It's human nature - we shy away from our biggest and most challenging problems.  We push them to the back of our mind or to the bottom of our to-do lists.  Denial, it's called.

We keep busy, we check Facebook, we chat idly, we focus on other people's shortcomings and what they should be doing.  We begin to project.  The problems are all out there, not with us.

I am a people pleaser.  Left unchecked this can be a real problem.  I put the needs of others before my own and subconsciously expect them to fill my needs.  When this doesn't happen then I become resentful and project.  There is something wrong with "them".  Why are they so selfish?  In my mind my problem becomes their problem.

When our mind is faced with a problem that it doesn't know how to (or doesn't want to) handle, it tries to evade, to escape, or pretend that it isn't important.  By limiting our attention to the small challenges in life we limit our growth and happiness.  Acknowledging our problems, our limitations, and repressed selves opens us up to a full and productive life.

Step one is to be mindful and face what is really going on.  Whenever I catch myself placing other people's needs before my own it takes a lot of work to realize what is really going on.  It can take hours, days, or even weeks to get in touch with my own needs and the process is often painful.  I could avoid this short-term pain and continue to vent about how fucked up the rest of the world is... or I could work on myself.  It's probably more productive to work on myself than 6 billion other human beings with all of their own things going on.  Maybe then I'll have more to offer.

Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living

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