Avoiding and Hiding…
It’s late, and you’re tired. You know you need to go to bed but you’re dreading it, because you’re afraid of the thoughts that will come to you then. Those same thoughts you’ve been avoiding all day. It’s much easier to ignore your bigger problems when there are so many small ones to deal with throughout the day. But now it’s night, the time when the world quiets down and those thoughts you’ve been avoiding start speaking to you louder and louder. So you check your email again, read that article you saved earlier, maybe have a glass of wine to quiet your nervous system. Anything to keep avoiding your bigger problems.
This pattern becomes your M.O. You’ve become an expert at it by now, going along on auto-pilot. That is, until something cracks. Maybe it’s the death of someone close to you, you or someone close to you falls ill, there’s an accident where someone is hurt, you lose your job, or your partner leaves. Something will always come along to put the first crack in your fragile shell.
So now life as you know it is over, but this wasn’t by your choosing or design. Nope. It’s just life happening to you, right? Now you have no idea where your life is going. You cling to the vision you once tried to create, wanting that security blanket of denial and avoidance to cover you once again. Only it won’t. It can’t. Not any more.
So you despair. Romanticize what was and blame everyone and everything else. Your inner voice is really good at this. It tells you it’s all your fault. If you had just been more this or less that then all of this wouldn’t have happened. It gives you endless what if’s. It ramps up your favorite vices. Or you go on a spiritual bypass and tell yourself it’s all for the best, you only get what you can handle.
Blah, blah, blah.
Then there’s a shift and you decide you’re not going to take it any more. It can be something small, feeling like you need to release some energy from your body. So you go for a walk, a swim, a bike ride. You punch pillows and have an all-out meltdown. And that releases something within you. Something shakes loose, cracks your shell wider, and you can now see sunlight through the crack.
That sunlight starts to illuminate parts of yourself that you’d hidden away. Those thoughts you avoided come back, but now you have new awareness around them and the monsters under the bed become shadows of benign objects.
Before you know it, you’ve broken completely out of the shell you were hiding in and the world is new again. You’re seeing it all through fresh eyes and it’s ok. Heck, even better than ok. You’ve reemerged to find your footing, on shaky legs at first, and every day you grow stronger and become more connected to your real self.
If any of this resonated with you, reminded you of yourself in any way, I encourage you to check out our Tao Te Ching Self-Study Course. It combines the wisdom of one of the world’s most translated texts with small daily actions that bring about profound change in the way you communicate with yourself and with others.