Why do I avoid meditating?
If you find yourself asking “why do I avoid meditating?” or maybe the thought of meditation fills you with fear and so you find yourself avoiding meditation it’s important to know that it’s not unusual and you are definitely not alone in this. Many people avoid meditation even though they may know that meditation is good for them.
It might even be that you’re not necessarily conscious of avoiding meditating but you just don’t do it or you find yourself muttering “nope, not doing it”.
Often, we can be too scared to meditate or have a fear of meditating although we might not recognize it as such. This might seem strange, but it’s quite real.
But the fear may not be about meditating at all, it’s more likely to be that because it is a place where we are quiet and still that we are left with our thoughts. And those thoughts can be terrifying for us.
So, it’s fear of our thoughts that actually can keep us from meditating.
Accompanying the fear of our thoughts is actually fear of being alone. Many people fear being alone or even just quiet. Because again here is where we are left with our thoughts and this can be too overwhelming or rather they ‘think’ it will be too much.
So, we avoid and can often think we just don’t like meditating or find reasons/excuses like not being good at it so we don’t do it. By the way, this is the ego talking too (learn more about the ego here) and it will do anything and everything to stop you from meditating because the ego is what generates the thoughts that keep you in your head and is resistant to you going beyond your mind/ego to who you truly are, to the place where there is nothing to fix, where you are whole and complete, fearless, peaceful and joyful.
Avoidance of meditating is really just an extension of what many people do generally to avoid their own thoughts. That’s why most of us keep busy and meditation is really the antithesis to this strategy.
Avoidance or distraction techniques are rife and whether generally considered good or bad basically result in the same thing, that is avoiding being alone with our thoughts. Consider the workaholic, the social butterfly, the TV junkie to name a few. And of course, there are others too like addiction in its various forms.
There’s no judgment here if you are avoiding or are just too scared to meditate.
I think the most important thing is to just know that it is the mind that is keeping you in that state too and it is for this very reason that if you can introduce a little meditation into your life without force that you will benefit greatly.
What can you do if you find yourself avoiding meditating?
Take it slowly and meditate in small increments.
Remember that meditation isn’t always about sitting in the lotus position for an hour or more, it can merely be a few breaths with an inward focusing on the body as we walk through our day. Check out my article here on other activities you never knew were meditative. and my tips here on mindfulness that can replace that more formal approach to meditation.
It can be that small and that simple. It might be just focusing on washing the dishes or brushing your teeth. This is mindfulness.
The idea is to just watch any thoughts, don’t engage with them or identify with them as this is where we start to get caught up and our thoughts snowball. When you notice this, just come back to your breath. This can be whilst undertaking any task where you notice your mind getting the better of you.
I think that sometimes we try to push through meditation and we try too hard.
It then becomes chore like and moves us further away from where we are trying to ‘be’. I use ‘be’ as opposed to where we are trying to ‘get to’ because that’s essentially contrary to what meditation is about. It’s about presence.
So, I always find that if we are in a place of ‘force’ then it’s actually ok to just stop because what we resist persists.
With time, we can learn to watch our thoughts and not identify them (realizing our thoughts are not who we are) and fear will go. Fear will go when we move beyond our thoughts.
Just remember that the very thing you need is often what you avoid and in this case meditating is the key to moving beyond your thoughts and ultimate liberation not to mention meditation brings calm, peace, joy and greater creativity and a sense of aliveness.
Here’s to being free.
Again, here are some useful links to get you in the groove without stressing too much about being still and alone with your thoughts.
Go forth with ease and just be!