The question I pose is very obvious when it comes to a broken ankle, for instance, when you need to take pressure off the area to avoid creating more damage. Crutches ultimately help you return to a healthy state so that you no longer need them. But there are other crutches that we use often, sometimes without real need, and with no understanding that we need to give them up. So why do we use them? Because we are compensating in some way. And it’s easy.
A good example is coffee. At every retreat, people ask us about it, and if it’s good for us. (It is, in small amounts, like a small espresso or Americano.) Our rule is to not have coffee when tired; instead, we take a nap to restore our energy. And we don’t feel guilty about it, we enjoy it because we really see the difference in our attitude and energy level afterwards. Even our clients in busy work environments are able to do this: Instead of going to lunch, they eat a bar and take a nap in their office or car. Other clients nap the minute they return home from work instead of heading to the fridge.
People often use wine or alcohol for stress-release or relaxation when it would be much better for them to meditate, take a nice walk, or again, take a short nap. It’s a crutch when you “need” it and can’t live without it as part of your lifestyle.
Using supplements and excess vitamins is another unnecessary, ineffective practice that people adopt. If we eat nutrient-poor foods that are fried, overcooked, and processed, we are certainly depleted, but supplements are not the answer. They’re costly, lack micronutrients, and are often poorly absorbed. The key is to change your eating habits, incorporating more fresh fruit and vegetables, preparing simple dishes yourself that will provide you with all the vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that you need to have energy and healthy organs.
Cleanses are a compensatory crutch for poor eating habits as well. Thirty days of juicing or “detoxifying” and “flushing” teas, colon cleansing, etc., are all short-term “solutions,” usually embraced the moment you’re conscious that you’re doing something wrong to your body. You never change your poor eating habits.
Even exercise can even be a crutch when you overdo your workout to compensate for excess calories instead of controlling your food intake. And then when your knees and back ache from over-exercising, you rely on Advil or other painkillers to mask the symptoms of damage instead of listening to your body.
Instead of numbing, masking, cleansing, and artificially boosting your energy, why not investigate your unhappy body lifestyle and make changes that will provide you with long-lasting, positive outcomes?
Are you aware of using crutches in your own life? Where and when do you use them? Is there a positive use for some of them?
Was there ever a time when a helpful crutch turned into a problem?
Leave your response below in the comments.