What Are You Avoiding?

what-are-you-avoidingYour first reaction’s going to be “I don’t need to read this because Terrie can’t be talking about me. I don’t avoid things!”

Think again. When was the last time you obsessed about something or had something go wrong in your life? Both of these might indicate that there’s something in your life (past or present) that your subconscious is avoiding.

Take weight loss for example. Some people focus on this all their life. On the surface you’d think that this was legitimate and that “of course, they should think about losing weight.” I’m not talking about the once a week, feeling bloated, thinking you need to lose weight. I’m talking about those folks that have very few other thoughts but those about weight and food. Yes, they can function in life and do the other things they have to do. But every other minute of their lives, their mind only thinks about losing weight or being heavy or on this food or that food and it’s evil qualities. And, yet they don’t care so much about those other things so the majority of the time when their mind wanders, it goes to that one topic! Nothing else.

Who knows what each person has had in their experience. Often times the person doesn’t even know. That’s why it’s difficult to figure out what’s going on – ignorance sometimes is NOT bliss.

You should be able, though, at least in retrospect, to figure out at least that you are trying to avoid something. If you find yourself really obsessing about or constantly returning to the thoughts about something, then look at what’s in the periphery of your mind – what’s poking it’s head above the ground. These little buds will give you a hint as to what you are really supposed to be paying attention to.

If for some reason you’re trying to avoid an upcoming event, it helps to do a weekly and monthly review of what’s coming in your life. When you do that, then you examine your thoughts about those events. Let me give you an example. I knew that I had at least two significant events coming up in March, neither of which I felt prepared for. And I was very concerned about having to go to both totally unprepared. those worries continued to come back to me.  This kept recurring even though I was pretty diligent about using my favorite saying “everything always works out for me”. But since I’m used to these self-doubts I really didn’t think much about what was going on inside of me. I should have learned from two years ago when I learned that I had such “power” to create adversity for myself to help me avoid things I was uncertain of. But, alas, I didn’t learn. The Universe has its ways of teaching, though (ha ha) and since I didn’t learn my lesson then, it knew it had to send me another “course” to take…just like being back in school. Oh well. And you all know the rest…I ended up with a medical issue that required surgery and therefore provided me with a “legitimate” excuse/reason not to have to participate in those two events. It was much more socially acceptable than just having to say that I was going to pull out because I wasn’t prepared. How could I possibly admit that? See what I was avoiding.

Had I done an upcoming event review even 2-3 months before the events I would have been able to say “whoa, be careful what’s going on here. If you’re not prepared and can’t get prepared, pull out now and don’t worry about your pride. It’s not worth creating some medical or other issue to “get you out of it” Terrie.” As a result I would have been much more vigilant of my thoughts and done preparatory mental work to keep me from creating the “excuse”/reason. If I caught myself with any “anti” thought, I would have immediately countered it with more than just my general statement. I would not have been ignorant of what was happening inside my head (and body)

In my example I was avoiding not only an event but also thoughts and feelings. The thoughts were “if I don’t do these two things, I’ll be a failure”. The feelings or emotions that go along with those thoughts are obvious (fear, rejection, humiliation, shame, etc). Without going into great deal I hope you can see how complex these issues are.

So, if some adversity has happened in your life, take a look and see what the “side effects” were. By side effects I mean examples as I used above. What else happened that maybe you could consider beneficial? You have to look a bit deeper than normal though. For example, on the surface I was extremely disappointed I couldn’t do these two events. But that was simply superficial. Deep within, I realized my subconscious had done me a “favor” it thought.

People who have been abused physically, sexually or even emotionally will dissociate from their bodies and feelings so they do not have to experience the pain and hurt any more. That is a “side effect”. Everything that happens us is something we have created some how and there is usually both an up and a down side to it. Take some time to look back on your life and figure them out. I have done that and come up with many surprises.

Remember, the avoidance is a protective mechanism and it might have to do with:

  • an event
  • a thought
  • an emotion or feeling
  • all of the above

This may be hard for you to swallow but I think if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll find some examples in your own life. You don’t need to tell anyone else. You just need to be aware so you can avoid a recurrence in the future.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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