• Fiona Feeley

The great escape

One thing guaranteed to send us grappling for escapism and denial are the difficult choices and circumstances that life sometimes presents us with. We are addicted to avoidance and escapism and live in a culture designed to facilitate distraction at every turn. We know we need to be more present and aware and in theory, it sounds so simplistic. Let go of what you can't control, be in the moment and apply discerning action where it's needed. And yet we hover in a state of subtle fear, especially when it comes to the momentous changes. We feel we are entitled to eternal happiness and convince ourselves if we just don’t acknowledge things, they don’t exist.

So many mental health issues are a consequence of either denial or the anxiety of trying to control potential outcomes that are beyond our grasp and ignoring what we need to do to change our circumstance. This level of fearful paralysis of avoidance or control is often an insidious consequence of a difficult childhood. When a child feels unsafe and/or unloved, they never develop sufficient self-worth to trust their intuition and to make conscious and caring choices. They lose connection to their heart, intuition and inner guide. Choices become about coping, denying, pleasing, numbing, perfecting, sabotaging and avoiding. However, healing is possible. Learning why you are who you are and understanding who you need to be to feel life has meaning allows you to make more discerning decisions.

Creating an awareness of your emotional responses, your triggers, your unhelpful beliefs and patterns, along with recognising your values and authentic needs brings self-acceptance and the autonomy to make the choices necessary to steer your life in the right direction. It’s not a panacea for pain however it is an opportunity to build the resiliency, tolerance and inner equanimity needed to live a life that reflects compassion, understanding and love, of both the self and others.

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