Why can’t we be relaxed, calm, and natural? Why is it that discomfort or pain creep in and take over so easily? Why can’t we just be?
The process of finding out the real cause is not easy because the roots are likely to be things that are hiding somewhere very deep and it might take some effort to dig them out. The reason they have been pushed into such a place is because we don’t want to face them.
Why would we even want to do that? It is human nature. We pursue what makes us feel good and avoid what can cause unpleasant feelings or pain. It is part of our survival instinct of avoiding harm.
As you can imagine, digging out what we have pushed down will not be an easy process. It is as though we are ripping off the scab to expose the wound. The pain will come back and be felt again. It takes courage to face and go through this pain.
The pattern of Avoiding and Hiding is formed to aid our effort to find a safe place to hide the things we don’t want to face. It employs many ingenious strategies and often acts in a way that is difficult to detect – all so we can pretend or delude ourselves into believing that they don’t exist. It takes honesty to see what we don’t want to see.
There are a few places where you can start to identify the activity of this pattern.
You can observe how you live your daily life. Do you panic when you are not busy? Do you always have to be doing something? Is it difficult to be alone? Do you have fear of being ignored or excluded? Do you seek attention? Do you avoid being with yourself and facing yourself? Or, do you feel anxious when you are with people you are unfamiliar with? Do you feel it is safer to be alone? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, what are you trying to run away from?
You can observe your discomfort or pain. When you feel angry, for example, ask yourself: “What is hiding behind this anger? What is my anger trying to cover up or divert my attention from? Is it shame? Guilt? Greed? Who is angry, my false self or my True Self? Is my false self not getting what it thinks it deserves?”.
You can also observe how you react when you think your faults or weaknesses are exposed or will be in a future scenario. Do you feel stupid? Do you feel ashamed or embarrassed? Do you feel nervous or anxious? Do you feel sorry for yourself? Do you feel the need to defend yourself? Do you try to find an excuse or justification? Do you try to divert your own or other people’s attention? Do you try to paint a different picture to cover up? Do you try to please others in an attempt to control how they see you? Are you afraid that people won’t like you?
Start observing how you lose the relaxed and calm state and identify what is behind that change. Once you have found what you have pushed down, try to understand and transform it with your heart, with your unconditional trust, openness, love, gratitude, and Gongjing. This is also where you access the courage and honesty you need. When you are able to face yourself this way, you will see that there will no longer be the need to avoid and hide from yourself. The only way forward is fully accepting and embracing the whole of your life, every part of it.
Experience this message on Transforming the Pattern of Avoiding and Hiding as a meditation on REN XUE TV