This insidious question can perpetuate a cycle of darkness that will feed itself to infinity if we do not disrupt the pattern.
“Who cares?” is a thought. Thoughts are what cause our emotions. Emotions drive our actions and the actions we take make up our life.
What sort of emotions stir inside you when you think, “Who cares?”
in relation to your own goals? Not good-feeling ones, I’ll guess!
Because if YOU don’t care about your needs, desires, and goals – who does? And thinking nobody cares what you want or need just feels shitty. Am I right?
No one likes to feel hurt, and normally what humans do when we have shitty feelings is turn to whatever it is we have practiced soothing our hard emotions with. At this time of year many people realize that they might be using their self-soothing tool too frequently for health, and try to reduce their use of food, alcohol, or whatever their substance of choice.
If food is your choice for self-soothing hard emotions, and you decide you want to reduce your weight for lots of great health benefits, what will be the normal response the first time you feel some hard emotions? The average person is going to revert to eating something to numb those emotions! It sounds ludicrous, but trust me, we all do this! We revert to default patterns (habits) that we’ve had for years because that’s what’s familiar. The average woman also then beats the crap out of herself for NOT sticking to her intention to do something different, even though all she really did was revert to the familiar pattern she’s been practicing for years, or even decades.
Disrupt the Pattern
When the difficult emotions arise, we can enter a hypnotic state that allows us to default to previous patterns. Our first tool is awareness, always. We cannot change a behavior until we are aware that it’s happening. Once we become aware, we must disrupt our normal pattern if we are to change it and form a new, healthier way of dealing with painful emotions.
I often thought that if I could have a panic button to press as soon as I am aware of uncomfortable emotions that set off alarm bells, it might shock me into realizing that this moment is the ONE where I get to choose a different behavior. When I get a thought that tells me sugar or pizza will soothe whatever I am feeling, I picture myself running around like a mad woman with an air horn, screaming at myself to wake up and pay attention because something important is happening, and that I need to be present. Sometimes I even heed her advice.
It’s always going to feel easier to get a pizza than to cook a healthy meal at home. I mean really, who cares? Who really cares if I feed my body crap that makes me feel sick and drains my energy? This line of thinking will get me an extra large Canadian bacon and pineapple pizza delivered to my door every time! If no one cares – do what’s easy.
There can also be an element of resentment toward our partner if they agree to order pizza even though they know it makes us sick every time we eat wheat and dairy, right? Cause that kinda PROVES the point that no one cares, or maybe they would have the self-restraint to stop me. More than one client has expressed a desire to rely on her mate for this type of support.
It helps to remember that building new behaviors and habits was NOT your first thought, so why would it be the first thing on your partners’ mind? Our partner is as new at trying to change the behavior as we are. It’s highly likely that your partner also wants to self-soothe. Or maybe they know the pizza makes you happy and they want you to be happy! Ultimately it’s not their decision how you soothe. It’s yours.
Why does this matter?
If we can be aware in the moment of choice – the moment when we hear ourselves think “who cares?” – what will change if we substitute the question, “Why does this matter?” Why does it matter that I cook at home when it’s EASIER to eat pizza? Why does it matter that I cook at home (stick to whatever intention you are trying to stick to) when nobody cares?
It matters because if I don’t care about my needs, desires, and goals, nobody will! It matters, because when I was thinking with clarity and talking to my coach, I made choices based on my own
well-being and I set intentions for what I want for my life! It matters because I deserve to have my needs met. It matters because I want to be healthier than I currently am. It matters because “I” matter!
This has everything to do with understanding that we matter.
You matter. I matter. Each and every one of us matters!
If someone else kept telling the person you love most that nobody cares about their needs and desires, you would rise up like a mama bear to defend their needs and desires! Allow your inner mama bear to defend your needs, desires and goals. When you become aware of the thought, “who cares?” be fierce in defense of your own needs, and the goals to which you aspire! Remind yourself sternly that YOU care because your health matters, because YOU matter!
If you can’t bring yourself into alignment with the belief that you do matter just as much as the next person, please find yourself a counselor or an amazing therapist. (MY therapist, Jill Lebeau, is freaking AWESOME and I am delighted to recommend her!)
If you understand (or at least can begin to see) how much you matter, and want to change some habitual patterns of thinking or behaving, maybe coaching is right for you!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me as clearly as you can, why you are considering hiring a coach, and what specifically you would like to discuss. We’ll get you scheduled for your free 30-minute session and grow from there!
What do you turn to for soothing?
In what ways is that habit harming your health?
How ready are you to let it go?
Why do your goals and intentions matter to you?
How much do YOU matter to yourself?
Who is responsible for making sure your needs get met?
Make a list of ways you can self-soothe without harming your health!
BONUS POINTS – Share ideas for healthy self-soothing in comments!