Last time we talked about fulfillment as a integral part of essentially living your best life regardless of you current circumstances.
Let’s talk about fulfillment’s cousin, Escapism.
On the surface, you probably would not relate the two terms. However, they are mirror images of each other in the context of happiness and contentment. The two terms also are mistaken for one another.
The major difference between fulfillment and escapism is that fulfillment is exploring things that build, expose and complement your worth and purpose but those things are not used to hide or distract you from negative feelings related to unrealized dreams, old trauma, etc. Escapism is when things that could fulfill you act as a fortress to get away from the negative feelings. Basically, you still process through emotion when you seek fulfillment and you hide from emotion when you seek escapism.
I am a notorious escapist. I used things I loved to do to just get away from what I feel; to not think about the fact that I had tons of negative energy built up. Escapism is essentially practiced for the same reasons most individuals use drugs: to get a high that takes them out of their currently reality. I am reprogramming myself so I am dealing with what so feel and allowing the things I love be a building block for purpose and worth. It isn’t easy at all. I always have to be cognizant about what I think about and why I am engaging in activity. No brain auto pilot for me.
In order to master emotional intelligence, you cannot constantly hide from what you feel. You have to acknowledge it so you can redirect yourself so those feelings become less aggressive. Fulfillment allows for this reprogramming, escapism does not.
Travel, shopping, exercising can all be utilized as escape routes. Just because the activity is positive doesn’t mean the motivation behind engaging that activity is positive.
Escapism is dangerous. It will lead to you being on an emotional rollercoaster. Escapism gives you the illusion of fulfillment, but if you always escape, you will always eventually feel empty when you come off your high.
Ask yourself this: are you walking in fulfillment or escapism? When you are done with whatever you were doing, do the thoughts and feelings come back? Were they stronger? Are you ready to change your actions so that escapism is no longer part of how you navigate life?
Self work is the hardest job you will ever take. But it is the most rewarding.