How to make new choices to be present in life
We currently live in a system that is designed to keep us from feeling. From the junk food that is advertised on television to the prescription medication epidemic, we are constantly being told not to feel. The systemic infrastructure of western society encourages and promotes the suppression of emotions.
Take social media and action movies as a case study. The passive experience of scrolling or watching the explosions and quick scene cuts is gratifying for your brain, but is numbing to your emotions.
All it takes is sitting down to watch one Sunday football game to see the extreme advertising angles used to encourage the use of food or alcohol to numb out. Advertisers capitalize on the experience you’re having at the time with what you’re seeing on TV. Our brains then associate that eating those types of foods or drinking alcohol equal feeling good.
By being engaged by that which is outside of ourselves, we don’t have to sit and be with ourselves. The system is designed to help us numb out and avoid feeling, and shows us it’s easier to do that than to actually sit and feel what is going on.
If you stop and take a look at your day, do you find time to be still with yourself or do you allow yourself to be consumed by the numbing out of society?
I recognize it’s hard to make new choices and actually allow the pain and the discomfort of emotions to arise. Early education doesn’t teach emotional intelligence, so it can be overwhelming to sit with our feelings because we never learned the tools of how to cope. However, the mindless passive experiences that keep our senses captivated but our emotions numbed do nothing to promote a life with a heart open.
When a person chooses to sit with their emotions and choose the more difficult path against the entropy of societal marketing, it can feel overwhelming. It’s the braver decision and can feel lonely and cause us to want to escape from the pain.
Just Say No
Prescription medicine addiction is at an all time high. People are constantly choosing to numb out rather than feel. From the emotional pain of anxiety or depression, to the physical pain of ailments, there’s a pill for that.
I’ve known people who tried to get insurance to cover yoga classes to support their mental and physical health, but to no avail. Insurance was much more willing to provide coverage for a chemical concoction than they were a more holistic and less addicting approach.
The fact that it’s so easy to be prescribed medication that numbs the emotional and/or physical experience is proof that the system is encouraging us to numb out. When we say no to the numbing, we’re choosing the more difficult path. We’re seeking to live a life with our hearts open.
When we live our lives with our hearts open we act as a reminder to others that it’s possible. Emotions and feeling are seen as a weakness in our society. There seems, also, to be a feeling that we are too weak to feel. What would happen if we allow our emotions and then are unable to stop them?
Being vulnerable is not easy. It’s incredibly brave to show others that it’s possible to be strong and feel our emotions. This bravery is vital to support the current shift that is happening on this planet.
To move towards feeling and away from numbing out through food, alcohol, drugs, or other addictive substances or behaviors is what will change the world. Making this decision in our own lives will light the way for others to a reality where love is everywhere.
I know that it’s hard to constantly be subject to an onslaught of emotions. However, it is through this strength that we can encourage a better world. And there are a lot of resources to find support on the journey.
The Harder Path
There are many ways to start on a path of awareness and presence. It can be scary and overwhelming, so it’s important to seek help, and luckily, there is a plethora of resources. There are videos on YouTube that will aid in the journey of choosing to say no to the numbing.
Other sources are podcasts or books that provide a message of being mindful in life and not allowing yourself to fall victim to escaping from reality through unhealthy habits.
By setting an intention to actively call in experiences that will allow you to feel and show up for yourself in life, you’ll be challenged with old habits. That’s why it’s important to stay vigilant and create a daily intake of positive messages that will support you on your path.
Many people have lost their way and think they’re too weak to feel. Sometimes we don’t feel strong enough to handle what is under the surface. However, we can choose to say no to the numbing and show others that it’s possible.
Instead of consuming the mindless passive experiences of social media and TV, we get to choose to make different choices. To love life, we must be fully immersed in life, rather than watching a depiction of life through a screen.