Tag Archives: Unconditional Love

Day 21: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit – Results so far …

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From Addiction to Forgiveness

It’s the official three week mark since I decided to stop my obsession online shopping behavior.

What surprises me is that it’s been a lot easier than I expected it to be. I honestly thought I’d struggle with stopping.

Results so Far

Some of the benefits I thought I might see as a result of ending online shopping included:

  • More time because my online shopping jags could go anywhere from 1 – 8+ hours at a stretch. I’d say the average shopping period was 2-3 hours. If I wasn’t shopping online what would I do with the extra time?
  • In fact, this doesn’t even include the time I spent trying things on and returning things I didn’t like or that didn’t work! So I could easily double the time to at least 4-6 hours!
  • Saving money because I tend to spend between $50 – $200 per shopping binge. Although my husband worries a lot about me spending a lot of money the truth is most of the stuff ends up returned. Nonetheless I’m still paying for shipping returned items back and in the case of heavier items like bags and shoes, shipping can get expensive.
  • Having more emotional space because it isn’t taken up in worrying about getting refunds and disputes with vendors.

Of all the above, the most noticeable benefit so far is with the money. During the 21 day period, I’ve spent only $50 in total. Two e-books and a software app. Figuring I usually spend $200 – $250 this is a big decrease and if I could have been a bit more patient I could have saved $10 getting one of the books from the library (the other was well worth owning).

I don’t yet feel an appreciable increase in time because so many other things have rushed in to fill the space. Still just having the time to spend on journaling and reading Radical Forgiveness this month has made a big difference in my emotional state.

21 Days of Tracking Feels Like a Good Stopping Point for Kicking My Online Shopping Addiction

At this point, I’m going to stop officially tracking my efforts to stop shopping online. This doesn’t mean I now give myself permission to go hog wild and back to my old habits.

It means I’ve been successful when it comes to internalizing a new set of habits. I’m so mindful now of my tendency to lapse into mindless shopping when I feel stressed out or am considering a painful action that I believe I’ve formed a new habit.

I realize this habit is new and still may be fragile. At the same time I feel ready to take on a new challenge in my life.

Beginning tomorrow, 12/3/14 I’ll be practicing 30 Days of Radical Forgiveness using Colin Tipping’s book as my guide. I’ll write more tomorrow about what I’ll be doing during this challenge and the results I hope to attain through practicing radical forgiveness.

 

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Filed under Celebration, Habits, Mindfulness, Radical Forgiveness

Day 15: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

Like a Feather D r i f t i n g Along the Roadside

The other day my son told me he felt I was “drifting” when it came to my work.

That was painful to hear and I can understand where he’s coming from. I feel like I’m drifting as well. I do a little work on decluttering. I do a little work on the Business Success from the inside Out Mastermind. I haven’t done much work at all on selling m clothes on eBay.

It’s easy to feel guilty and wrong.

I know it wasn’t Matt’s intent to make me feel bad. He was just making an observation but I’ve lived for so many years under the belief that moving forward quickly and purposefully toward some goal is “good” and not doing so is “bad.” It’s hard to avoid judging myself harshly.

On the other hand I do feel I’m having some big shifts around some of the beliefs that get me stuck in places of anger and resentment.

Staying at my parents this year has been remarkably stress-free. I usually feel a combination of resentment, anger, and sadness and this year I’ve been able to simply appreciate that time I’ve been spending with them and I’ve been able to appreciate them for themselves.

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Day 14: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

Not Much to Report Today

Spent most of yesterday traveling to Chicago where I’ll be for the next week.

Although I didn’t feel much of an urge to shop I am aware of a lot of resentment coming up towards other people.

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Day 13: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

Forgiveness
Letting Go of Perfectionism Through Forgiving

I’ve been reading the book, Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping and am finding it illuminating and inspiring given what I’m discovering about myself.

In my experience, when I do something that causes problems, the behavior and the pain tend to be symptoms of an underlying issue.

It’s tempting to focus on the symptoms as the superficial cause. When I do this, it sounds like “If this situation were different, I’d be happy.”

Meaning if I could change the external condition, everything would be fine.

Sometimes the external situations DO change and I think that creates the illusion that this is the way to go.

But the truth is I don’t have much power over anything outside of myself. In fact, usually, when a situation changes, it’s a reflection of an internal shift I’ve made.

The big enchilada shift for me has to do with the story I carry that I use to explain why I’m getting what I want. My story is “I won’t get chosen because I’m not good enough.” In life this has translated to “if it’s between me and another person (or my idea and someone else’s idea, etc) I won’t get chosen because the other person is (smarter, more outgoing, more talented, more confident, etc).

