Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Slip, Lapse, Collapse

Ah, it's February 2nd! Many of us made New Year's Resolutions 32 days ago. I don't know about you, but mine are not doing so well. One of them is sick and the other is dead.
I know better than to make long lists of what I am going to do better this year. That's dooming the project on the first day. Optimistically I thought I should be able to handle two. Now I'm hoping I can resurrrect one.
Bad habits come in all sizes. They can be as serious as cigarettes or as mundane as not shutting the back door snugly so the wind won't blow it open.

Slip, Lapse, and Collapse are the words my psychologist friend uses when he's coaching someone past a bad habit. You make a resolution and the first time you break it, it is just a slip. No major catastrophe. Your reaction determines whether you sink down to the lapse level or climb back on top.
Condemnation, negative self-talk, and the like push you down. You are putting rocks in your brain that push you down deeper.
Forgiveness (yes, of yourself), positive motivation, and the like are very much like colorful helium balloons that can lift you up.
If you let Slip get you down, Lapse is at your heels, waiting for you to sink deeper. Strangely it is exactly the same reactions that worked at Slip, that will work at the Lapse level. Rocks in the brain, down the drain. Balloons in the air, you get out of there.
And if you mire down in total Collapse, where you've given up, decided you're a bad person, and written the obituary for your resolution, the journey to the starting place can be a terror.
Hint: Don't try to work yourself back up to the top.
Dump the rocks from your brain and reclaim the high point. That's right. Reject the bad and jump back to the starting line. God is on your side, and when He forgives you of your transgressions, what are they like?
Micah 7:
19 You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

And Job14:1 (The Message) My sins will be stuffed in a sack and thrown into the sea—sunk in deep ocean.

So when you slip, tap into God's forgiveness (I assume the bad habit is a sin. They always are.)And have Him toss them in the ocean.

1 comment:

Denise Miller Holmes said...

So true. Thanks for the soothing balm on the soul, Donita.