The word negotiate means to confer with another so as to arrive at the settlement of some matter, to obtain or bring about by discussion, to bargain, to reach an agreement on. I have been involved in negotiations with other people in a myriad of situations. Reaching an agreeable decision is a common practice.
We all likely have moments of conscious contemplation and decision making independent of other people as well. On my journey, I have learned that when my perception is that I am acting automatically and without thought, there is actually a pause. I am practicing lengthening the pause and responding to my thoughts rather than reacting. Slowing down my mind revealed that sometimes I have an actual back and forth, a negotiation in fact, going on in my head. To cookie or not to cookie, that is the question!
Formerly, I believed poor food choices to be unconscious and mindless. Poor food choices were a blameless moment of weakness, a failure to exhibit willpower or a biological inability to overcome the neuronal pathways honed over a lifetime. Excuses. Drama (smile).
I own my good and bad food choices and the outcomes. Realizing that I often have this back and forth happening in order to rationalize a choice was a game changer. I have learned that these mental gymnastics usually bring me closer to the better choice and unfortunately sometimes closer to a poor choice. Choosing between “good and bad” feels significantly different from choosing between two “goods”. The good versus bad negotiations are usually lengthy. Sometimes the good versus bad negotiations end and then resume at a later point before a decision is been made. The good versus bad usually is tinged with emotion and uneasiness. A good versus good negotiation is matter of fact. An example of negotiating two goods would be do I want to defrost something or go out for a steak and I may need to do more food prep or go to the grocery.
I wish I could have closed captioning going on across the room so I could literally see the word that are forming these thoughts in real time. Or perhaps a ticker tape printout coming out of my head. I would probably laugh and say “you KNOW you know better”. Making the supportive choice fortifies me. It is a great feeling to be conscious of the back and forth and choosing and then choosing not to indulge or get off track. Making the poor choice is a step backward and results in remorse followed by forgiveness and moving on. In either scenario, I focus on my next opportunity to make the best choice. This is an ongoing process, a challenge on my journey and I am committed to doing this work.
More to come…..