I assumed if I could just somehow get myself to believe I was enough things would shift.

The obstacle I keep running into is that belief has been reinforced and reinforced over many years and wanting to change the belief hasn’t been enough.

One thing I’ve resisted is forgiving people who I feel are responsible for my having this belief to begin with.

Not just my parents…there are lots of people in my past; some minor characters and some major characters who I feel did not do right by me.

I’ve resisted forgiveness because I’ve always felt:

  1. Forgiveness is one of the few powers I had as a victim. I could choose to forgive or to withhold my forgiveness. If I withheld my forgiveness I retained this power.
  2. It infuriates me to “let those people off the hook.” This is especially true where I believe someone has no remorse or regret for the pain they caused. It nettles me to no end. In my opinion they don’t deserve to be forgiven to begin with.
  3. It seems to me that the only people who truly deserve my forgiveness are those who apologize  and express sincere regret for their actions.

My resistance comes from the idea that forgiveness is a gift given to the person responsible for the wrongdoing and why on earth should I give such a gift to anyone who hasn’t earned it?

The problem I’ve discovered with this idea is of all the people who didn’t do right by me, the person who has hurt me most is me. So I have a lot of self-forgiveness to do and I now realize that it’s hard to feel worthy if I have all kinds of resentments and anger directed at myself. Self-compassion is going to be all but impossible.

Based on the recommendation of my coach, I started reading Radical Forgiveness and it’s been a fascinating.

The idea of Radical Forgiveness is that until we can begin forgiving those we feel have hurt us, we’ll just continue bumbling into situations that give us opportunities to re-experience those core injuries. The author, Colin Tipping offers a process to forgive in a way that allows for completion and healing. And once you forgive in this way, your emotional wiring shifts and the dynamics shift.

What I like about this approach is that it repositions forgiveness as a gift in which I am the primary beneficiary. And it feels like a more concrete way to shift these beliefs a more substantive, effective way than some of the other processes I’ve tried.

I haven’t yet done what I would consider a “complete” process of forgiving but I feel hopeful that this will help me have some relief from some of the beliefs I’ve been carrying that feel very heavy and hard to heal.

 

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Day 11: Kicking the Online Shopping Habit

Gus
What Would Epic A Do?

As I’ve been contemplating perfectionism I’ve been asking myself, what does it look like to be unconditionally lovable?

It’s hard for me to get there myself. I mean it’s hard for me to imagine myself as unconditionally lovable. Perfectionism is a hard habit to break. Every time I think about not doing something as well as possible a lot of resistance comes up.

So I’m using my cat, Gus, (A.K.A. Epic A) because I find it very easy to love Gus unconditionally.

We adopted Gus from a when he was barely 8-weeks old. He had the feline herpes virus which is very contagious and he had been separated from his litter mates and other animals.

Even when he was little Gus just got along well with people. He’s the kind of cat that greets you at the door and he always checks out visitors. My theory is that Gus was socialized at such a young age (he was barely weaned) he considers himself human or he considers us to be strange-looking cats.

Besides being very handsome, Gus has a very endearing “catsonality.” He seems to live his life assuming that everyone will love him and his needs will always be taken care of. Unlike most cats that meow and look worried when their bowl is empty, Gus purrs loudly and gives me friendly head butts until I figure out what he wants.

I nicknamed Gus “Epic A” for “Epic Adorableness” because he’s so naturally lovable. My teenage son cringes when I use this name because the word “epic” is so overused and because things the nickname “epic A” is just completely over the top in a nauseating way.

But I can’t help myself.

What’s important here is this: Gus does nothing useful in our home. Like most cats, he’s basically ornamental. But his lovability makes him incalculably precious to me. When I’m out of town, I miss him. When I return I can’t wait to get in the door to give him a cuddle and say hello.

In the scheme of things, my husband and son are way more important to me. There’s really no comparison. However, Gus is important because he’s the best example I can think of when I try to imagine what it would be like to be perfectly imperfect and yet be very easy to love.

When I described how I feel about Gus to a friend, she commented, “That’s how the Divine feels about you.”

This is a very beautiful idea and one I’d like to feel with ease. I believe when I feel that way about myself I am in the best possible position to do the work the Divine wants me to do.

So my question, “What would Epic A do?” is a serious one because Gus would never walk into a party¬†with any worries about “will they like me? am I worthy of their attention?” He would be his curious, friendly self and assume he would be liked.

That seems like a really nice way to be in the world.

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Filed under Compassion, Gratitude, Habits, Perfectionsim, Receiving