Avoidance is Something Worth Paying Attention To

Ignorance is bliss? I’m not so sure.  I do that when I avoid something that I don’t want to pay attention to, that can feel pretty good – for a while. For example, it feels good – for a while – to avoid doing the dishes. It feels good – for a while – to avoid having a painful conversation. But, after the good feeling of avoidance (the bliss of ignorance) goes away, the dishes are still there. Avoidance does not make those dishes any cleaner. In fact, the more they sit in the sink, the harder it becomes to get them clean. You know how old pasta sauce on the dish becomes like cement sitting for too long. This is a metaphor worth paying attention to.

When you pay attention to what you’d prefer to avoid, you begin to shift from putting life on hold into actually living your life. Life becomes easier, because you don’t have so much pasta sauce cement to scrub off your dishes. You can solve your problems in “bite size,” manageable chunks instead of putting things off until the situation becomes overwhelming. Avoid the pasta sauce cement by paying attention to the dishes while the sauce is still easy to rinse off.

At first, it can be overwhelming to pay attention to what you’d rather avoid. But, very quickly, you see how much easier it is to solve problems when they are small rather than when they are huge. So, the best way to avoid huge problems is to pay attention to them when they are small.

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Filed under Portland Mindfulness Therapy

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