Walking Through the Fire of Connection

What do you think the world would be like if no one overate, overdrank, overspent, entertainment binged,
etc.? Usually when we are overdoing most things, it’s because we are trying to escape some kind of negative
emotion. Whether it be boredom, stress, worry, overwhelm, guilt and so on. Anytime we are doing
something to avoid negative emotion that then results in a negative aftermath in our life is defined as
buffering. Buffering is something we do to avoid fully experiencing our lives. Could you imagine how
different the world would be if we all learned how to manage those negative emotions instead of escaping
them? If no one overate, maybe the obesity epidemic wouldn’t exist. If no one overdrank, maybe less
domestic violence, less deaths because no DUIs. If no one overspent money, maybe our debts would be
limited to our homes and cars and emergencies. If no one over worked maybe there wouldn’t be as many
stressed out people walking around, there’d be less seeking for the work-life balance, and maybe even closer
relationships. If no one binged on entertainment like social media, Netflix, even books, there might be more
authentic face to face connections, and maybe less depression and suicide.

If buffering is so detrimental, why do we do it? Our brains love pleasure. We’re
surrounded by a society that offers lots of convenience and immediate gratification. Life should be easy it tells us. Every time we engage in a life-preserving activity, our brain takes note that this is something we need to do again and again and again. So for years, we’ve unknowingly been wiring our brains to believe that this is what we should be seeking all the time.

Walking through the fire. First, do you know where you are buffering in your life? If you do, learn how to allow the discomfort without relying on the external sources to do it for you. Be willing to get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable and learn to sit with the poisonous itch instead of scratching it and making it worse. Walking through the fire means, learning how and where you feel stress in your body. How and where you feel loneliness or shame or inadequacy. And then being willing to allow it to hang out with you will help quiet the lower brain’s ability to be a drama queen.

We can replace the false pleasures for a genuine, longer lasting well-being. Reacquaint yourself with true pleasure. As you learn to allow the discomfort, start looking for the things that’ll give you natural pleasures. In time, this will create a genuine, longer lasting well-being. Do you know what these true, natural pleasures might be for you? Maybe it’s a good book or podcast, a clean home, sleeping in, soft clothes, or snuggling in a soft blanket, or getting cozy by a fire, taking a walk in the sun, taking up a hobby, getting a massage. It’s anything that will cause you pleasure without the negative net effects you once experienced. As we continue to turn down the volume from the false pleasures, we begin to enjoy the natural pleasures more and more.

While we may only get to imagine what a world of no one overeating, overdrinking, overspending,
entertainment binged, etc. would be like, it’s completely within our own reach, within our own power to
make our own world more true, more vibrant, more authentic. You have all the power you need to start

Want to learn more? Listen to the expanded version as I dive deeper into this topic and share stories and
examples on my podcast here.

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