The topic of ‘avoidance’ has been popping up in my life over the last 2 weeks and I thought it would be worthwhile sharing some insights and perspectives I’ve had along the way.
Over the 10 years I’ve been working with clients, I have observed one common theme that exists for every single one of them. In fact, I don’t think there is one person I’ve ever worked with who doesn’t experience this for themselves – the desire to avoid anything and everything that’s challenging or confronting. The question is, why do people choose to play the avoidance game?
I am comfortable to admit that I play this game myself, more often than I would like to. It is something that has become so hardwired, that even if we tried to stop it, the brain would just hijack us all over again and the pattern would repeat itself.
For most of us, if not all of us, the idea of dealing with a challenge, conflict or pain is not something we want to embrace. In all honesty, who would really choose those options if they felt like they could avoid them somehow? The truth though, is that when we embrace the parts of our lives that push our boundaries and test every part of who we are, we are able to grow fully and maximise our potential in life. Despite that, we’d rather pop a pill, take some drugs, drink alcohol, have coffee or do whatever we can to mask our pain instead of feeling it and breaking through it.
For the better part of my last relationship, I avoided taking action in my life and following my heart. I very much loved my partner and was scared of losing her so I chose to minimise my dreams and the direction I wanted to go in, in my life in order to avoid dealing with the pain of possibly losing her and even being on my own. The outcome of those decisions was far more painful, in my perception, than it would have been if I’d just honoured myself when I wanted to. I did however learn the most valuable lesson of my life and that is, when you choose to sacrifice who you are or what you want instead of standing in ownership of that, you experience lots of pain that you didn’t consciously choose. This pain then acts as a reminder not to consider taking those same actions again in the future.
In all honesty, the pain wasn’t greater than it would have been if I’d honoured myself. It just felt greater because I didn’t consciously choose that version of pain so it seemed a lot more challenging to manage and overcome.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve come to the same turning point in my life and realised that it’s time to take some serious action but I’d been avoiding it. As a result, I experienced my first ever migraine – which freaked me out. Thankfully, it didn’t take long for me to figure out what my body was trying to tell me and I have recently made a decision to take the action I’ve been putting off. Now I know it will be uncomfortable and unsettling but, as I say to my clients, it’s better to experience short term pain and create long term gain instead of experiencing short term gain and creating long term pain.
As one of my mentors, Dr John Demartini often teaches, any time you avoid challenge in life you will experience the ABCD’s of negativity, which are: anger and aggression, blame and betrayal, criticism and challenge and despondency, depression and despair. It’s wise to tackle whatever pain is right in front of you and look for the blessing or opportunity in it. The more you avoid it, the more you will create it, attract it to you or become it yourself. Pain is one of the greatest teachers in life and it helps us grow. Without the hurdles and obstacles we are faced with in life, we wouldn’t really achieve anything or go anywhere. Learn to embrace what causes you discomfort so you can keep making the leaps, jumps and bounds that will get you to your end goals and your dreams.