I am endeavouring to be a better listener. In the Three Principles apprentice program, we are encouraged to listen ‘beyond the words’ for a feeling, in order to have a deeper experience of what is being communicated. That means not taking notes. I am a compulsive note-taker. I have always taken notes. I believe I need to take notes to refer back too. Interestingly though, 99% of the time, I never look at them again.
Discussing this with a colleague, I realized that the thought of not taking notes felt quite uncomfortable. We used EFT tapping to shift my discomfort from 7 to nearly zero. After the session, I was curious about just how many notebooks and journals I actually possessed. As it turns out I had 49 in various stages of full, partially used and new. ‘Impressive’ my colleague quipped. This number of journals did seem rather excessive, and to what benefit?
Obsessions with things and compulsive behaviours can be blind spots. We don’t realize them until something prompts us to look, or someone points them out. We possess and get attached to things believing they are the source of joy or security. We engage in habits because we believe they will afford us safety, acceptance or control. The objects or behaviours do not grant those things, it’s our belief that they do. Joy, safety, acceptance and perception of control all come from within. We live in an inside-out generated experience of life.
If you are curious about obsessions or compulsions you might have, ask someone who knows you well (and will be kind). There is nothing wrong with possessing things or engaging in habitual behaviours, except if they are getting in your way of you being present to a richer, more fulfilling and happier experience of life. When you understand the thing or habit is not the source of your joy, safety, acceptance and or control, those come from within you, you are free to have it or do it, or not.