In my blogs and my Conscious Living radio segment on Sunday nights, I talk about the virtues of consciousness: how it can transform your life, illuminate your path, bring you inner peace etc.
Today I’m doing something a bit different. I’m talking about the reasons we all resist consciousness. If the path of self-awareness and mindfulness is so great, then why are so many people afraid of it?
Even though we intuitively understand the benefits of conscious living, most of us often resist entering our consciousness, and here’s some reasons why.
1. If I go in there, I might find a monster I can’t tame…
When we connect with consciousness, we see our truth clearly and know ourselves fully for the first time. But we also revisit all of the wounds and we see all of the dark spaces where we have stored our pain. Turning the lights on in our mind can also illuminate our discarded parts and experiences. This is because upon entering the inner world, many people are often confronted first with their demons. So when many people first enter their inner world (especially if they have accrued a lifetime of unprocessed vulnerability) their experience is of deep pain. They immediately dismiss the inner world as a threatening place, not realizing that they must persist with the journey before they can reach the magic. So a lot of people prefer not to enter their inner world and dwell on their feelings, for fear that they might encounter a deep, lurking monster within that they cannot tame.
But if we don’t embrace our fears and wounds, they will re-emerge as the relationships we keep sabotaging, or the career that won’t quite get off the ground, or the addiction that we can’t quit, or the constant family dramas, or the insidious illness that we didn’t see coming. Our fears and wounds can never really be buried. For a while we can push them down beneath the surface, but as time goes on they pop out into our lives to cause havoc until they are healed and cleared.
2. If I see my life clearly, I might need to change…
The second reason many people resist consciousness is their fear that once they see their lives clearly, certain elements might have to change. Relationships may fall away or transform. Your work could change from the job that brings a high salary and prestige to the simple work you have longed to do for your whole life, which brings different rewards. You might start to spend your time differently.
Then again, nothing could change on the outside. You could stay in the same relationship and have the same house, the same social group, and the same hobbies, but your attitude could dramatically transform. You could start expressing gratitude more often. You could start living on purpose. You could enter the territory of silence more often and feel comforted there.
3. Consciousness is steady, while the ego loves highs and lows
The third reason people resist consciousness is that the path of consciousness is steady. If we become conscious, we give up the ego life of highs and lows, and embark upon a new path of relative calm. We stop creating conflict and drama in our personal lives. We get on with our work. We show up, day after day and do what is required of us. We serve others. Even when there is some kind of external drama, we respond to it in a circumspect way. This can feel like a terrifying ego death and so many people resist the calm life for the constant waves.
And so, many people just keep powering through life, with its unsustainable stress and fear, because they only know one way to survive and they do not trust that the alternative will make them feel any better.