Many years ago I was babysitting for a little girl who liked to watch Disney classics but with the remote in hand so she could fast forward through troubling things that might come up.
I hadn't realized there was much in a Disney animated feature that could be so emotionally challenging. And I was of two minds about this l practice: one - that it was wise of her to skip over that which she didn't wish to see, the other - that it would best suit her to learn how to cope with things that might trigger upset in her.
When we are faced with something in our experience that doesn't stimulate good feelings, avoidance becomes the same as focusing on the thing. Energy spent trying to not look at something is almost identical to energy spent looking at it and being miserable.
But that little girl had some insight. She recognized what wasn't working for her and moved on.
When I am down, there is an inclination in me to await a savior - of sorts. I keep myself from feeling good until the arrival of proof from outside that I have enough, am good enough, or am safe enough. I think, "When I see this. .. . then I can feel good." Until then, it's as though I have taught myself that I don't deserve to be happy.
But like that girl - what I choose to focus on is my choice, which includes how I choose to see things. Choosing something different does not have to mean avoidance. In choice we look at the possibilities before us and decide which best serves us. Avoidance means turning away in fear.
How good to recognize what's not working for us and allow ourselves to move on. This is the best kind of fast forwarding.
From the Inside