I keep seeing how I use sometimes use whatever is closest at hand in an attempt to avoid feeling certain emotions, or being reminded of certain images or thoughts:
(a) Friends, going for walks, food, internet, movies, podcasts, news, listening to spiritual interviews/talks.
(b) Day dreams, going into stressful images and thoughts.
(c) Inquiry, certain forms of meditation, any technique used with the aim of changing content of experience.
It’s all innocent. It’s all from love. It’s all from an attempt to be kind to myself. It’s from worried love.
And it’s all from an innocent mistake. It all comes from holding certain images and thoughts as if they were true.
Some of these images and thoughts:
It’s overwhelming. It’s too much. (To open to the emotion/thought.)
Something terrible will happen. (If I open to the emotion/thought.)
It’s my emotion. It’s my image, my thought. It’s my experience.
It’s discomfort, fear, sadness, anger. It’s an image. It’s a thought. It’s a memory. It’s my future.
It’s other than me. It’s not what I am.
I need it to go away. Another experience is better / more comfortable.
And I can ask myself one or more of these questions:
Is it true it – this emotion, this image, this thought – is not already allowed?
Is it true it’s overwhelming? Is it true it’s too much?
Is it true this emotion (fear, sadness, anger) is mine? Is it true this image is mine? Is it true this experience is mine?
Is it true it’s discomfort? Is it true it’s fear? Is it true it’s a memory? Is it true it’s my future?
Is it true it’s something else than what I am?
Is it true I need it go away? Is it true another experience is better?
Is it true it’s not love? Is it true it’s not (the play of) awareness?
Note: As a friend of mine noted, the thought of “escape” – when held as true – is what prevents me from noticing whether escape is possible at all. Isn’t it already too late? Isn’t what’s attempted to escape from already allowed, already welcomed?