Discernment vs. Avoidance: Navigating Your Healing Journey with Clarity

Discernment vs. Avoidance: Navigating Your Healing Journey with Clarity

Embarking on a healing journey is a profound and transformative experience. It often requires us to navigate complex emotions, confront our past, and cultivate self-awareness. Two crucial aspects of this journey are discernment and avoidance, which can sometimes appear similar but lead to very different outcomes. In this blog post, we will explore the distinctions between these two approaches, how they may seem alike on the surface, and provide reflective questions to help you ensure you are making choices based on discernment rather than avoidance.

Discernment vs. Avoidance: A Delicate Balance


Discernment is a thoughtful and conscious process of evaluating our emotions, experiences, and interactions. It involves a healthy level of self-awareness and self-reflection. When using discernment on your healing journey, you are making decisions based on a clear understanding of your emotions, needs, and boundaries.


Avoidance, on the other hand, is the act of sidestepping or ignoring difficult emotions or situations. It often involves suppressing or denying feelings and can lead to temporary relief but, in the long run, can hinder personal growth and healing.

How They May Look Similar but Differ

  1. Setting Boundaries:

    • Discernment: When setting boundaries based on discernment, you consider your emotional capacity and needs, and you communicate them clearly and respectfully.
    • Avoidance: Setting boundaries based on avoidance may involve cutting off contact or avoiding situations altogether, without addressing the underlying issues.
  2. Recognizing Triggers:

    • Discernment: Identifying triggers with discernment means acknowledging them, understanding their origins, and using this awareness as an opportunity for healing and growth.
    • Avoidance: Avoiding triggers may lead to temporary relief, but it doesn't address the root causes and may perpetuate unresolved issues.
  3. Embracing Difficult Emotions:

    • Discernment: Embracing difficult emotions means allowing yourself to feel and process them, even when it's uncomfortable, and learning from the experience.
    • Avoidance: Avoiding challenging emotions can involve numbing or distracting yourself from them, which can provide short-term relief but prevents genuine healing.

Reflective Questions

  1. Am I avoiding this situation or emotion out of fear or discomfort?

    • If the answer is yes, consider whether addressing it with discernment might lead to greater understanding and growth.
  2. Am I setting boundaries to protect my well-being or to escape a challenging situation?

    • Reflect on whether your boundaries are rooted in a healthy need for self-care or if they are motivated by avoidance.
  3. Am I actively working through my triggers or avoiding them altogether?

    • Explore whether you are using your triggers as opportunities for personal growth or if you're sidestepping them.
  4. How do I feel after a choice or action? Do I feel relieved or genuinely at ease?

    • Pay attention to your emotional response after making choices. Relief can be a sign of avoidance, while a genuine sense of ease may indicate discernment


On your healing journey, it's essential to differentiate between discernment and avoidance. While they may appear similar on the surface, discernment leads to growth, self-awareness, and emotional healing, while avoidance can prolong unresolved issues and hinder your progress. By asking yourself reflective questions and being honest about your motivations, you can ensure that your choices are rooted in discernment and self-awareness, guiding you toward greater personal growth and well-being. Embrace the challenges that come your way, and use them as opportunities for self-discovery and healing.

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1 comment

Thank you Nicole, This was an awakening. Also sharing this with others. I so appreciate your work!

Joe B

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