When we feel ‘well’ we experience a sense of happiness, inner peace, energy and a desire to share these with others in a positive, open heart chakra way. When feeling well, we are in balance; that is, we are able to sleep through the night, perform all levels of activity while awake, and accomplish what we set out to do throughout the day. We make short-term and long-term goals, and look forward to waking up each morning with a desire to embark upon new adventures along our journey.
When we are out of balance, we feel tired, sometimes sad or hopeless, and we may want to either be alone or just get rid of the pain without putting in too much personal effort. If the pain is emotional, we may do certain things in excess: sleep, eat, exercise, self-distract using other people or events, or we may abuse chemical substances to numb the pain.
When out of balance, the self-distracting options work only temporarily, since they are band aids on gunshot wounds. They generally fail to address the core problem we successfully avoid facing. The results of these ‘band aid’ interventions are often VERY costly, on multiple fronts, including but not limited to personally, physically, spiritually, economically etc.
If you think you might tend to self-distract, congratulations on that awareness! That is the very first step in healing. The next step would be to, in your next moment of personal strength, seek out a wise mentor, mental health professional and/or other person or group that can help you to re-establish the balance you crave. You deserve to feel joy and it is, I can promise you, within your reach. Fear is an illusion. It is a shadow. As with ALL shadows, it will disappear once light is cast upon it.
What if a person I love seems to channel positive energy, but the goal is really to self-distract? Each journey is personal and sacred. If a loved one seems to self-distract, that might be just your perception. Before suggesting anything, ask yourself if that loved one otherwise seems joyful, self-reflects, embraces personal growth, seems excited about life, and takes good personal care of him/her self (i.e. eats right, sleeps well etc). If these self-care goals are met, then don’t be too quick to believe that the person is self-distracting.
However, if that loved one tends to pit people against one another, suggests (more often than not) that he or she is a victim of circumstance, accepts little or no responsibility in negative outcomes and/or neglects his or her own mind, body and/or spirit, then the question to ask that person is: “Are you happy with your life as it is? Are you joyful?” If that person says, “Of course!” or even if she or he defines “Happiness” as “less miserable than yesterday”, then you need to take a deep breath and remind yourself that the path to balance and wellness appears only once one sees clearly. Your input past that point would be frustrating for you both.
I know what ‘socially-unacceptable self-distraction’ looks like. How can I tell if the person I care about is self-distracting in a socially acceptable way? Playing or actively participating in sports or volunteer work may be a socially acceptable way of self-distracting when used by one as an excuse to avoid:
- spending time with positive energy people
- taking responsibility for other self-destructive behavior such as losing sleep, eating poorly or failing to address any other health needs they may have
How do we know where we are (or where our loved one is) in the process?
Self distraction: As noted above, when one self-distracts, that person uses any excuse to avoid discussions that reflect truth to the self. If it is us, we avoid self-reflection, responsibility for certain choices, we don’t like to explain our decisions and, if pressed, we put energy into a villain/ victim/ savior scenario. That is, we become the ‘victim’ and we choose a handy ‘villain’ (the one who caused the problem for us) and a willing ‘savior’ (anyone we choose to run to to ‘save us’ from the villain). This pattern is self-destructive, but those who follow it don’t see it that way. They attract others who also self-distract and frustrate joyful people with the pattern of self-avoidance which is toxic to anyone who self-reflects and seeks truth.
When we are able to self reflect, accept responsibility and when we seek feedback from able mentors who facilitate our recognition of where we can grow (nobody is perfect and we all have lessons to learn), this suggests emotional stability, balance and a centered spirit. So what does all this have to do with wellness and healing? The goal is: BALANCE. In order to feel well, balance among mind, body and spirit must be achieved and maintained.
Life is a constant struggle to establish and reestablish equilibrium. We are not static – and neither is life. It has been said that the only thing for certain is ‘change’ and this, by itself, is a lesson worth learning. Once we ‘get it’ then we can take a deep breath and learn to ride life’s inevitable waves. Once we master the art of riding those waves, we learn how to float . . . and once that is second nature, we experience joy as well as a desire to spread good feelings with and for others.
Balance is an internal and very personal process. Nobody can do it for us and we can’t do it for anyone else – nor should we. On that note, here’s to you and your sacred journey.
What if someone I love is self-destructive (and/or what if I know I am self-destructive)? Namaste on identifying this distraction to joy. Help is out there! Click the link below for guidance regarding self-destructive behavior: http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/telepsychiatry/selfdestructive.pdf