One Process Does Not Lead to Another


Good morning, friends!

I wonder if you’ve noticed this interesting phenomenon:

Those things which we do in order to avoid certain experiences guarantee that we will have the very experiences we are trying to avoid.

For example, someone who seeks connection with others in order to avoid feeling lonely and isolated will end up feeling lonely and isolated rather than connected, no matter how many people they manage to spend time with. Similarly, someone who seeks accomplishment in order to avoid feeling incompetent will end up feeling incompetent rather than accomplished.

Why is this? This happens because one process does not lead to another. To avoid feeling lonely, incompetent, or any other thing is to ratify, to make real, that feeling. (There is in fact no real thing that we can call ‘loneliness’ or ‘incompetence’.) The process of avoiding loneliness or incompetence (or whatever) maintains loneliness or incompetence (or whatever). If you want to feel connected, then you must connect, not avoid, because avoidance leads to disconnection. If you want to feel competent then you must ground yourself in inner strength and confidence, not avoid incompetence, because avoidance is weak and self-effacing and does not lead to strength and confidence. Connecting leads to the experience of connection. Being strong leads to the experience of strength.

To say it from the opposite side, if we will accept our experience, whatever it is, then we will no longer have that experience. So for example if I’m feeling lonely and I accept that loneliness, if I embrace that experience within conscious awareness, then I will no longer feel lonely. I will feel connected, because I’m connecting with myself. If I embrace a conditioned fear I have of incompetence, then I will not feel incompetent, but rather will feel strong and sure within myself, because that place of acceptance is strong and sure.

It’s interesting to see how the mind works, isn’t it? And so helpful to be able to see it! Understanding that one process does not lead to another, then I can consciously choose what process I will do, and then I will receive the results of that. I can choose to connect with myself rather than to feel lonely; I can choose to embody strength and confidence within myself, rather than indulging a belief in incompetence. Hard to do, but utterly simple, and well within our grasp if we will practice it.

Have a beautiful day, beautiful people!