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What No One Ever Taught Us

From a very young age, we intuitively begin to push away things that are uncomfortable, and hold onto things we like. Buddha had a name for this - resisting and clinging.

But no one ever told us this would come back to bite us. No one told us there's a better way to live. In fact, very few people are even aware of this better way.

And that is the way that I explore in this blog.

For as long as we can remember, we've all dealt with experiences that made us uncomfortable (quite a few), and experiences that made us feel really good (not as many). In either case during our formative years, we somehow thought it was a good idea to reject the stuff that hurt by pushing it away with our willpower, kicking, screaming, and fighting so that we didn't have to fully experience it.

And when good things did happen, rather than just experiencing them and letting them pass through, we actually held onto those moments because we didn't want to lose them.

On first thought, this all seems pretty natural. After all, that's why we did it in the first place - because it felt natural. But if you understand the consequences of this instinctive behavior, you realize that the only reason you're not okay now is because of what you started when you were a child.

Why is this?

Imagine a toddler who has their very first encounter with a dog. It's a big, scary, aggressive dog that starts to bark at the young child who immediately gets uncomfortable. The barking lasts about 5 seconds before the dog runs away. But interestingly enough, the child is still upset.

In fact, minutes pass, and the child is still crying. What you don't see (but what is taking place under the surface) is the child imposing their willpower on that moment they just experienced, pushing away the pain because it was so uncomfortable. Rather than simply experiencing the dog barking, being startled for a few moments and then letting it go, the child couldn't handle the experience, so they pushed away the feelings. They suppressed the emotions.

So what.

So what?

From now on, the child needs to look for dogs everywhere they go. They get scared when they see a stuffed animal that looks like a dog. At random times throughout the day, thoughts about scary dogs come into their mind and they begin to feel how they felt weeks ago when