I can see in my life that there have been times that I have been unwilling to be with what I am feeling, be that anxiety, anger, fear, worry and the thoughts I am thinking, especially if they are negative. I can see that I am usually looking for ways to distract or get away from these thoughts or feelings through working, exercising, traveling, eating, drinking etc. However the reality is that no matter how much I do these activities, I can never seem to escape myself.
The truth is that we can go to the most distant countries, be with the most beautiful lovers, have the greatest jobs and have the most fancy of houses, however we can never escape who we really are. We always bring ourselves to every experience by the thoughts we think and the feelings we are feeling.
We are brainwashed by the media, advertising and society in general that all these things outside of ourselves can be a way to make us happy, peaceful and joyful, however it can only be found within.
Many people in our society use drink, drugs, sex, money, people, fame, watching TV, work etc. as a means to escape their existing reality, the reality of what their minds and their feelings are creating. This cycle of escaping can be a vicious cycle whereby people can live this way all their lives and never know any different. Sometimes people reach a place of deep unhappiness in their lives which pushes them to reflect and reevaluate their lives. Often times it is at this place that the person has the opportunity to create another way of living.
We are taught from an early age to NOT become aware and understand how we are feeling and thinking. When we were in school and college, we were told what to think rather than how to think. In my experience, it was a very rare occasion where I was taught how to understand and become aware of how I was feeling and thinking. Generally, children are punished in school for misbehaving and judged for being so called “bad”. There is little focus and attention given to why the child behaved in the way they did and what was really going on for them at an emotional and psychological level. The “bad” behaviour is reinforced by giving attention to it and more than likely the child tends to repeat the behaviour.
So how do we learn to stop escaping ourselves?
Here are a few ways I have come across, that you may like to consider;
~ Meditate for 20 – 30 minutes per day and just become aware of your thoughts and feelings.
~ Journal or do a stream of consciousness of writing on how you are in that moment.
~ Ask yourself – how is it serving me to be doing this work, be drinking this much, etc?
~ Get more connected with nature – go for a walk in the woods, jump into the sea, climb a mountain.
~ Talk to somebody who could help you understand and become aware of yourself.
As always I would love to hear any comments and feedback you may have.