Accepting Things Changes Everything

I was talking with a student in my conversation class. We were discussing a story. The main character had a bad habit. At the end of the story, the main character decided to get rid of the bad habit. When I mean they decided, I mean, they really decided at a deep level.

The boy in the story was not staying seated and then he decided to sit. He had a bad habit of always getting up and moving around or walking around. This is a problem in classrooms, at dinnertime, or when he is doing homework. I don't know why or how he made that decision and the interesting thing is he didn't know why either.

But I have experienced this kind of decision. It’s the story of my life. There are times when I decide things. After that I do it. Before I make the decision I don't do that thing, whatever it may be. There are lots of examples of this. One example is washing the dishes. When I was 20, I never washed the dishes. Of course, I washed them, but it was with great reluctance, and only after they had piled up and I had no clean dishes left. But when I was 24 I realised that the dishes will not wash themselves. Of course, I knew intellectually that they would not wash themselves for many years prior to that. But that is never enough. Understanding is never enough.

On that date I decided at a deep level to wash the dishes. After that, washing dishes was easy. This happened to me in many ways. Brushing my teeth. Studying. Cleaning my room. For many years, I resisted these activities. Finally, a part of me accepted them. I guess part of me realised that I was just wasting energy resisting them. I spent energy doing them plus I wasted energy resisting them, and on top of that I probably added piles of emotional baggage to my life by resisting them.

In the case of my son, he has a bad posture. He's always got the rounded back and the head forward. My wife and I are telling him to stand up straight. But really that's like spitting in the ocean. Nothing will change until one day he will wake up and he will realise that he wants to have a good posture. Until that day I can tell him a hundred times I can tell him a thousand times I can tell him a million times but his posture won't change. It will change, but only while he is in front of me. Of course I could make it change. But then I'll put emotional baggage on him. He'll get a good posture and feel bad inside because he resents being forced to do things.

I think many things we have to decide ourselves.