Tribble secrets!

I am going to tell you a secret about tribbles: they often travel in groups. Or, more precisely, in lines. You think you’ve sorted a tribble out, and then you notice that behind her is her sister.

The way it works is pretty simple: once we’ve given ourselves a reason for resisting something — that is, we’ve named the first tribble — we tend to believe that reason. We’re not wrong! That reason is definitely a reason. But sometimes we let the tribble convince us that it’s the reason. (Tribbles are notoriously self-important.) Or sometimes it just seems easier to try to do one thing at a time! So then we focus on the tribble who is right in front of us.

When I don’t want to do my practice, I usually see You-Don’t-Have-Time Tribble first. You-Don’t-Have-Time Tribble is a gal with valid complaints about my schedule, and for a long time, I totally bought her story. I don’t have time! Once I noticed that she was telling a story, we had some chats, and when she moved out of the way, there was But-What-If-I’m-Really-A-Giant-Mess Tribble! Maybe you are. If you slow down, I bet you’ll find out you’re really a mess, and then you’ll feel bad, and you’ll end up not wanting to get out of bed for six months and eating only bonbons and die of malnutrition and sloth. Whoa.

The reason I’m telling you this is that I want you to see it for what it is: you’re getting better at this. Finding one tribble hiding behind its sister can feel discouraging, especially if you’re not expecting it! But what’s happening is that as you get clearer about who your tribbles are, their old tricks don’t work as well, and they have to pull out bigger and bigger stops, showing you deeper and deeper layers of your fear until suddenly, you’ll notice that somewhere back there, you came out the other side.

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