Sometimes meditation rubs your nose in painful but ultimately helpful truths.
Your mind talks rubbish: anyone who tries to focus on their breath for five minutes knows this.
You’re insatiable: have you had enough food, sex, praise, comfort, holidays? Has anyone?
Because everything changes, you can’t rely on anything.
Your chimp-based evolution has wired your brain to see threats everywhere.
You’re going to die (okay, meditation doesn’t show you this directly but it’s true anyway).
You were shielded from most of these certainties when you were young but if you ignore them when you’re an adult you’ll create problems for yourself.
Gimmie the numbing distractions!
Popular methods for avoiding awkward truths include: working too hard, taking drugs, over exercising, procrastinating, pornography, self-loathing and checking your phone every two minutes.
Meditation removes some distractions so you are gently forced to see how things really are. This can be daunting but sometimes your coping methods cause more problems than facing the truths themselves. Late night drinking to avoid the fact that you chose the wrong career might be causing you more difficulties than actually changing your job.
Of course in many ways drinking will seem like a much more fun option than acknowledging that you’ve wasted time in a job you don’t like.
But before you throw your meditation cushion in the skip…
Remember you can only deal with something if you acknowledge it exists in the first place.
When you accept How Things Actually Are it will be much easier to find a happier way to solve your problems. In the same way you don’t become furious at gravity when you fall off a ladder, accepting that life is a bit shit sometimes, helps you come up with better solutions.
You can also take comfort in the fact that everyone you know, and will ever know, also has to deal with the same crap. It might even bring you closer together.
Meditation can feel a little brutal sometimes but life is tricky enough without deceiving yourself.