A photo series about uncovering the habits that hold us back.
We are all creature of habits; acting on impulses that slip past our conscious decision-making. These habits go much deeper than whether or not we thrive off a routine; it’s about what we continually seek in life.
It’s when we find our lives in a cycle, what some call habitual behavior. It’s the way we go about finding comfort, feeling cared for, and facing stress. More often than not, they are quick fixes with even quicker letdowns. We resort back to these habits, day after day, knowing that we are capable of more, but lacking the will-power to move forward.
It’s when we live life on autopilot. We find ourselves simply going through the motions and staying within the confines of comfort, but soon enough, we’ll look back on our experiences with a dull ache. It’s often when the concept of “should of” makes its way into our thoughts. And the pressure of not living as we should makes us feel even worse; so to quiet the noise, we go back to that sweet habit with its arms open wide.
And here’s the thing about habits—there’s not one type and one type is not a habit for all. In this series, I chose a cigarette because it’s universally understood to be addictive. Even a life-long smoker will admit that. But what about the habits that are disguised as admirable things. Kind of like the lover that you know, deep down, isn’t good for your soul but is just a quick fix to feel connected–couldn’t they too be a habit that needs to be let go of?
Or maybe, it’s a mantra that overran its course. “Only you can look out for you.” It’s a self-empowering thought after a season of co-dependence, but what about after you’ve regained a sense of fulfillment but are now too fearful to let others in. Wouldn’t that too be a habit that should retire?
Stripped down to its basics, I believe a habit to be anything that involves rationalizing its presence in my life. When I first reflected on this, I became less concerned with removing the obvious habits and more intentional about pulling up the root of the action. Habits are often masked as fear, envy, shame, and doubt. More often than not, habits are connected to situations that we never truly worked through. It was an “aha” moment, to say the least, an ugly realization, but nevertheless, most impactful.
So, I leave you with this:
What is it who’s arms you continually lay in?
Is it a person or a perspective?
A coping mechanism or self-medication?
Whatever it is—I welcome you to, once and for all, walk away from that habit with me and find clarity.