People have always found a way to escape from their inner silence because of the discomfort it causes. They escape into books, escape into movies, binge watching TV shows, recreational drugs and alcohol. But one of the worst forms of escape is social media.
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Social media is junk food for the mind. A little mindfulness will show you that these junk thoughts brings upon a sense of sedated numbness that distracts you from your inner self. The computerized algorithm causes a hypnotic trance that detaches you from facing your own self. It is like the lowest form of pain killer that distracts you from the stillness within.
Consuming all this junk data from everywhere leaves us numb to reality and makes it easy to pass through life. But there is a reason why so many choose to distract themselves and escape into fantasy land instead of being mindful of the inner self. It is because a spiritual awakening usually comes at a price. Even though an awareness of self will spark an awakening, it will usually be preceded by a mental breakdown of your superficial self, the self that the people around you have seen and known. Only in the destruction of this outer self can the inner self begin to awaken.
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Most people get too uncomfortable when they have to sit in quiet solitude. This is when all the turbulence of their inner world begins to resurface, which is why instead of working upon themselves and facing their demons, they choose to escape the reality.
Some people invest so much energy in putting on a mask and keeping up appearances, that they are terrified of becoming mindful of their inner stillness, and do everything to keep a tight control on their external image. But there is a tipping point that is reached and when the mind’s operating system crashes, a process of awakening begins.
What you need to realize is that a temporary mental breakdown is not always a bad thing. A temporary crash or a mental reset could be a good thing. It is not the end of the world. It is the end of the illusion you were living. All your life you have been trying to be someone you are not and now your mind has finally started looking inwards for an answer. Even though it might appear as a breakdown, it is really just you trying to become your authentic self by becoming mindful.
What appears as a destruction on one level is just a creation on another.
Think of it as a birthing process; the whole process of birth appears gory and bloody, but out of that pain something beautiful emerges. In the same way, out of your breakdown will emerge an awareness, an awakening of the inner self to the true nature of reality.
But before the awakening happens, you may often be required to cross the choppy waters of a treacherous sea. That seething sea of anxiety, depression and dark night of the soul is what you might need to face. It is not something to be feared or avoided by distracting the mind. It is what you need to get in touch with. Leland Val Van De Wall was right when said that, “The degree to which a person can grow is directly proportional to the amount of truth he can accept about himself without running away.”
While for some, getting in touch with their inner self may not require such an intense dark night of the soul, for many others, the only way to fully awaken is through a full-scale breakdown. Now many people think that they can get there by avoiding the discomfort of the silence within, but this is rarely the case. This breakdown is simply a process of healing that is getting you in touch with your true self. The famous Sufi poet Rumi once wrote “The wound is the place where the light enters you.”
Until you address the internal turmoil that you haven’t acknowledged yet, you’re always going to be stuck in the same place. Become aware of the moment when things seem to fall apart because out of the destruction, a healing occurs and an awakening begins.
Dive into that black hole of darkness. Leap into the unknown. Go inwards into the abyss that stares back at you. Let the overwhelming sensations engulf you completely for a while. When you do that you will realize that it will make you uncomfortable, restless and anxious…but only for a while. As you let go, this darkness fades away like smoke.
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Underneath that is paradise. Beyond that initial land of discomfort lies fields of joy, love, happiness and connection. Beyond the terrifying dark forest of breakdown and healing, lies the garden of tranquility and wisdom.