Towards or Away. . .
Whether we’re aware of it or not, we basically move through life in one of two ways, and each of us has a favorite. We’re either moving towards what we want, or we’re moving away from what we don’t want.
It might seem like moving away from what you don’t want accomplishes the same thing as moving towards what you do want. If you’re successfully moving away from pain, dullness and disappointment, what could you be moving towards, other than pleasure, excitement and fulfillment? It should be a simple matter to decide which way to go. How you tend to move through the field depends largely on whether you’re mainly concerned with staying away from the undesirable stuff, or moving towards the good stuff. Many of us take the “moving-away” approach as our normal mode of operations. Because of certain past experiences and preoccupations, we’re generally more concerned with avoiding bad possibilities than seeking good ones. They loom much larger in our minds, they more easily make our blood move and our minds light up.
Those who employ a moving-towards philosophy are able to traverse all the areas of the field. They still experience fear and pain, but they’re aware of the limiting effect of letting negative possibilities become their primary motivators. They insist on determining their own direction across the terrain, scaling hills and crossing bogs if necessary, because it’s better than being stuck on the few meandering strips of land that don’t present anything tough.
You probably already know which approach you usually employ. Going from one tendency to the other is possible, at least gradually. So much of our behavior is habitual, under-the-radar stuff. The more strongly we’re motivated by what we don’t want, the less likely we are to recognize when we’re doing it, because it’s just so normal to us. The ability to change your main approach depends on gaining an awareness of those two forces, the push and the pull, in everyday life. When you make a life-related choice, are you fleeing something or advancing on something?
For everything we’ve run from, there’s something we desired that drew us far enough into new territory that we got scared and fled. What was it? When you notice you’re moving away from something, what was it you initially wanted to move towards? And what will you do if they’re in the same direction? That simple question goes a long way: what was it that I wanted?
You’re either moving towards it, or away.
Peace and Love, Jim