June 14, 2011

Two Conditions That Produce Life Misery

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If we agree that being able to be ourselves is the most essential condition of our life happiness, two other conditions will destroy this condition:

1: Trying to be someone else other than ourselves.
This "ambition" is built on illusion - "someones else" are mistaken for "ourselves". The causes of such illusion are multiple and complicated, but I believe a very important cause is false parenting/education.
When we held this "illusion", life is inevitably on the route towards misery, because (at the best account) even if we succeeded this "ambition" at certain level - i.e. we successfully turned out to be "someone else" - we could still not be truly happy because our true nature (or true "selves") will always be hungry at our unconscious level.
The only way to change this condition is "enlightenment" - realizing we are on the wrong track. As soon as we reach this enlightenment, happiness will naturally emerge to our life.
However, the danger of this condition is, if the condition stays too long with us, (also depend on how strong our "true selves" and "other selves" are) we might eventually forgot who we truly are, hence it is almost impossible to get our "true selves" back.

2. Knowing who we are but could not become who we are.
This condition is also created by complicated and multiple factors: false parenting/education, physical diseases, wars, social systems, or ultimately, fate.
I found this is the most commonly struggled condition of life. The ways to cope with such condition are numerous and complicated, and there will never be a single universal solution to this problem, because no one has the completely same life course as others, . However, to simplify the tanglement I would say there are two major pathways to get out of trap: fight and acceptance*.
If there is one thing worth fighting for in this world, it would be "happiness". However sometime the "enemy" can be some unconquerable monsters, such as powerful side of our relationship, or powerful social classes, or even "fate"; sometime the fighters -"we" - can be too fragile to fight, either mentally or physically, such as individuals against groups, fatal diseases, etc. In such cases, negotiation, or acceptance need to take place.
So after all, I think wisdom lies in the balance between "fighting" and "acceptance" - those who know when to fight and when to negotiate will eventually win the happiness, no matter what condition is.
However, since happiness is worth fighting for, I would say:

(If we really know what we want) Never negotiate without a fight.

*I have used "negotiation" and "acceptance alternatively, but I do know they do not have identical definition. The difference between them would be a relatively serious topic in which I do not wish to evolve.

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  1. I'm a fighter; I find happiness in the struggle. :-)

  2. I think trying to "be yourself" is just another way of not being yourself. One shouldn't try to be oneself; one should just be.

  3. I have a friend who needs to read this. He's trying to morph himself into a new person, trying to become someone, who he's nothing like at his core. Because of this, he's spiraling into some deep problems, and there's nothing those of us that love him can do.

    The second is something I've dealt with. Still trying to.

    But I'm finding my happiness, and fighting to figure out who I am. That's half the fun, is self-discovery along a rocky path.

  4. I appreciate your thoughts you have shared in this post. I became acquainted with my true self through meditation. I don't believe we can truly know ourselves through any other means. Once we have become consious through meditation then we can just "be" who we are. We are then in a poistion to do some deep inner work and examine the core beliefs we aere incucated with and jettison those that were erroneous and replace them with our own core values. Then we can begin to live balanced lives.

  5. @Shanannagins,
    Thanks for your input about your friend and yourself. I actually know quite many people who have been trying to be someone else almost all their life. I believe they were taught to be so.
    Like you, I myself fall in the second condition. I fought it so hard and now, I believe it was worth my energy. I found myself most of time in a condition of "just be".:-)

  6. @TT,
    I am glad you found meditation helpful. I believe no one cannot live a quality life without contemplation.
    I have been doing lots of meditations (the kind of Buddhism, which required to stop "thinking") during recent year and they tremendously helped my energy recovering.

  7. While our own efforts are part of the equation I don`t think happiness is completely up to us. Happiness is found both in the result and the process of growth and development of the soul.

    Happiness is multi-faceted and is an interesting subject.

  8. Not everything in my life is as I would want it, but I'm still happy, mainly because I have a partner who accepts who I am rather than trying to change me into someone I'm not (unlike a previous partner).

  9. @Stephen Barett, I think if happiness is not up to others, it must be up to ourselves. I actually agree with what you said here:
    "Happiness is multi-faceted and is an interesting subject."
    and what you said:"...the result and the process of growth and development of the soul." is very important for our life, and they do effect our happiness in great deal. However, ultimately, it is up to us to find what we want and it is up to us to get what we want.

  10. @dennis hodgson,
    Glad you got a partner you want:-)
    I do not have everything I want either (not even a partner) but I do find all I have now are sufficient for my happiness.

  11. Hi YunYi: You have some great points. I agree that sometimes our 'ego' or 'false sense of self' also gets in the way of our true happiness. Meditation, I am finding, is a great practice to negate the false lesser-self. Thanks :)

  12. Yun Yi -

    Interesting post and great points. By the way, I'm very impressed with your English writing. It's far better than half the Americans I know, and if I recall correctly, it's not your native tongue. Kudos! :)

  13. thanks Trica! your encouragement is certainly appreciated!

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