Three Life Habits That Perpetuate Struggle, And The Solution That Transcends Them
There are three common ways we tend to deal with difficulties in life: we may attack, or distract ourselves, or deny the reality of the situation.
Attack is especially popular in modern society. We use attack as a form of defense. We may jump to our individual assumptions and interpretations of what has been said, and then take offense at what we interpret as a personal attack on us, our values or our truths. Instead of stepping back for objectivity, we launch into an attack of what we think happened or what we imagine the other saying. This hooks us into an endless cycle of conflict, both within and without. When some truth manages to penetrate our defenses, we may even deny the existence of actual evidence that contradicts our assumptions. We may even harden our stance by seeking revenge or justification and so fueling the flames of conflict.
We humans are very good at distracting ourselves whenever we do not know how or do not wish to face the truth. In modern society, the temptations for distraction are endless: we may overindulge in binge-watching television, overeating, indulging in addictive behavior, playing games, or even exercise. We love to justify and feed these habits of distraction: we skew truth to find reasons to indulge our addictions, or to justify our behavior. And while we may be haunted by self-doubt within, we push that away by invoking the actions of others as justification for our distracted – and destructive – behavior. Often, it is not until we hit bottom in this cycle that we realize the high price of distraction ourselves from truth and accountability.
The third way we perpetuate struggle is something every addict knows well: we go into denial. We deny everything that appears dissonant to our own make-believe reality construct. We avoid people and situations that call into question the shaky reality construct to which we cling, and we avoid taking responsibility for our choices and actions. Instead of dealing with unpleasant issues, we may deny our part in it and project blame on someone else. When we do not want to come clean or confront discrepancies in our own value system, we opt to disassociate instead. We avoid, ignore, deny or pretend we did not hear or see what happened, while we try to tiptoe past the truth. By denying truth, we slip into a form of self-hypnosis that traps us in a repetitive, destructive cycle of attacking, distracting or denial.
There is a better approach to life’s challenges available to all of us. It is the pathway of awakening, which requires the willingness to practice personal honesty and accountability. True awakening asks us to surrender our ego stance to which we so desperately cling, and to open our hearts and minds instead to seek the deeper Truth that exists in all of life. It is by aligning to this deeper Truth that we find the grace to surrender our hero worship at the false feet of egoic self. In the presence of Truth, our false gods and beliefs are laid bare for the shabby fakes they are, and we surrender our false attachments to right or wrong, to judgment and blame, to justification and shame, to avoidance and projection.
Higher Truth is available to all of us at all times. The price for entry is simply this: we need to drop the ego’s cloak of duality and self-righteousness, and be willing to strip ourselves bare from all the limiting habits we’ve been hiding behind. Beyond the false identity of ego our souls await – ever pure, ever whole and ever peaceful. In that Presence, the illusion of struggle and competition dissolve to reveal the eternal Oneness of All that Is.
Our souls are not stirred by comfort and denial; it is upheaval that throws us out of our comfort zone into the uncertainty of life and awakens us. The goal of life, then, is not to avoid discomfort and the unknown; it is to lean into these times without holding back. The loss off our former safety net can become the opportunity to fly if we can stay present in the moment and stay open to the opportunities revealed by upheaval.
Are you feeling anxious because your world is coming apart? Do you feel as if you struggling on alone, without support, stuck in misery and confusion?
When upheaval comes, it is very helpful to remember that you are experiencing it because the cozy predictability of your life has just been addressed somehow. It may feel as if the rug has been pulled out from under you and you are falling through mid-air. This very sense of groundlessness invites you to stay present, and to see this is an invitation to deeper awakening and growth.
When we stop resisting fear of the unknown and stay present to our experience, we discover more and more freedom. We learn to lean into the Permanence that exists beyond the solid world of senses, and to surrender our attachment to the impermanence of the created world.
We are invited to discover the limitless freedom of Infinite Awareness manifest in us, and to recognize the timeless nature of Being. As we let go of our narrow identity as bodies, we can expand into the spaciousness of our true nature. We are expansive enough to stay present in every experience as it unfolds.
There is no need to defend false ego constructs: no need to attack, distract, or ignore what is unfolding in our lives. We can step back from drama and align with the Presence in which all possibilities exists and from where all creation emanates.
This letting go of our attachment to comfort and security, allows us to align with the Source of all that is, instead of the limited creations of ego. It restores us to ultimate freedom. From here, we can create a better world by focusing on what is truly meaningful, truthful, and inclusive.
Ada Porat is an energy kinesiologist & pastoral counselor with extensive international teaching & clinical experience. She uses body/mind/spirit techniques to help clients make optimal life choices.
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