Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Risky Behavior

Engaging in risky behavior to avoid reality and numb pain is common. The usual suspects are violence, promiscuity, drugs, and alcohol. However, there are other risky behaviors that are easier to disguise, but just as detrimental.

As a teenager, I wasn't interested in violence, sex, drugs, or alcohol. I was interested in escaping so I focused my attention on an exit plan. On the surface, I was simply driven. However, my desire to flee was an indicator of my blatant refusal to deal with my reality and pain. I detested violence, but was unkind to myself. I didn't give in to sexual pressures, but I caved under the pressure of family expectation. I didn't take drugs, but my mind was clouded with a distorted sense of religious forgiveness. I didn't drink alcohol, but I devoured lies.

As I grew older, my risky behaviors grew also. I forced myself to be silent. I was promiscuous with my time and energy by maintaining unhealthy relationships in order to keep an illusion of peace. My drug of choice was negative self talk and thoughts of unworthiness. I binged on guilt and shame and punished myself for it. I did it all while still achieving and with a smile on my face, even as I was being consumed by untruths. Just like a functional addict.

Risky behavior includes the usual suspects, but many more of our actions—and at times, non-actions—lead us in the opposite direction of our purpose. At best, it's counterproductive. At its worst, it's unhealthy and dangerous. Do you silence your voice? Do you keep relationships that don't provide growth or support? Do you consume lies from others? Are you being honest with yourself? Take the time to discover your risky behaviors. It's only when you view your life through the lens of truth that you can evaluate, reconcile, and correct.

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