Businessman tied with rope

 

 “What could be more insane than to oppose life itself,
which is now and always now? Surrender to what is.
Say ‘yes’ to life — and see how life suddenly starts
working for you rather than against you.”

 ―Eckhart Tolle 

Here’s a personal confession that, as a business owner, I probably shouldn’t make:

I hate social media.

From the first time I heard of MySpace, my visceral reaction of “No” was so strong I never questioned the rightness of it. For me, asking why I hated social media sites was like asking why someone hates eating moldy food. It’s self-evidently bad and should not happen.

Or I would feel that way, if left to my own devices.

But I’m not.

The choice to run a business has forced me to make use of these tools that allow one to reach a wide audience for free or very low cost, and even be grateful for them. And recently, events have shaped in such away that all choice in the matter has been taken away.

I have to use social media daily. Not only that, I have to stay on top of the latest developments in Facebook, research the key (and ever changing) traffic times on every social media site, know the top trending words on twitter, and worst of all face that not liking social media is a choice I made and one I have the power to change.

Which got me digging deeper.

The fact is social media doesn’t make intuitive sense to me and my brain does not have a strong internal reference point for it. It’s also a public format, meaning my blind fumbling has an audience. Ultimately I found that I don’t hate social media, I fear it.

Last month I wrote about taking the moment of fear as a cue to uncover your power. This month explores a more nuanced – and unpleasant – level of fear. It’s the fear that we first encounter as hate.

Hate builds a wall around the internal things we don’t want to face by blaming whatever showed up externally that reminds us of it. In my case, I fear rejection by others, so hate social media.

I would guess that everyone has something in their life that they dislike passionately yet persists despite their best efforts to be rid of it. In my experience, until you learn how to respond effectively, it only gets worse.

Here’s how to respond:

1. Think of the persistent thing you hate. Give yourself full permission to hate it, you don’t have to worry about stopping now or at any time (as you go through this process, hate will change on its own, you don’t have to make it happen).

2. Open to the possibility that you may not be right, even if it feels like you are (hate is most of all righteous, it KNOWS that social media is evil demon spawn and can tell you all the reasons why).

3. Ask yourself, “What about ______ do I fear?” Let your mind answer, be curious, don’t try to invent an answer. If you have trouble with this, another question that can help reveal fear is, “If this thing continues in my life, what will happen to me?”

4. Ask yourself, “What can I do so this is less scary for me?” 99% of the time the answer is get to know it better. Having to spend time on social media every day causes me to develop a skill. Once skilled, I become adept at interacting with people through it, and the primary source of my fear disappears, and with it my hate.

You’ll notice this process requires you to spend time with the thing you hate most, rather than run in the opposite direction per our natural impulse. Because of how it builds walls, hate is the fear that has the most control over our lives and limits us the most. Facing it directly and letting yourself be uncomfortable if need be is the secret to lasting happiness. Then, the thing will either disappear from your life or no longer cause distress.

The most successful, demonstrative example of this I know of comes from one of my teachers. He studied for years at an Ashram where his teacher made him do the one thing he hated most for his daily chore. He had to continue to do it until he no longer resisted it on any level, and even genuinely enjoyed it. The moment he enjoyed it his duties changed to the next thing he hated the most, until there was nothing he disliked.

You can see the benefit. The fact is, life will continue to show up with what you hate until you no longer hate. Why not surrender and get it over with?

If you aren’t sure how to answer one or more of the questions above, or feel stuck and that your situation doesn’t fit the process for releasing hate I describe, a Body Insights Reading can help get to the underlying issue, so that the things you struggle with are finally resolved.