Adjusting to a Healthy Mindset is...Weird

How getting rid of Dead Petal Behaviors is like outgrowing a comfort blanket.

Did any of you ever have a comfort blanket?

I did and couldn’t get rid of mine until the 4th grade. It was old, tattered, and my mom was dying to get rid of it.

Comfort blankets are blankets kids have when they’re young and get really emotionally attached to.

One day when I got back home from school, I found a brand new blanket on top of my bed. I got so mad that I threw a tantrum. I cried, screamed, and accused my mom of being a bully.

Now getting used to life without my comfort blanket was really hard. Not only was I still mad but I missed my old blanket. I couldn’t sleep. I missed cuddling with it. I missed the smell of it. I missed the comfort it brought me when I got scared at night.

But eventually I outgrew the comfort blanket. I realized that I was honestly too old to have one. A friend of mine even mentioned that she had gotten rid of hers years ago and that made me think it was time for me to move on.

When we get rid of the Dead Petals in our lives, we go through a similar experience.

Dead Petal Behaviors are the self-destructive coping mechanisms we developed in light of our Emotional Debt. These are the behaviors that we turn to even though they hurt us or hold us back.

The Dead Petal Behaviors (DPB) are like comfort blankets. They are the things we turn to when we’re in pain. They’re the things we rely on when we get scared and removing feels horrible.

Why? Because we have gotten so used to DPB’s that we think that it’s the norm. We think that getting drunk every night is normal. Being in pain is normal. Feeling depressed is normal.

It even gets to the point where we think that DPB’s are apart of who are as people. We think that we should feel lonely. That something is wrong with us if we’re not in pain. We even begin to depend on the DPB’s in really unhealthy ways.

I remember I was watching a Conan O’Brien interview and he said that for the longest time he thought he needed to be depressed in order to be funny. This is actually a common mentality amongst many creatives because they think that they can only produce something great out of a place of darkness.

There is a certain degree of truth in this idea. Some amazing pieces of art were created during times of incredible sadness or loss. But greatness doesn’t come from artificially created suffering either.

As we pursue a healthy behaviors, we need to remind ourselves that we are not our Dead Petal Behaviors. We are greater than the pain. We are more than the suffering we’ve become so accustomed to. It’s time to stop treating DPB’s like 8 year old Andrew does with his comfort blanket.

Is it going to feel weird? Yes. Uncomfortable? Yes. Will we feel like a different person? Hopefully!

And if when we do, embrace it. Lean into it. Fight to stay in it because that means we’re moving in the right direction.


Discussion Questions

  1. What are some reasons why it is so hard to stop Dead Petal Behaviors?

  2. Has it ever felt weird choosing more “healthy” behaviors? If so, why?