this while most are simply ignorant to these domestications. It is often hard to see what is challenging you when you are living in the midst of it.
Well, if you at least have awareness of the saboteur, you are at least at the first step. If you were not aware in the past, I would hope that you are aware at this point in this article. So not that you are aware what can you do?
The first action to take is to stay present. Break down your life into the only moments that truly exist. This would be right now. The past is over and the future is not here yet. Be in this moment! When we are not in the moment we are typically agonizing over the past or portraying our past trauma into our future. Sounds like tons of fun right? So much fun, most of us live in these states most of the time. It is time to be in the moment!
Once you can be in the moment, the next action step is to chose what is empowering to you and those around you. Do this in your moments. As you are making choices throughout your day ask yourself this simple question all the time. Is this choice empowering me and those around me or is this disempowering? If it is disempowering your option is very simple. Chose something else! But of course be sure your next choice is empowering.
From here it is important to allow others around you to "be". To explain this let me give you an example. Let's say that your spouse is having a bad day and you feel that he/she is taking it out on you. From here you would typically take it personally and feel the need to attack back. It would be much easier to understand that your spouse is simply dealing with a tough time and allow him/her to be with their issue. Taking it personally can be so damaging to us. Stop taking everything so personally! Allowing others to "be" is so healing for us and for them.
To put this all together, let's look at an example. Let's say that an area that you typically sabotage is by eating junk food when you know it is damaging you. You find yourself at a party and it seems that all the have available is junk food and alcohol. Remember to first be in the moment. You do not have to make a choice based on what you have done in the past. Recognize that it is not your problem that the host decided to only offer poor quality food and alcohol to you. You can let this continue to be the problem of the host and not yours. Then ask yourself the question, is eating the junk food and having a cocktail empowering or disempowering? From here, I would simply recognize that whatever you chose is perfect.
If you chose the junk food and alcohol, don't beat yourself up with guilt and negativity. This simply feeds the saboteur, feeds the infection. Know that you can chose differently next time.
On the other side of this equation, let's say that you chose to ask for a glass of ice water with lemon and you found some nuts and cheese to snack on. The host or others at the party might give you a hard time for not indulging but remember, you are not allowing their problems to be yours.
Follow these simple steps and watch your saboteur dissolve before your very eyes. Watch your "perfect" shift and change. Witness yourself living the life of health and happiness. The life of your dreams!
As always, if you have any comments or questions about this article, leave a post below and I will answer this personally.