I found out why I could not commit to life, and I am proud of my progress:
I started my personal growth journey with the aim of finding out why I am apathetic and cannot prevent myself from procrastinating. Quite recently, I found that procrastination is not actually the problem. It is the symptom of a deeper issue. The symptom (procrastination) is a form of passive suicide which is a way for me to not live my life, a way to pass time and not do things I don’t actually want to do.
The first issue causing my procrastination is my self hate. This stems from me doing bad at school, parents telling me I am failing, not being as popular as I would like…basically all around having a poor self image. I was not actually conscious of this until very recently, meaning I have been numb to it until now. I have been an introvert my entire childhood until very late high school and even university where I started to open up and become more extroverted.
Only after I met Aria near the end of university (~4-5 years ago now) did I become as extroverted and confident as I am now. I have been working on listening to my emotions and whatnot in the last year, and focusing on fixing my self hate as of quite recently. I am only now starting to procrastinate a little less, however I am still not done. There is another reason.
Yesterday I had a minor realisation. I have been going off shampoo for the last month, and when talking about how I thought my hair would become all matted and horrible I quote “I’m surprised it hasn’t gone to shit. This can be said for a lot of things in life. We’re so convinced that if we don’t do what we are supposed to do then shit will go wrong.” This helped me reach a second and much more important realisation the same day:
I could not commit to life because of fear.
The main reason that I could not commit to life, and in by doing so I committed to procrastination, is a protection mechanism for my FEAR. After my earlier realisation, Aria suggested that I “sit” with the concept of “LIFE”. For someone who has not meditated before, this means that you bring up the concept of “life” into your mind, and see what comes up, and then be present with it. Usually it is not instant, and may even take several hours to get something. It could be nothingness, or it could be literally the word popping up in Comic Sans font.
For me, what came up IMMEDIATELY into my mind was a wilted and dying sapling from a tree. I first showed the tree some love by watering it, then asked the tree why I cannot commit to life. The answer: my self-hate was not the main issue. I felt a deep fear, which I then sat with. The fear was just as strong as something actually happening in the world causing it to me.
I “sat” with the fear for a while, and I began to get comparisons to other times I have felt this sensation. For me, asking Aria out was this comparison. I then got a second comparison – giving speeches back when I was more introverted. I have felt this sensation, the tightening in my chest etc on those two other occasions, as well as a few others that didn’t come up.
why did I get this fear?
Aria told me to ask another similar question “what will go wrong if I commit to life?” This is when I found out why I was scared. I was scared of ending up on the street. I was scared of being a failure, and then my parents would have to bail me out…but in doing so would brand me forever as a failure.
This is in essence social suicide. I realised that I could not commit to life with this fear as if I committed, and it all DID go wrong, it would hurt like shit. If I did not commit, and it did go wrong, I would be protected from the pain. I already half realise that this is an unfounded fear, and that if I commit, everything will work out, and if I do not commit, it is far more likely to not work out.
For those of you interested in following this process, Aria went into detail on the topic here and it is called Emotional Vipassana.