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personal development personal engagement personal engagement

10 Ways to Stay Disengaged

This might be the hard part!

We have a lot of valid reasons for not being intentionally engaged within ourselves and throughout the world around us. We may not have the opportunity, or quit too soon once we were engaged. Oppression, repression, and depression leave an impression on our minds and hearts that can seem challenging to erase. Our own best intentions to engage can be undermined by ourselves, too. Following are some explanations for why people do not engage on purpose.


1. Passive Decision-Making. We often resist engaging when we’re involved in passive decision-making. This happens when we deliberately refuse to make a decision about a choice, or when we appear to give our ability to make a decision to someone else. However, both of these are actually forms of passive decision-making. We make decisions by not making decisions. For instance, we might be in a grocery store trying to choose which type of new yogurt to try. However, rather than choose among those options, we grab the container of cottage cheese we always get. This wasn’t simply “going with the same old, same old.” It was deciding not to try something new. This is a very disengaging practice that doesn’t allow us to activate a connection in our lives. Passive decision-making is one reason we do not engage.

2. Constant Decision-Making. When we’re constantly “on”, we can actually turn off. Doing too much decision-making without relying on our intuition or others reinforces a sense of martyrdom and overt authority. It is our responsibility to deliberately turn over the reins sometimes by allowing others to make decisions for us. Constantly telling yourself you’re the decision-maker is exhausting, distrustful, and ultimately disengaging.

3. Filter Against Reality. Letting our fears, doubts, frustrations, and anger color our perceptions of the world is exhausting. Making the world out to be happy, enlightening, and easy all the time can be taxing, too. We might refuse to acknowledge situations as they present themselves. Instead, we focus our sights on cynicism, negativity, positivity, and optimism. Constantly impressing our vision for the moment onto the moments we live can exhaust our desire to be engaged. This type of projecting is as if you’re telling the Universe you don’t believe it can operate in infinite perfection, and that your opinion is better than the will of all things, all ways. Filtering against reality like this is disengaging.

4. Jump on the Fire. Neglecting to learn about the lives we live, exploring ourselves, critically examining our actions and ideas, and not learning the possibilities of life is disengaging. We passively teach ourselves to be ignorant by throwing ourselves on the fire by living in ignorance. There is a difference between living fearlessly and living recklessly, and this is that line. The adage of jumping out of the pot and into the fire is not always the best way to foster engagement.

5. Defeat Ourselves. When we defeat the things we know, feel, believe, or think with the actions we take, we defeat ourselves. This is ultimately disengaging. It’s like waiting until you truly know something to refute what you believe. Telling yourself that you’re wrong, that you do not have the time, patience or interest in what you know, or working to undo everything you believe can end your engagement, too.

6. Deny Engagement. Saying things to the effect of, “I don’t have time for that right now,” or, “It’s enough that I’m present, I shouldn’t speak up,” ends our engagement. When we speak up and show up, but stand in the way of letting our own engagement be felt, we deny our engagement. This undermines our self-confidence and self-authority, and denies the role of going through the Cycle of Engagement.

7. Sabotage Engagement. When we do not do the things we need to in order to sustain our engagements, we deny ourselves. When we act in opposite ways than what we’re truly engaged in, we contradict ourselves. However, when we defeat ourselves by working against the lasting connections we have throughout our lives, we sabotage engagement. We do this by undoing our actions with ideas and negating our emotions with our actions. Acting as if some engagements are better than others, we give up on ourselves and undermine the things we care about the most. We also sabotage engagement by believing others know what we should be engaged in better than we do for ourselves.

8. Insult Connections. When we are engaged in something it can be important to support that engagement with our actions and our words. Publicly insulting the things we’re connected to disengages us from those things. There are many ways we publicly insult ourselves and the things we’re engaged in. These include denial and negating, and getting frustrated out loud. We also overwhelm our engagements by relying on them too much, and this is actually a form of insult, especially when we show others.

9. Manipulate Engagement. When we try to convince ourselves to be engaged in something that is clearly not right for us, we become disengaged. We may try to convince ourselves that social acceptance, self-beautification, or money are more important than the inner warmth of self-acceptance, but Heartspace knows better. No matter how we try to make external forces responsible for our personal engagement, there is no force more powerful than ourselves. Squeezing lasting connections out of ourselves can suffocate engagement. When it’s all said and done, telling yourself that you simply used a connection with people, places, ideas, experiences, memories, issues, emotions, and so forth in order to get the benefits of engagement can actually end your connection with those things. Knowing that actually happened can seal it off.

10. Punish Yourself for Getting Engaged. When we become enthusiastic and lastingly connected to people, places, ideas, experiences, memories, issues, or emotions, sometimes we figure out why we shouldn’t be so connected. After we spend hours, days, weeks, months, and years becoming engaged, we still can tell ourselves we’re undeserving or the engagement is not wanted. We can let our engagements rot on the vine and even spoil them through over-attending to them. We can also teach ourselves that being engaged hurts. All this serves as a punishment for engagement, and ultimately leads to disengagement.

Becoming engaged gives us opportunities to richly reward, enrich, and otherwise live engaged lives. While we can become disengaged, Heartspace is a resilient space that enforces its principle with grace and kindness. So while we can become disengaged, we also maintain engagements without effort too. All of this is good for us, and simply shows another way that Heartspace operates in perfection. Our choice is whether or not to tap into that harmony.

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

By Adam F.C. Fletcher

I'm a speaker, writer, trainer, researcher and advocate who researches, writes and shares about education, youth, and history.

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