What is that old saying?
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
That guy, Albert Einstein, he said it.
I just checked.
Google told me.
(Real Google, not Ruthy-Google.)
That expression came to me last week.
But it wasn’t due to repeated physical activities.
It wasn’t from doing the same thing at work, day after day.
It was from a realisation of repeated emotional behaviours.
Especially in relation to one particular individual.
See, I have this question…
If you understand the root of your actions, if you understand what prompts you to do certain things that you do, or say things that you say, or think the things you think, if you know why your brain is wired the way it is, how do you re-wire it?
I know what you’re all thinking.
I know the answer that is going to come back to me.
I know it because it’s one that I’ve heard from acting coaches and friends alike – “Go to therapy!”
I can self-diagnose my issues, but can I self-cure?
The suggestion was made, upon discussion with said individual, that part of the issue in this case, was that there was a pattern of behaviour that we both adhered to.
And although that pattern was once fantastic, it was now our main issue.
So, together, consciously, we should reset the relationship.
We could create a new pattern.
A new, healthy, adult attitude to each other.
I hope so.
Time will tell.
Is this all it takes?
Actually having grown-up, mature, adult conversations about how we’re feeling?
I also went to a concert last week.
The Australian Chamber Orchestra were in London doing a show with Barry Humphries and Meow Meow.
Bazza himself – the national treasure that he is – was our Compere for the evening!
Miss Masters, who was my most wonderful date for the evening, did think that he was dead, so was pleasantly surprised to the contrary!
The show was a celebration of forgotten and lesser known composers within the Weimar Republic.
Throughout the evening, the discussion of Mama Humphries’ slightly anti-Semitic attitudes in 1950’s Australia came up.
These were particularly interesting when contrasted with her young son’s excitement in surrounding himself by the music of many of her least favourite people.
And, this too, made me think about repeated behaviours.
Or, repeated thoughts..?
Or, learnt behaviours.
I don’t know exactly.
But you know what I mean.
There was a time when the most common reaction to interactions with our tribe were negative ones.
Let me be clear, I realise that these interactions still happen, but I don’t believe them to be the majority of responses any longer.
That negative response was a learnt behaviour.
It still is.
Just as, in recent news, there’s been lots of speeches of “No-one is born a bigot. Hatred is learnt” suggest.
But, slowly, over time, some people learn to get themselves out of these patterns of thinking.
Or do they still think this way?
Do they just ignore those thoughts?
I realise I’ve made a few leaps in today’s lesson.
I realise that some people may have an issue with me comparing racism, or anti-Semitism, to my own stupid thoughts about vanity or my love life.
But, I think it’s all related.
It’s all learnt behaviours.
It takes counselling – whether by a professional, by friends or family or just from self-reflection to acknowledge these patterns and to change them.
And my question remains.
How do you train yourself out of habits?
Let’s be honest.
These “learnt behaviours” are habits.
And, as we all know, bad habits are the hardest to break.
Good habits are fine.
They come and go.
But bad habits?
What hope do we have?
In this current situation, all I can do is remind myself of how awful this habit makes me feel.
I need to start using a pain-aversion therapy.
If I focus on the pain…
Then why would I want to continue causing myself that pain in the future?
Lesson 24 is easier for all of you than it is for me – don’t be an idiot like #RabbitAsh.
You’ve nailed it.
I’ll catch up to you all in a bit.