Yesterday I introduced you to the concept of buffering.  Buffering is indulging in false pleasure as a way of avoiding real life and real feelings.

Thoughts about our marriage can be a reason we buffer.  Buffering can also contribute to avoiding our marriage.

What is left of your life if you quit buffering? What if you didn’t  overeat, overdrink, over-netflix, overspend, overwork, over people-please, over-smart phone?

This is a really legitimate and good question to seriously ask yourself.

What if you went for an honest and authentic life and felt all the feelings?  What would be left?

What would your marriage be like if you didn’t create false pleasure by tricking your brain into thinking you just experienced something wonderful as you sought out the next dopamine hit on the end of  a fork or a smartphone?

False pleasure has a poor rate of return and leaves you worse off than you started.  It may be contributing to debt, health concerns,  superficial connections (with yourself and others) and general emptiness.

Maybe in the past you have tried removing some of these pleasures and have gone through withdrawal and feelings of deprivation.  Not only did you find yourself  sitting with all the emotions you previously resisted, but they came back harder and stronger.

This discomfort created the perfect justification to go back to the buffer because we are suppose to be happy 100% of  the time, right?? (Uhh, no. More on that in a future blog).

So this is how the cycle goes.  

The cycle of despair and pleasure continues until  you ask, “What if?”  What if you really gave up buffering?

If you can answer this question, you create a compelling reason to change.

I certainly do not claim making any change in your lifestyle is easy.  It’s an intentional process.  Its not popular.  It’s a journey. And like any journey, you have to be patient with yourself and not fall into beating yourself up as you learn a new way.

But it is rewarding.

When you do the work of eliminating buffering behavior, you come out so much better on the other side. 

Here are some of the benefits:

1.  When you quit buffering and allow yourself to really feel your emotions,  you get to know yourself in a much deeper way.  When you do this, you find the cause of your unhappiness and can start to do the work to create change.  

2.  You start to deal with the things you have been stuffing. They are still there whether you acknowledge them or not. I am sure you see evidence of their presence as hard as you have tried to power them away.

3.  I had a pastor who referred to all the modern day idols in our life as “little g.o.d.’s”.    They are things we allow to rule over us and “save us” from our pain, yet they always disappoint. When you quit turning to little g.o.d.’s (false pleasure) you turn to the Real God in a deeper and richer way.  Pain and circumstance become bridges to truth.  You  live a life of faith which always encompasses action.

4.  When you eliminate buffering, you become a person who is not afraid of life or discomfort.  You enter a process of growth and discovery. You are no longer letting pleasure and comfort dictate your life.

5. You are willing to take uncomfortable actions  as though it does not all depend on you. You look up rather than numb out. 

6.  Your relationships are better for it.  Yes, you may experience feelings of  loneliness as you take a path less traveled, but you also own your thoughts, feelings and actions.  You relate person to person.  (Not like the person encased in bubble wrap.)

7.  Not only are you more authentic, you become a more intentional person.  Intentional people create relationships they want.  (Remember our relationships are a product of our own thinking. )

I encourage you to consider the ways you buffer and what your life might look like if you set out to allow feelings  rather than create false pleasure.  

Does this sort of ownership and growth make you feel afraid?  As though you are setting yourself up for failure?  That is totally normal.  Let’s chat about it more tomorrow!