Announcing the Practical Enlightenment series: for which I invite you to get your big girl (or boy) panties on and grab a flashlight as we dive under the bed of your subconscious to confront and conquer the monsters lurking there.
Over the years, I have discovered that trying not to feel certain feelings consumes an enormous amount of energy. My personal theory is that it also contributes to depression, stress and even ill health (a.k.a. dis-ease): In the pursuit of avoidance, it is easy to fall victim to unhealthy coping techniques such as over-eating to “stuff down” feelings, overindulging in the consumption of alcohol or – fill in the blank with the compulsive escapist activity of your choice.
What I’d like to suggest is that you join me in exploring a whole new approach to the feelings you’d most like to avoid. Instead of denying our undesirable thoughts and feelings, we will summon up some courage and turn towards them armed with an invincible mixture of Compassion and Curiosity.
Self-compassion is very helpful in this kind of personal healing work – beating yourself up is such a futile exercise. Self-criticism is a form of stagnation, continually bemoaning the problem and stating that it shouldn’t exist does nothing to alleviate the situation. Your time and energy is far better spent in getting past your opinions about whether things ought to be different, accepting the reality you are facing and moving on into solution-seeking. When you replace critical self-condemnation with an attitude of slight detachment and curiosity, you may be very surprised at how much progress you can make in a very short amount of time to heal patterns that have dogged you for years.