Why do we favor escapism over personal growth? It’s quite simple, really. Because it’s easier and far more comfortable. But we all know what happens over time when we favor what is comfortable over doing what is needed or right.
Escapism can bury unwanted feelings and longings deep under the surface for a short while, giving us the false promise of happiness or relief now, in the short-term, but it leaves us unsatisfied in the long-term. It is a lie because it makes promises that it does not deliver.
When you hold beach balls under water, do they go away? No. What happens to them? They burst upward to the surface, creating a big splash! Your health and well-being are no different. You can try and hold all these things under that need your attention, but inevitably, at some point soon, you will be faced with them in a way that you won’t like. This not only disrupts your own life. It disrupts the lives of everyone close to you.
“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.”― Jim Rohn
Is the next vacation REALLY going to give you the peace you’re after? Is it going to fix anything, other than to give you some temporary relief? If the temperature on the stove does not get turned down, you can keep taking the pot off that stove once or twice a year, after it has been boiling over, but it never fixes the problem when that same pot goes right back onto that same burner, at that same temperature. This is not to say vacations are useless. Only to say that vacations are one of the many ways we seek to escape. There is a promise given behind it, and this promise brings with it an expectation – “I just need to get away and get a break!” Ok. Then what?
What are some other ways we like to escape? Hobbies, keeping our brains preoccupied as often as possible with no quiet or alone time, addictions, thrill seeking adventures, etc.
Avoiding our problems does not serve us in the long run. It only prolongs the symptoms and allows them to worsen as they grow over time. The only way out is through! We must face-into our struggles and pain. We must recognize our needs and honor them.
Our bodies are just like our car dashboards. Pain (emotional or physical) serves as an indicator of a problem. Something that needs our attention. In this way, pain can be a gift to us. How will we respond to these flashing lights on our dashboard? That is the ultimate question. Removing the fuse from the fuse box will get the check engine light to go away, but when the head cracks on that engine you will wish that you had serviced it instead of ignoring it.