My Story — A Path to Freedom
When growing up as a man, it’s very easy to end up learning that all emotions are bad and should be blocked away. There’s generation after generation of men all conditioned to think that showing emotions — that showing vulnerability — is a sign of weakness.
I grew up a very sensitive boy. I was full of emotions and I didn’t know what to do with them. I had very little support from my parents or from the school system. I was bullied rather heavily — my emotional fragility made me an easy prey for those little boys and girls who also suffered, but in their own very different ways.
I was lost, I didn’t have any friends and didn’t really have a family — but I still craved for human closeness and affection, and so I suffered. I was alone, I didn’t want to be alone, but I didn’t know how to fix that.
My solution to all this pain and suffering was to close myself. I simply shut all emotions away. I buried myself in video games, eventually finding my way as a software engineer. I used computers as a means of escaping myself — taking refuge in a world where I knew I wouldn’t be judged, where I thought I held control — where no one was to reject me.
I spent 25 years denying myself the right to feel, and eventually it stopped working completely. I had become an empty shell, so repressed that life had lost all sense of taste. There was no way I could continue in that direction — I had to change, I had to awake. I had to allow myself to be, simply and unconditionally.
Being, Simply & Unconditionally
When we cut off our emotions, we cut off our vital flow of energy. We make ourselves unhealthy and fragile beyond words — and this path can only lead to depression and anxiety, those expressions of a deep and profound shame.
It’s the shame of being human, the shame of being fragile. It’s the shame of feeling imperfect.
How do we run away from the pains of anxiety, fear, and emotional repression? We do it through avoidance, we do it through addiction.
I never saw myself as being truly addicted to anything — I didn’t smoke, I didn’t drink so much, I enjoyed the occasional high without abusing. I was by no means what society would call an addict. But today, with all the clarity I’ve cultivated, I can see how terribly addicted I was.
I was addicted to running away. I was addicted to feeling good as a remedy for the pain. It wasn’t one thing I was addicted to, it was a pattern — and the means to fulfill that pattern were many. One could say I was addicted to a whole collection of things, something that society seems to view as pretty acceptable — if not normal.
One day I played video games, the other I would drink wine. Sometimes I would be shopping for things I didn’t really need — it felt so good to distract myself through fancy gadgets and such. I used sex as glorified pain killer. I watched movies whenever there was nothing to do — anything to be avoid listening to the sound of my own thoughts.
The Sound of My Own Thoughts
Modern society, I’ve learned, is so full of means of escaping ourselves.
The tools I found for understanding and accepting my own patterns were those of meditation. I started studying Zen, Yoga, and Tantra — all related and very similar, though somewhat different and complementary in their practices.
I re-taught myself the meaning of spirituality — forgiving the traumatic experience of being raised in a Catholic society, and coming to see the beauty in the non-judgmental truths taught by various spiritual teachers and mystics throughout history — from the Buddha to Jesus himself.
Seeing the truth of their wisdom, and after experiencing the power of liberation they harbour, I chose to join them. I chose to become a teacher myself. The purpose of my life is now one of sharing the discoveries I’ve made on my own path of healing. I do this through coaching, through courses and workshops, and through writing.
I continue to study Zen, Tantra, and Yoga as means of furthering my own spiritual wisdom — my Zenness. I invite you and whoever would like to join in sharing this space of meditation and spiritual inquiry.
Much love and much peace to you, my friend. We’re all in this together, on this incredible journey through the universe.