There was a book written recently by an actor whom had struggled with and ultimately achieved sobriety from drugs and alcohol. When interviewed she was asked if it was fun when she was using?
It was for about a month, she reflected. But, then it quickly stopped being about the thrill of getting high and started being about not detoxing. And most of her using, she went on to say, took on the shape of trying to avoid the detox.
Sounds exhausting to me!
But then it got me thinking. It doesn’t need to be as extreme as an opiate to keep us from living a full and joyful life.
I have found that I can medicate on just about anything from sugar to sex to spirituality. I don’t believe any of these things are intrinsically unhealthy, on the contrary. However, when used to separate me from reality, rather than enhance reality, I’m missing the gift in the moment...even if that gift appears in the form of pain or sadness.
Who among us hasn’t stuffed hurt feelings with a big slice of something sweet? Or consoled ourselves with a new pair of shoes? Or, worked late to avoid an uncomfortable conversation or situation at home?
The keyword there is “avoid.” Avoidance is one of the most cleverly hidden forms of dysfunction in today’s world. We are all so busy that it is very easy to simply “not have time.” And, with technology use at an all time peak, it is easier than ever to skip out on ourselves via text and email.
So what’s the solution? Amelia Earhart famously said, “the most effective way to do it, is to do it.”
What are you avoiding? A phone call? Pick up the phone. A visit? Set a date. Saying no? Sometimes the kindest thing we can do is tell the truth about where we are at.
Why is this critical to having joy in our lives? Because ladies (and, gents, too) the more we run for cover, the easier it becomes to run for cover. Then, pretty soon, we have no authenticity left, and are doing nothing more than trying to manage our lives…instead of living them!
So, I say go for it! Take the bull by the horns, the tiger by the tail…whatever the case may be. And remember, avoidance doesn’t resolve difficulty, it only delays it…and perhaps, even intensifies it. So, wherever you find yourself, take courage, and begin. And, once you take that first step, the weight lifted will be immense, and you can take another step, and another...
I look forward to hearing about all the clever ways you avoid the things in your life that you perceive are challenging...as well as, what you do differently this week!
As always, I’m in your corner…