I used to clean the house, walk the dogs, stretch, and read self-help books before deciding to make that one important phone call.
Just kidding. I still do that.
No matter how many productive things I do, I tend to avoid the scarier tasks higher on my priority list.
I recently discovered that I use meditation, contemplation, reading, and all the other introverted spiritual activities as a way to silence the nagging voice in my head that’s telling me to go out and be social.
The louder spiritual ego voice says: “Friends are worthless! You don’t need human connection! That’s a societal construct! Besides, everyone is too unconscious to understand you. Let’s just continue raising consciousness in this room. Whatever the hell that means.”
Translation: “I have social anxiety. I want everyone to like me even though I know that’s impossible. As a result, social interaction feels like a burden. It’s much easier to sit alone in a room. I know my true nature is aloneness itself, but I feel lonely.”
The situation feels like that Spongebob episode where Squidward loves Krabby Patties, and then proceeds to gorge himself on them when Spongebob discovers his secret. What’s the result? Squidward blows up from eating too many. The episode ends with him in the back of an ambulance with only his head intact.
I had to admit to myself that I was using spirituality as a way to deny social anxiety, or else I’d become so desperate for social interaction that I’d push away everyone I met and “blow up” in an all-out depression. Whoops, too late.
Maybe we all need to blow up sometimes to learn how not to deny ourselves.