If we were able to count how many times we avoided our own suffering, I think we would fail miserably..
We have all at some point avoided emotions that are uncomfortable, by distracting ourselves, by numbing ourselves and by completely ignoring what is really going on..
This makes complete sense..Humans don’t like suffering..
By avoiding pain, we are temporarily soothing ourselves so we can better cope with what is bubbling under the surface. We might drink alcohol, do drugs, eat too much food, watch too much tv or spend too much time on the internet. We might develop addictions to numerous things and not even realise it.This is how we cope and in society at the moment, a huge percentage of us are addicted to the internet. If we are feeling down, we go online to search for clues as to what might make us feel better.If we are lonely, we announce it to the world on social media to get attention, instead of just reaching out to a caring friend. If we are happy, we also go online and share it with the world, instead of just enjoying the moment.
Since the focus of this post is on uncomfortable feelings, we need to acknowledge how often we avoid them..How will we ever grow and better ourselves if we constantly hide behind our suffering?
Distractions are good sometimes, don’t get me wrong..and also connecting with people online, blogging, watching videos etc..The important thing to remember is however, that we still need to be aware of what we still need to improve or change in our lives and actually do it!
For those of us who suffer with a mental illness, it is even more challenging to not run from suffering..Especially if it is a constant part of our lives to feel really low, anxious, terrified, lonely etc..If we have a history of trauma, no matter how much we try to ‘numb ourselves’, this will eventually start seeping out..
If we have been made to feel small, unimportant or ashamed in our childhood, then this will be incredibly tough to run from or avoid..We will feel it in the depth of our being..It will reveal itself in every step forward we may try to take..No matter what we do in our life, we will never feel good enough, lovable enough, deserving enough..It is a tough reality to bare..
Avoiding our feelings gives us temporary relief but with a whole life ahead of us, this isn’t enough..
If you are suffering at the moment, then face the pain..cry…ask for a hug..have human contact..Talk to someone who will genuinely listen..Don’t bury your suffering inside a tv or by reading about how you can make it better on numerous sites….This can also become addictive..gathering information about a certain area constantly but without actually taking any actions to improve that area of our suffering, is also avoiding pain..
Yes, of course we need validation for our suffering but make sure that you are making progress..If you want to deal with your anxiety, then take active steps to improve this..Talk to a qualified Coach or Therapist..Practice daily positive affirmations..Take ACTUAL STEPS to accept and manage your feelings..ACCEPTANCE is very important but ACTION is too!
If you want to change jobs but feel too scared, then face your discomfort head on and start applying for new ones..Attend interviews..Keep trying..
If you are scared of heights but would love to go trekking, then find a way to face your fear..
The list goes on..and applies to many areas of our lives..
No matter what uncomfortable feelings you are avoiding, face them..The longer you avoid them, the longer they will remain..
We have to face discomfort..
We have to face reality..
We have to face our fears..
This is how we will grow..heal..get better
This is how we will improve our confidence, reduce our suffering and release our fears..
and lastly, if a situation is unchangeable due to our lack of control over it, learn to ACCEPT it for what it is..
Love Athina ♥
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