Welcome to week 3 of 4! This week’s topic is: There is No Faking the Real Thing. When I say that a lot of times, the first thing people think of is how can you fake joy or freedom? The reality is that a lot of people fake happiness and joy in order to not deal with the real stuff that we talked about in week two, which is dark and sometimes painful.
What I’m going to do is give you some questions to help you make sure that you are dealing in the land of reality, emotional reality, and that you are actually getting the real thing. Those questions are, “What or who am I using to stand in place of the real thing? Am I using a relationship? Am I using a career? Am I using family and time and not being able to focus on one of the issues that I might be struggling with right now, because that’s so much to do?”
The second question is “What do I use to distract or avoid working towards my freedom?” Very similar, right? The only difference with this question is that identifying the real lies is one thing, but identifying then there’s the things that distract us from being free, like TV, drugs, alcohol, and food. Maybe you binge watched a TV show for an entire weekend when you were asked by your therapist to do homework related to your emotional wellness, which you avoided because it felt tough and difficult. This is a form of distraction. Instead of dealing with this sadness or grief, I’m going to go ahead and eat and maybe drink and party.
Another one that is sometimes hidden in anxiety is that “people will do the homework, but it needs to be perfect,” which means that I have to write it with a certain neatness. I have to make sure the sentence structure and the sentences are grammatically correct. I need to make sure that everything is perfect when that is more of the distraction than the actual dealing of the issue that you’re having to face to be free. Some of the areas that I need you to consider with these two questions is that, although I know work, this work is tough and I am not taking it for granted that this journey is a tough road. I also know that if you can’t do it, it’s not because of the road being tough, it’s because you don’t want to.
I know that the work is tough and can at times feel more painful, than even the captivity. Sometimes captivity looks fun, right? Sometimes being distracted, being in denial allows for us to not have to deal with it. However, the reality is you’re not living your true freedom of peace. Being able to deal with feelings and pain is an important part of us finding our total freedom. It allows us to know how to heal ourselves when tough times come and to not have to run from it or deny it, or be distracted.
The second major thing is you can’t pass off health and freedom with a substitution or distraction. If you want true freedom, peace, joy, and just the ability to exist in a world that doesn’t require people to like you or to center your life around people or places just to be happy. It doesn’t involve that. It involves you. Taking care of you and healing you and understanding that in healing, there’s pain, but there’s forgiveness. In this journey that will take us to a place that is beyond anything that being fake or a substitution or distraction could ever, ever give us. That place is freedom. I hope that this week’s discussion about taking the risks to push past this tough moment into the other side of freedom, which is always on the other side of tough moments, will allow you to get the real thing.