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Are you running away from yourself?

July 4, 2017

“Inside of us, but out of awareness, is the truth that I already know everything I need to know.”

There is a certain rush that comes from running – it’s the liberating realization that not all problems necessitate solutions. That not all queries require clarification. That not all of the puzzles we face up to with intensity and passion need be solved, settled and packed neatly away on a shelf – labeled “Fixed this” or “Figured out that.” We do not possess the patience or perspective that is needed to arrive at our solutions, so we instead take the easy way out. We run away. And it all seems as simple as that. When you run away from your problems, it works. Initially.

I can tell from my own experience. For as long as I know I carry around this huge reservoir of accumulated pressure that sometimes makes me miserable. It feels like there is this sense of lack that is always simmering in the background.  I have been running for most part of my life, not to feel that pain. It is often said that many of our problems are related to this reservoir of repressed emotions we carry deeply burried within ourselves. We seek to escape from it in many ways. The average human life is spent trying to avoid and run from inner turmoil of fear and the threat of misery. Everyone’s self-esteem is constantly threatened both from within and without. If we take a close look at human life, we see that it is essentially one long elaborate struggle to escape our inner fears and expectations that have been projected upon the world. In between are periods that we succeed in momentarily escaping those inner fears, but the fears are still there waiting for us.

We have become afraid of our inner feelings because they hold such a massive amount of negativity that we fear we would be overwhelmed by it if we were to take a deeper look. We have a fear of these feelings because we have no conscious mechanism by which to handle the feelings if we let them come up to the surface. Often we are afraid to face them, they continue to be surpressed they wil always be a dark cloud on the background. Like someone pinches you but you already forgot how it hurts because you are getting used to it, and the pinch becomes a tampered numb but slightly annoying feeling.

Escapism is the avoidance of feelings through diversion. This avoidance is the backbone of the entertainment industries. Also it is the route of an workaholic. Today we live in a society where people try to fill in there lonliness or that lack they fill with as much work as possible so they distract themselves.  Escapism of inner awareness is a socially condoned mechanism. We can avoid our own inner selves and keep our feelings from emerging by an endless variety of pursuits, many which eventually become addictions as our dependency upon them grows. People are desperate to stay unconcious. We observe how often people flick the television, or turn on the tv at home just to have some sound in the background.  Or we grab our phones to see if we got some new likes on that recent instagram post. The constant and endless socializing, talking, texting, working, traveling, shopping, drug-using,  and partying. (Whoops, guilty ) Then we walk in a dream-like state, constantly being programmed by the data they take in. We are terrified of facing ourselves. Most people dread even one moment of aloneness.

Many of the forgoing mechanisms of escape are ultimately ineffective. Each of them requires increasing amounts of energy in and of itself.  Enormous amounts of energy are required to keep down the growing pressure of the suppressed and repressed feelings. The projection of these repressed feelings results in the social problems, disorders, and the increase of selfishness characteristic of our present society. Most of all, the effect is the inability to truly love and trust another person, which results om emotional isolation. When you run away from your problems, we are temporaly free. You are taking your life back by ignoring all the parts of it that do not particularly please you.  Your problems don’t exist here in this new physical place that you’ve arrived at. Out of sight, out of mind, and for a while you can get off on the absence. You have new things to focus on. You’re thriving.

So what happends if we let go of a feeling? The energy behind the feeling is instantly surrendered and the effect is decompression. So how to we let go of a feeling? I am still in this process myself, as I find myself often carrying my own burdens and the burdens of the people around me. So this is why I had no choice but to go within, since this pressure was taking a toll on me especially when I got back from my travels. I think to let go of something, or to surrender a feeling is to have no strong emotion about something. Its okay if it happends and it’s okay if it doesn’t. When we feel free there is a letting go of attachments. We can enjoy something but we don’t need it for our happiness. As Jesus once said: “Be in the world, but not of it.”  Sometimes we think that we have let go of something but it turns out that it returns or continues. This is because there is more of it yet to be surrendered or that needs to be released still. The only thing we can do is acknowlodge and feel our feelings, how upsetting that might be. Feelings come and go, eventually you realize that you are not your feelings nor your emotions, but your witnessing them. You can also practise this very effectively in meditation. Just observe when each sensation arises and passes way. As you become more aware of the changes within you begin to identify with this new sense of awareness. This way we get closer and closer to our true self. We can begin to regoqnize then that those emotions were merely created by the ego in order for survival. There is a difference however between being a “emotional” person or “emotionless” person. Neither is right or wrong but both is a form of supression and repression. They often say being an overly emotional person is a good thing because you are expressing your emotions, but it is far from the truth. Sometimes this expression of emotions are projections, placed upon another person. The opposite is being emotionless, which is not expressing your emotions but they are fully repressed in the subconcious, which means they are locked up. To feel your emotions, to actually integrate them, is to take full responsibility for your feelings.

It is not thoughts nor facts that are painful, but the feelings behind them. Thoughts in and of themselves are painless, but it is the emotion behind it that often causes the innerturmoil. This is the accumulated pressure of feelings that causes thoughts. One feeling, for instance, can create literally thousands of thoughts over a period of time. Think for instance about a traumatic or painful memory from the past, like a childhood trauma, or maybe a painful break up. Then look at all the years of thoughts associated with that single event. If we could surrender the underlying painful feeling, all those thoughts would disappear instantly and we would forget the event.

When you run away from all of your problems, you eventually run from yourself.  And you will take yourself with you everywhere you go. Its something I’ve experienced myself, until I decided it was time to sit with my feelings.

When you run away from all of your problems, you run right into infinitely more. You create a world within yourself that must be tiptoed through and gets over-turned with ease. You are a land mine of unfinished wounds that bleed again at the slightest scratch. You find yourself having to constantly run further, harder, faster, to avoid what you are carrying within yourself. The further you run from your problems, the further you run from yourself. And the harder it becomes to eventually find your way back home.

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