Distraction can be a deeper call to Being Present
Once you have started on a path of health, healing or self inquiry, it is easier to see the more blatant habits of distraction, both in others and in yourself. There are three main movements of avoidance - moving away, moving towards and moving against. These movements get mixed in with behaviours and habits of distraction, which are always to avoid some type of deeper feelings or sensations, such as fear, terror, isolation, loneliness, unlovabiity, unworthiness, weakness, being a fraud, a failure, vulnerability, or feeling out of control.
These distracting behaviours were initially in place to help keep you feeling safe, secure, protected, loved or in control. However once the surface is scratched, we see that these behavious don’t actually work, that the habit of distraction is just that and these feelings are still beneath the surface waiting to be revealed, seen and felt.
The distracting behavious may show up as avoiding, numbing out, over doing, being unavailable and as addictions. Almost anything can be used to distract and to avoid – drugs, alcohol, over eating, TV watching, video games, social media, sexual addiction, physical activities, shopping, cleaning, being a workaholic – the list can go on and on.
When we have a desire to be true, to be free, it becomes both clear and uncomfortable to continue to indulge in these habits. The desire to be true, to be here, to be present, requires the willingness to feel whatever is here, whatever has been hidden, whatever is surfacing, whatever has been unconscious or obscured from view.
What may not be so clearly seen, are the more subtle habits and tendencies of egoic distraction and movements of mind. It takes a deep commitment to be true, and vigilance to see how these blatant tendencies can often be substituted for another behaviour of distraction, that may look more spiritual on the surface.
In being ruthlessly honest with yourself – where are you substituting one avoidance strategy for another? Have you stopped eating junk food only to become obsessed with healthy eating, have you stopped being inactive only to become obsessed with physical activity, have you swapped being a workaholic for constant distraction and procrastination on social media, or through entertainment, have you swapped endless doing, for endless chanting, yoga or spiritual practice – take a look and see what is playing out in your life. No matter what it is – there is a deeper call to be true, a deeper call to be real, a deeper call to feel, a deeper call to be present. The awareness of any distraction can then be used as a deeper call to Being Present.
In being present, what do you notice? What becomes available? Deeper than all of the strategies of avoidance, deeper than the unmet sensations and emotions, what is revealed, what is here, untouched, silent, free, aware? – There is the possibility of using your own presence of awareness to turn in on itself to reveal presence itself.
Satsang is the opportunity to come together as we are, to tell the truth, to meet our self and each other as the one self – innocently, freshly, freely. Let us meet here in presence, in the silence and freedom of the Self.
In all love for this that you are