October 27     

Today's quotation:

Josh Billings said, It is not only the most difficult thing to know oneself, but the most inconvenient one, too.  Human beings have always employed an enormous variety of clever devices for running away from themselves, and the modern world is particularly rich in such stratagems.

John W. Gardner

Today's Meditation:

Avoidance is such a scary word.  How many of us could know ourselves extremely well if we only weren't so scared of finding out more about ourselves-- perhaps because we're afraid that what we'll learn about ourselves will be disappointing, or maybe even frightening?  And because so many people are so afraid, we've turned the avoidance industry (also known as entertainment, sports, etc.) into probably the most lucrative industry in the world outside of fossil fuels.

What kinds of things can I do today that will help me to keep from getting to know myself even better?  Anything that's passive and that depends on someone else doing something, that's what!  And while entertainment in itself can be an extremely important part of our lives, providing relaxation and laughter and learning for us all, if we become too dependent upon it, it can and does harm us.

And heaven help us if we seek our avoidance in drugs or alcohol.  Then are we not only harming ourselves in a very real, very physical way, but also harming those whom we love and who love us in very real ways, too.  Our altered states can not be positive for other people, for they need us to be someone steady, someone whom they can trust and upon whom they can depend.

You are an extraordinary person.  I am an extraordinary person.  But the people who recognize these facts the least are probably, unfortunately, you and I.  Give something else up, release some avoidance technique in your life--stop watching every basketball game possible and start reading material that helps you reflect on your life.  Use the space that appears in your life to get to know yourself.  You can still watch basketball, of course, but practice moderation.  You won't regret it-- and it may be the most important change you ever make in your life.

Questions to consider:

How well do you know yourself?

What are your personal favorite avoidance techniques?

What's the end result of us running away from ourselves?

For further thought:

When we become expert at loving and caring for ourselves, we feel healthy, centered, and strong.  We don't need to escape from our reality through shopping, eating, drinking, drugging, or losing ourselves in abusive relationships.  We feel warm and safe within ourselves.

Susan L. Taylor

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