It seems that the biggest- and most dangerous- life defense mechanism human beings have is avoidance.
We evade ourselves and lives by fixating on food, social media, TV screens, nonsense chatter and gossip, and turning to and eventually becoming seized by our personal choice of addiction(s). This can be anything from drugs and alcohol, to living in denial and fantasy, to our automated excuses and procrastination, to making our job our life (workaholism), and even relationship addiction.
I always said, we’re all addicts in this life, you simply get to choose your drug.
Before we know it, self-neglecting becomes our very nature.
While there is nothing wrong with the pleasures that life can offer from food to whatever activity you find satisfying. When you do things with the intent to escape and mindlessly, those absolutely acceptable activities turn into numbing vices that only take away from your self and life.
Of course, some addictions are much worse than others and their side effects occur much faster. But to be frank, I worry most about one’s relationship with the substances that are available in abundance and can be abused, especially when they’re necessary for our survival (such as food) than the obvious illegal substances. You see, it doesn’t matter if the ingredient is nature or man-made, or whether it’ll kill you fast or slow when the end result is still deterioration.
The solution? Now that you’re aware: STOP.
Confront everything you think you cannot face, without the harsh judgments.
Stop unconsciously going about your daily routines.
Stop avoiding how you feel.
Stop denying yourself the right to to fully live your life.
Stop being ashamed of yourself and all your desires.
Stop avoiding what brings you pain.
And stop over-consuming or over-doing what brings you pleasure. We all know that too much of anything, even the supposed good and healthy, makes it no good.
How do you deal with and conquer pain? SIT with it (literally yes) and work through it. Basically do anything BUT run away from it. Because the longer you distract yourself from your pains, the bigger the brick wall will be when you hit it, which inevitably you will.
And fear? Attack it. It’s that simple. Go DO what you fear. Inaction feeds the mother of all fears; self-doubt. Action breeds confidence. So get in action! Before your mind registers, just execute.
Once you quit avoiding what causes you fear in life, you can develop the resilience it takes to finally be alive, find comfort in the discomforting, and embody the courage and confidence that shall propel you to your highest and best self and life.