There are a few things that I’ve noticed over the last few days, and it has been that I tend to avoid situations by being busy. A thought enters my mind, something along the lines of, I should eat. I’m going to go eat. Almost immediately, another idea comes my mind, “Yes, I will eat after I do _____,” (check email, respond to a request, quickly browse Twitter, finish what I’m listening to, etc.).
Why do I avoid the things that I want to do or need to do? I’m not sure. I haven’t completed enough introspection/meditation to understand what is causing avoidance.
Take yesterday as an example. I wanted to write, I knew that I had reaffirmed my dedication to writing for thirty minutes, and yet, I didn’t write.
I don’t recall, precisely, what took me away from writing, but I have a hunch it was more avoidance. The dishes needed to be done (there are always dishes to be done in COVID-19-land), I needed to join my friends in a Zoom happy-half-hour (which was very much enjoyable and lifted my spirits), I needed to … I don’t know! Things. Excuses. Procrastination. Avoidance.
I don’t want to shame myself here. I don’t find shame as a useful tool at this point in my life. Does it have an application? Yes. Is it necessary in general? Yes. And, I think that shame is overused and most of our society – our friends, our family, our children – are bogged down with, you guessed it, shame.
Awareness and compassion seem to be a better approach to my dilemma. It is going to require a bit of effort and meditation to sort out what is causing the avoidance, and to find systems to ensure the avoidance doesn’t run my life, but I can see the light.
Am I avoiding writing because I don’t know how to write a book? Probably. I don’t even know where to start other than putting ink on paper.
I remember purchasing my typewriter and thinking, “This is it! This is what will help motivate me to write a book!” That was five years ago. I don’t believe I am alone in this. I think that is a collective experience for humanity. “I’ll do ____ when I have [purchased a tool or system or read the latest book/blog on the subject]. It is another trick of the mind to avoid the task.
I know that I avoid things. Awareness is key to fixing any problem. If it doesn’t occur to you, how can you choose?
I’m grateful to have had the realization of avoidance today. I learned a lot.
On that note, I’m going to go read, because there are two books (and emails) that I have been avoiding. Why? I think I’m afraid they will have a profound impact on my beliefs.