This article explains what is evasive behaviour and how you can get out of it.
Understanding Evasive Behaviour
You’re in the midst of a difficult and unpleasant task. You take out your mobile, and before you know it, you’ve spent 20 minutes on social networks.
On another time, a painful memory comes to mind, and in that moment, you turn on the TV.
One afternoon, you feel a restlessness, a restlessness in your heart, and you decide that the best remedy is a night out with your friends.
If you had a similar experience, it is likely that you have entered the labyrinth of evasion.
The Reality Which You Intended To Leave, Comes Back
It is easy to get in the labyrinth of evasion. All that you need is a situation, a memory, or a feeling which you would like to avoid. It is an attractive labyrinth. It promises fun, entertainment, and relief, elements that we all definitely want to have in our lives. But this labyrinth is illusory. Even if you wanted to stay in it, the relief soon fades away and you find yourself still trapped in the reality you had intended to leave behind.
Seeking Distraction Is Ok In The Short Term
It is important to note that seeking distractions in difficult times is the most natural human response, and can often be something positive for our welfare. The problem arises when, not wanting to face our reality, we constantly look for an escape. If we do not devote time and energy to address the unpleasant thing or situation that we experience, it will continue to present itself ever more intensely.
Getting Out Of The Evasion Labyrinth
1. Listen To Yourself: When You Face Your Feelings, They Lose Some Power
Overcoming this labyrinth requires some insight on our part. Instead of fleeing towards this labyrinth at the first instance of discomfort, it is necessary to stop and pay attention to our thoughts, emotions, and motivations. What is it that I feel? What am I thinking? What do I want to do? By asking these questions, we manage to name our situation, and dispel the darkness in which we might find ourselves. Sadness, pain, fear, anxiety are feelings which are easy to feel, but difficult to name or accept. But when we do accept them, that is, when we come face to face with them, they lose some of their power.
2. Introspect In Prayer
For the Christian, this process of introspection, of discernment, is never done alone. It is done with a God who looks at us with love, who knows us completely, and who wants to help us to know ourselves: A God who wants to help us face any difficulty we may encounter, get out of the labyrinth, and thus live our reality with the love that he gives us.
Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go”
(John 11: 43-44)
Based on the original Spanish text written by: Ulises Covarrubias, sj
Translated by: Fr Jimmy Bonnici