Bad what? Bad habits? Bad breath? Bad programming? Well, yes, pretty much. Okay, on the bad breath I’m going to recommend some minty fresh mouthwash. And for pete’s sake, brush your tongue. Do you have any idea how many germs grow on there? Ick.

Bad habits—hold on to your hats for this one—are nothing more than bad programming that’s come to life. In other words, and in its shortest definition, if you have a habit that is self-sabotaging (and let’s face it, most bad habits are)then you likely have some bad programming behind it. This is why will power won’t work…at least not in the long run. Whether it’s smoking or binge-eating, when we do something, anything, that’s bad for our well being, it’s considered a self sabotaging behavior. Fair enough? That said, when I use the term “bad programming,” I am referring to negative beliefs that have been spoon fed to us over a lifetime of, um, eating from the spoon. Okay, so maybe it was a fork, but you get the idea.

At the risk of sounding like I know a lot, the majority of our problems come from lack of self love. There. I said it. When I say you should love yourself, I don’t mean you should fondle yourself in public, but rather, that self love is ultimately what each of us must achieve in order to find inner peace. Now before you say I sound like a crystal carrying guru headed for Dr. Phil’s, let me assure you, I do not watch Dr. Phil. Self love is the pre-cursor to creating a life you love, less stress, and plenty of good parking spaces. I can’t guarantee the parking spaces, but I’m 100% certain on the others.

In simple terms, here’s what happens: we are taught from a very young age that it’s not good to want too much, to toot our own horn too loudly, or to get in our parents’ way when they are making fondue. What? Just me? Okay, but you get what I mean. In fact, I want to make this little post well, little. Why? Because I am a big fan of not spending all of eternity rehashing and revisiting all the past, painful memories that started our issues. If you want that, try therapy. Traditional therapy will let you sit and talk about how mean your mommy was ‘til the cows come home. Poor cows. The important thing here is that we acknowledge we’ve all had some help in developing an overly active I’m-not-good-enough-gene. Teachers, religious leaders (if anyone had their knuckles rapped by a nun, I am wondering how that feels?), family and even friends.

I’ve read it a million times so I really don’t want to say it here, but I will anyway: The people who contributed to your negative programming were doing the best that they could with what they had. That, or they were just mean. In which case, screw ‘em. Actually, forgive them, send them white light (even if they are no longer living) and know that in your next lifetime, you can smack them with a ruler. See? Mommy made it all better.

Too many of us carry around a victim card like we can get into Costco with it. “Here’s my proof, I was abused, abandoned, forced to shop at WalMart on a Saturday, poor me.” Now I am not saying everyone who’s been wounded feels sorry for themselves, and I’m also not saying there’s anything wrong with the occasional pity party. I went to one just last week where they served beer! But please, avoid WalMart on weekends at all costs.

What I am saying is that as long as we insist on holding on to old hurt and blame, the longer it takes for us to clear out our minds and just move on. While we are going to talk about some techniques in a few minutes here to help clear that bad programming, we first must take responsibility for the blame game.

I know it’s as uncomfortable as rubbing sandpaper over a sunburn, but the truth of the matter is, nothing, and I mean NOTHING, can happen as long as we stay in victim hood. It is not the hood you want to be in. You have a better chance of winning the state lottery than you do improving your life while maintaining blame and self-pity. I know it’s a hard pill to swallow, but grab a drink of water and force it down. You will thank me in the morning.

Over the years I have talked to zillions of women (and that is an exact number) who gave lip service to the idea of forgiving those that have caused them pain. It’s easy enough to say, I know. But, the true test comes when it’s time to send the scoundrel some white light. The Buddha may have had a weight problem, but he also had some pretty intelligent insight. He talked about how when we hang on to anger, we are only hurting ourselves. Why would we want to hang on to something that hurts us? If I handed you a hot coal, what would you do? My guess is that you’d throw it at me. That aside, I’m betting you wouldn’t squeeze it tightly in your hand, eat it, or stick it in your ear. Am I right? See how smart I am? Seriously though, anger and non-forgiveness is that hot coal. I’m talking smoking hot, like Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise.

to be continued…..I wanted to make this short so I’ve broken it up into two posts so I don’t overwhelm you…wasn’t that nice of me?   Next week I’ll provide the methods I find most effective in breaking bad subconscious programming. In the meantime, eat all your vegetables and don’t talk to strangers–no, wait…I meant to say, stay positive, love well, and send me wine. XO