How do you tell when your just repressing your desires?

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From things like the red X method to diverting your attention to other things like exercise and going outdoors, etc, etc...isnt that just a form of repression? Is that why so many people come back? or is it something else? Its so difficult for me to tell the difference between what your not supposed to do or do. Its like a catch 22, if you dont think about it then your repressing but if you think about it then your going to succumb to the desire and addiction. I guess my main question is how do you tell when your repressing your desires, Wheres the difference?

fantasies appear

and you have no choice when they do.

But what you can choose is where you focus your attention. So if I say "don't think of a pink elephant" you instantly think of a pink elephant. But at that point, once you are aware you are thinking of it, you can redirect your attention, say to an orange walrus in your mind.

So the point of not fantasizing is to not direct your attention to your fantasies. And when you find one appearing, to redirect your attention away from it and to something else.

Desire is something different. You may desire to masturbate to porn, but what you want you to do here is help your brain rewire itself so that isn't something you desire or even think about much anymore.

Notice it's action first. Desire changes when you take action. You can't directly influence your desires but you can influence your actions and those can then lead to different desires.

 

So when

would repression become apparent? Is it telling yourself that your not going to think of something which keeps that thing at arms length all the time because saying your not thinking of it you actually are thinking of it? I just dont want to find myself in a situation where im bottling something up til the top explodes/

Its not really the what

Its more that Im trying not to confuse some of my rebooting processes with repression seeing that it may be counter productive. I just have a little confusion with what is considered repression and what isnt. A lot of the stuff i read about it seems conflicting about what it really is. I just need a bare bones basic definition of repression when it comes to our reboot process.

My conclusion is

that thoughts and feelings can be repressed but not your desires and actions i guess. So if you acknowledge the problems and know that they are real and choose to not indulge in them than it isnt repressing them. Repressing would be totally ignoring the problem and telling yourself that there isnt a problem. What do you think?

You can perhaps tell over the

You can perhaps tell over the longer term. Humans are made to repress in the short term so we run from the lion instead of eat the fruit. Longer term, repression can lead to dis-ease. Of course, your desires and the other stuff overlaid into you are not the same.

It could go something like

It could go something like this. Let's say you are thirsty. Innately, thirst would be satisfied primarily with water (consumed through mother's milk). Then came lots of programming. The programming did several things. It expanded the options to include anything with moistness be it food or beverage. One begins to adjust to their "own" desires for sweetness, tartness, tanginess, acidity, temperature, volume, frequency, etc. The problem is what is your "own" desire separate from influence from family, friends, culture, media, availability, economics, etc. People diverge with some drinking water, some juice, some soda, some coffee, some little at all, etc. Yet all started with water and all are still underneath it all desiring water. Each might come to a different place if left alone. That individuation process is inherently subject to influence by everything around us. Repressing thirst might lead to death. Repressing one set of beverages will cause no harm as long as one gets fluid elsewhere. That is what emerson is saying. The action of resisting one in favor of another while still satisfying the underlying desire will cause no harm and lead to change. That's how each comes to desire their nuanced desires. Apple cider was good in the farming community one is from or whatever. It gets more complicated when little is seasonal and thus often available to stimulate the reward circuitry.

Is there anything you used to like that you gave up and now think is somewhat awful? I can still drink soda but there is something unappealing about it. I might cringe when I first drink it after not having it for a while. Water, in comparison, is delicious.

There's a lot going on sexually that isn't baseline desire and is instead a superstimulating variant. We desire pleasure and superstimulants fit that well until we consider the downsides. Maybe by process of elimination you can figure out what is your desire and what is the stimulant added by the universe. Then you can decide what to seek and what to leave. It's often not easy. Starting from minimalism is perhaps easier than process of elimination.

Human curiosity is powered by superstimulants. We just weren't made to be jazzed all the time on the same things. Then we'd not get curious about something else. I, for example, like trying random packaged foods (unpackaged foods are riskier in some places and take more time to deal with, though I try those too). I've been with others who haven't tried a popular food for months and then we try it and they like it. They might like trying other random things or even subtler things like less popular foods, packages with other colors, unpackaged foods, etc. The global market has baited us with enough options to feed us a personalized superstimulating cocktail. Once one internalizes this so as to be mindful, an interesting process of reverse engineering one's self can begin. Who knows if there is a destination. Old age perhaps.

nothing wrong with repressing

It is what we do all the time. We override an urge by an even greater urge. Part of us wants to masturbate to porn so we repress that with a greater urge to go with a value that is more important.

I think the idea of repressing urges being something bad is completely untrue. It is psychobabble left over from discredited Fraudian psychology.

I dont think thats it though/?

I dont see repression in substitution? I found this and it made more sense to me

"How does one differentiate between suppression and control?
Suppression is occurring when there is a kind of opposition to your own personality, because you really do not agree with what you are doing. However, in control, there is mutual agreement between both elements of the mind. When the sannyasin controls himself, he agrees with himself totally, and uses willpower to attain what he knows is in line with his objective. In suppression, one does not want to do something, yet he still does it. The mind is split into two opposing elements and the self is denied. But in control, the mind works harmoniously to attain the desired self mastery- the self is affirmed. This is the fundamental difference.

In suppression, when the more negative aspects are experienced, they are either denied altogether, or only acknowledged minimally and are not looked at squarely. This denial leads to alienation of a part of oneself. The true self is divided and scattered, together with the energies and the hopes for a higher, transcendental life. When suppression occurs, one is not whole, not together, not in union with himself. When a suppressed person experiences a negative emotion he feels guilty because he thinks he should not feel it.

When one is working for control, to attain a higher objective, one realises that negative emotions arise from time to time. These have to be fully experienced if they are not to remain repressed in the deeper levels of consciousness, causing blockages and problems. Control requires that one be able to experience whatever arises, positive or negative, with complete awareness. The sannyasin must be able to acknowledge that he is feeling anger, greed, vanity and lust without feeling guilty, anxious or upset."

Of course we may just be running around in circles with this subject as it can be interpreted in many ways.