Our worries come from our convictions that some things are beyond our reach. Things like money, career, relationships, health, sex. It is not simple to deal with repeating thoughts about what you want and don’t have. Often we fear missing out on the things that we want and as a result, turn to extreme measures.
Extreme measures are the real-life actions we take as a result of being uncomfortable, worried, and fearful. Why extreme? Because when our body is alarming us about something by making itself uncomfortable, worried or fearful – the point of this alarm is to get our attention back on ourselves. But instead of trying to understand what is going on, we choose to ignore the alarm intentionally, choosing to look the other way and distract ourselves with something more pleasant.
Imagine that you live in a building and a fire alarm goes off from time to time, sure it could be nothing, it could be your smoking neighbor on the stairways. But wouldn’t you want to know for sure? Because one day the whole building might go down in flames while you are sleeping. But then when you think about your smoking neighbor, you remember how much more successful he is than you and how uncomfortable you get in his presence. So you decide to pass on this inconvenient encounter. However, thinking about your neighbor got you all emotional and uncomfortable nevertheless. You hate it and you decide to flush this feeling down with a drink.
Taking action out of discomfort, nevertheless fear, never feels good, but if we satisfy our immediate desire for example by having a drink, this will allow us to move on, distracting us from what we feel. The measures that we take at first don’t seem extreme to us because we see the direct logic of things. The logic being – when we feel bad as a result of wanting something that we don’t have – in this case wanting the success of our neighbor, we compensate ourselves, in this case with a drink.
But you see any action that comes out of fear never changes anything in the long term because the fear remains. Instead, those actions turn into repeated behavior and thought patterns otherwise known as addictions. As times goes by we become more depended on these patterns and now they seem like second nature to us. A quick fix if you will.
If you catch yourself just a second before you turn to your extreme measures, and sincerely turn your attention to how you feel you will find out that you are not at peace. You may find yourself at discomfort, worry, pressure, disturbance, rushing, unsettled, contracted, suspicious, etc. All of which come from – There is something that you think that you want and you don’t have.
Do you want to be more successful than your smoking neighbor? Even if you become more successful than him, would it assure you that you won’t run into someone else more successful than you? Perhaps your discomfort comes from feeling unworthy when you encounter someone successful? You will never know unless you become interested.
The uncomfortable alarm that you get is not about who is more successful, it is about your wellbeing, your love to yourself regardless of who is more successful and regardless of all circumstance. But if you become convinced that your peace of mind must come from some circumstance, then you will chase that peace, happiness, love, for the rest of your life. Because circumstance will always change, and you will only grow more tired and frustrated chasing it.
Understand that the circumstance you encounter doesn’t make you uncomfortable. From what we’ve seen in the example, it was enough to be reminded of the successful smoking neighbor to get to a place of discomfort. All from thinking.
Could it be that it is you making yourself uncomfortable? Whether by encountering some circumstance or thinking about it. Perhaps being uncomfortable is our body’s attempt to remind us that we have nothing to prove to no one including ourselves, that we don’t need to accomplish anything to have peace, happiness, and love.
Social norms and parental rules convince us that we are not enough. As a result, we spend our entire lives trying to be enough. In order to be enough we need to keep up with all kinds of trends like being- skinny enough, pretty enough, money enough, status enough, likes enough, smart enough, talented enough. But how do you know how much is enough?