Life brings us all both wanted and unwanted experiences. Although unwanted experiences are not pleasant to anyone, they are indeed useful. They can help us learn from them, grow and develop.
CAN WE AVOID UNWANTED EXPERIENCES?
People sometimes think that personal development and various methods of working on themselves are going to help them avoid unwanted experiences, but that is neither true nor possible. Personal development encourages us to integrate those experiences and use them for our further growth, not avoid or deny them.
Why is this important? Avoiding something in this way means that you believe what you are avoiding can harm you. And yes, sometimes that’s true. But more often, such thinking harms us more than the thing we want to avoid.
Through unwanted experiences, we learn and grow a lot more than through the wanted ones.
Why do we think that way, then? It is natural to take the road of more pleasant feelings. Because we all want to be happy. But, regardless of how much we want it, we cannot avoid unwanted experiences.
UNWANTED EXPERIENCES HELP US GROW
It is important to recognize the cause of unwanted experiences. If it is something that repeats itself and points to your behavioral pattern, then that experience shows you there is something inside you that you need to solve.
I often get contacted by people who “practice” the law of attraction. Accoring to that teaching, they look at unwanted experiences and difficult life situations as a “contrast” that shows them what they want. And there is nothing wrong with that, except that by doing that you are staying on the surface of the problem, and not solving its cause. It often leads to subconscious repression of emotions (even though it seems that you are feeling better), which can sometimes result in even bigger difficulties and problems. The Danger in Fake Positivity and Spiritual Bypassing is an interesting article on the subject.
BY CHANGING FOCUS, SOMETIMES WE DENY THE PROBLEM
If in a difficult life situation, you are striving to feel good by changing focus, what actually will happen is that you will suppress emotions and the real cause of the problem. By changing focus, you will avoid solving the problem. (I also wrote about the change of focus in the blog post Be careful with this self-help method, so be sure to read this text as well to understand this better.)
If you label an unwanted experience as a “contrast” and change your focus without solving the cause, you will find yourself in the same situation again. You will change jobs, companies, marriages, friends, but you will still go through the same experiences, as long as you don’t solve the cause.
HOW TO SOLVE THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM?
OK, but, how can you solve the cause? This is virtually impossible without becoming aware of the subconscious emotions that lie underneath such experiences. And that you need to let go of. And no, it’s not easy at all, because our rational mind avoids such awakenings!
The rational mind will find a plethora of reasons and explanations of why something happened to you. And they will all be outside of you. It will seem like someone from the outside is doing something to you. But, that is never the case.
The next step in personal development is to return to yourself. That means to notice that you fell into the role of a victim (and you fell each time you projected the cause of your inner state of being onto others). Become aware of the patterns and emotions that led you to it. Those are often suppressed emotions. They are looking for a way out and using external events as triggers to get released. Something inside of you is using these external experiences to set itself free and move on! No, it’s not the other way around!
FACE IT, INSTEAD OF AVOIDING IT!
There are exercises and techniques for releasing emotions, but I would most certainly recommend working with someone. Especially in a very difficult situations. There are many layers that we are often not aware of even when we think that we are. Any kind of technique becomes useless in such conditions.
The most important thing is to never avoid unwanted experiences and unwanted emotions. Instead, face them! In difficult circumstances, forcing the change of focus and striving to feel good is avoiding. And it will lead you to repeat the same experience again.
Would you like to find better solutions and answers to the challenges and unwanted experiences that you are confronted with? Sign up for coaching with me.