The Law of Familiarity states:
If you are around something long enough, you tend to take it for granted.
Think about when you get a new car. The excitement of looking for and deciding which one to get. Hunting around for the best price. Making sure it’s the right colour.
Then comes the purchase day, the thrill of picking up your new wheels and driving it home.
You love the smell of it and you wash it every second day…...it’s your baby.
Fast forward 6 months.
The same car hasn’t been washed in a month, there’s cobwebs on the side mirrors and scrunched up Macca’s bags in the back seat.
This is the Law of Familiarity in action.
It can happen in relationships too. When you notice the ‘spark’ has gone and everything seems a bit dull, then you’ve fallen victim to the Law.
How do we overcome this?
“If you’re not grateful for what you have right now then you won’t be grateful for whatever the future brings”
It was the middle of July and my morning ritual of taking my dog for a walk was becoming a chore. We were smack bang in the middle of winter and my warm bed was getting tougher to get out of.
I was even starting to resent my poor dog because I had to walk him. A horrible state to be in.
The Law of Familiarity had got me!!
It was around this time that I started another daily ritual. I would write down 3 things that I’m grateful for each morning and really feel them in my body.
Gratitude is an incredible state, fear and anger cannot coexist with it.
So the next morning the first thing I wrote on my gratitude list was ‘walking Disco’.
I put my hands on my heart and started breathing nice and deeply. I felt so incredibly thankful that I had my trusty sidekick at all. I realised that this was the highlight of his day, it wasn’t about me at all.
Waves of love and gratitude swept over me…..I had broken the law.
That day and each day following it was a completely different experience. It was like I was walking him for the first time again.
I would watch him sniffing every letterbox and tree and just smile. I would feel how much he was enjoying the walk.
2 months have passed and I’m still in that state when going for our morning walk. But the Law of Familiarity is there waiting. It always will be for anything we are around on a regular basis.
Lucky I have the antidote, and now so do you.
Intense Gratitude beats it every time.
I encourage you to practice this. There’s so much we have to be grateful for. Some big, some small. All are of equal importance.
If you’re struggling to think of anything, I’ll get you started.
Your heart beats 100,000 times a day and you don’t even have to think about it. As long as it beats, you live.
Be thankful for that :)
Ryan Hassan, Co-Founder at The Melbourne Centre of Healing.
Specialists in Addiction Recovery (including Ice Addiction) and Mental Health at our Addiction Rehab Centre in Melbourne, Australia.