I’ve asked myself the following questions:
Do you ever notice what you put up with in your life? And if you do, what is your next move? Do you just fall back into the same ol’ pattern, the rut, waiting for something to change outside of you?
I’ve done it, especially when I’ve been so attached to not losing something or someone. I just quiet the voice screaming at me in my head to move on, get out or do something about my situation. Even going so far as to believe no one else notices my misery or disconnect.
People can tell all is not well when we try to hide it; fear can keep us bound in chains, never really experiencing life at the visceral level. Instead we have small pleasantries, escapes, or ways of just not dealing, which also keep us from experiencing real pleasure.
Who avoids pleasure?
Most people who think they have to earn it, wait for it, be given it, settle for less, or believe it’s elusive, fall into the category of avoiders.
How about you, do you know how you avoid pleasure? Check out the following to see if this might just be you.
- Attachment- Not knowing why you need a person, place or thing that causes you pain while doling out tiny increments of pleasure can keep you in a bad relationship, job, friendship, car, living situation and so on. You wish with all of your being that you weren’t in the situation because you feel helpless to get out… so you miss out on real pleasure, joy and invest further in pain.
- Sacrifice and suffering- Another opportunity to cut off from pleasure is by seeking sacrifice for the good of others (who don’t usually appreciate it) and at a cost to yourself. Suffering goes hand in hand because you feel it is the only option–the way you learned that life is always a struggle.
- Distrust- It’s not just distrusting another person, its a basic distrust that life is good. You may feel unsafe or wondering what shoe will drop next and when you live that way, it’s all you see. You may even try to keep a step ahead by anticipating the next issue or loss. This keeps you in a constant cycle where there’s no positive change.
- Limitations and impossibilities- If you believe that all that’s possible for you in this life is right where you are, then you find little to no pleasure in life. You don’t believe it can be more or that you have the ability to make it happen. Your self-worth is low and what you may have wanted for yourself seems to have passed you by. Limited thinking means limited opportunities. Your perception keeps you in this prison with no key.
- Giving up on what you always wanted- Perhaps you wanted that relationship with someone who gets you, or you wanted that career, but didn’t believe you were good enough and so you gave up. You said ‘no’ to risk, to going for it and decided to settle for less rather than moving forth and believing you deserved to have what you deeply desired. Where’s the pleasure in living this way?
Any of those scenarios fit you?
If so, here’s a short list on ways to wake up out of your painful slumber and immediately be on the road to having some pleasure in your life.
- Learn about yourself- Develop your self-awareness so you can understand what keeps you attached, stuck and suffering. Dig deep. Learn where these patterns of attachment started and why you fear loss enough to keep pleasure at bay. Once you start understanding yourself better, you will have opened up a new path which leads to having more pleasure.
- Make different choices- Many decisions are made on auto-pilot; you may not realize why you make the decisions you do or how your old feelings influence a current situation. When you’re faced with a choice, ask if it is pain-producing decision or a pleasure-inducing one.
- Trust yourself- It’s never really about what’s outside of you that you need to trust. You need to learn to trust your own emotional resilience in the face of disappointment. It’s to understand that you choose how you perceive events outside of you and that you can handle when things don’t go your way. In the end, coming from trust within leads you to trusting what is outside of you too. And with that you open to more pleasure in your world.
- Get out of your own way- Watch how your mind limits you. It’s trying to protect you and not allow you to experience anything outside of your comfort zone. Getting uncomfortable with taking action that you would never normally do can lead to unlimited, expansive thoughts in your head. As you say ‘yes’ to life and living, being uncomfortable becomes the norm and pleasure is found in those moments when you realize you got out of the way and possibilities abound!
- Stop playing it safe- Risk it! You can always change your mind, but it really is about living from your heart. Where’s your passion? When you live this daily, pleasure courses through you and the contrast you experience when you look back at how you said yes to misery will assure you that you’re on the right path now with every risk you take. Even when things don’t go your way you’ll know it is temporary and automatically shift your focus to what turns you on rather than what weighs you down.
Want more on avoiding pleasure and inviting pain? Please check out my radio show.