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The Art of Avoidance
by Myriam Maytorena

Are you faced with an overwhelming sense of pressure? Does the world seem
to be giving you to many darn lemons? And, are you tired of making lemonade?
Perhaps it is time to develop a new coping skill – The Art of Avoidance.

So often we hear the words, handle things now or they will
just get more intense. That is basically a lie.
Most issues or problems have a way of solving themselves
in time without our intervention. And as my Mother
used to say: “A hundred years it won’t matter.”
In fact, most things won’t matter in a week, or a year,
or in ten years. It is just our desire to have
a sense of control in the midst of chaos that drives
us to try and take charge of everything from the coffee
making in the morning to getting the bills paid on yime.
While many day-to-day things require our attention,
the ones that we don’t have the resources to handle or
the ones that just keep nagging on our heads with no possible
resolution do nothing but create stress and discomfort.

I am not one for ignoring the elephant in the living room
and pretending it doesn’t exist as they describe in
Alcoholics Anonymous.In fact, I think it is important to
face the dysfunctionality in our personal lives and
to create a sense of healing in our lives. However, if
one is going over and over a problem or issue without
the desire to make changes, one might as well forget about it

To avoid an issue until one has time to effectively
deal with, is not a bad thing.
In fact, it is a delay tactic to use until you have
the resources to make the habit changes on needs to
improve one’s life. Also, when one chooses to
evoke the Art of Avoidance, it is important to realize
it is a delay tactic and not a permanent solution.

The Art of Avoidance empowers you to make some important choices.
Remember that not to make a decision IS a decision.

When you get down to the underlying issues in problems, there is usually
a situation that involves either assertiveness or setting boundaries.
Many of the stressors in life have to do with not being
able or being afraid to say NO. Not being able to make
a choice that requires saying NO to someone we care about
sets up a sense of inner dissonance. For example,
a spouse is spending too much money and you feel
financially threatened. Usually it means that the conflict
lies between being a “good” person and giving to one
whom we love and the reality of financial responsibility.
Or sometimes we have gotten ourselves into debt
and don’t have the money that is needed to pay our bills.
Then the conflict comes from feeling bad about our past
actions and not knowing how to solve the issue.

When too many conflicts and responsibilities begin to
crash in on us we have to make some choices as to which
ones we will attend to first. Also, we have to realize those
issues that we don’t know how to solve and to seek out
professional advice or counsel in order to get things
back in balance and in order.However, once we have
prioritized what needs to be addressed first, second, third
and so forth, to continue to worry about it don’t help
anyone and can definitely harm us by creating unhealthy
stress and depression.

Learning the Art of Avoidance, means to learn to think in a more
rationale and self-empowering manner.
The first step is giving up that useless and harmful emotion called guilt.

The only function of guilt is to control behaviors.
It is usually created by our culture,our society and
largely by our family and friends.
We react when our “buttons” are pushed.As a dear
friend once said: “Family is great at pushing our buttons.
They installed them.”
Thus, to get into a state of equilibrium and balance one
needs to become aware of the “buttons” and remain vigilant
so that our responses are based upon reality and not learned behaviors.
You can usually tell a button is being pushed
when you hear someone in your environment,
including you, using the word: “Should.” You might try
this little exercise in self-empowerment and reducing guilt:

If you meant to do something and it has negative consequences,
and you think that you “should” have done something different,
then the next time when you are in the same situation,
change your responses and your behaviors.

If you are in a situation, and an accidental response
creates a negative result, then just choose not to allow
yourself to respond in the same way the next time.

If you mean to do something that is perceived with a
negative result and you meant to do it,don’t waste time
being a wimp and saying that you didn’t mean to do it.

In other words, if you lie to your Mother to keep
from hurting her feelings in order to not go out to lunch
with her, suck it up and don’t use that phony “should” in
processing the information.

The biggest skill in using the Art of Avoidance, is to
eliminate to the best of your ability negative or toxic
people or situations from your life. If you belong to groups,
organizations, or even a job that is constantly creating
stress and discomfort for you, create a strategy
to change the situation.
The job is too much, then print out that resume and
look for another one but make sure that you are looking
for work that will allow you to avoid the situations or
types of people that create discomfort.
If you have been friends with someone for a long time,
but they constantly make you feel used or unhappy, avoid them.
If you belong to an internet group and there is a person
on the list that just pushes your buttons, then put a
block on their email address in your email program or
resign from the list.
If you belong to an organization that seems to be too
demanding of your time or the folks do not respect your
limits, then either learn to say no or walk away.
If your spouse drives you nuts or your kids,you might
find it harder to avoid them, but you might want to
seek counseling so that you don’t feel like a victim.
Sometimes the greatest Art of Avoidance is to just
walk away from situations and people.

At the root of the Art of Avoidance, is to avoid
not being gentle or kind with YOU.
There is only one person in this world who can make
decisions for you and enable you to have a contented
and healthy life and that is YOU.
Don’t give up your power to other people.
Grab it back and avoid those people who try to dis-empower you.
When you use the Art of Avoidance to navigate your
life realizing that it is often a temporary situation, eventually
you will find that you are more energized, happy and
content and that you will become less filled with guilt,
anger and hurt

Today, begin to make the life you desire.
One that is authentic, transparent and affirms your
evolving spirituality. If someone tries to
stop you, just avoid them


Authors Bio: Myriam Maytorena, M.ED..
Is a counselor, writer, and an
astrologer and spiritual coach. You may meet Myriam on line at
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