A Cup of Tea, from Nietzsche.
I am fascinated by his idea of Selbstüberwindung /self-overcoming/
What caught my interest is on how he come up with that idea while his life is (said) full of suffering. The fact that he doesn’t get along with his family, and that he has a mental breakdown… why should i believe this man’s theorem on self overcoming while he had a (generally said) miserable life.
His book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883) portrays an utopia character of what Nietzsche described as a Superman. In his word, Übermensch. That is defined as
“someone who puts up a heroic fight to honor their envy and only then mourn failure with solemn dignity”
rather than having super powers or immense capability beyond human. Nietzsche's idea of a superman was more-human like with greater emotional acceptance — — in this case, it does not always mean that this person is always happy; it’s quite the opposite really, it’s someone who can accept that at times he can be miserable, and that he does not over glorify happiness : he focused more on acceptance and to rise from them. — at least that’s what I got from it. As quoted from the book, “they will accept suffering as a necessary component of good things” The ubermensch is also described not as a saint — this super-man is also capable of being selfish in a way for greater good. This described that flaws and weakness — what makes human a human are somewhat makes perfection. Flaws are acceptable. Perfection of imperfection.
One can achieve this wisdom after they experience such hardship. I beginning to see Nietzsche's point of view. It’s not that he lived a “miserable” life means that he failed. With his pain, he managed to contribute to the society on sharing parts of his mind through his writings, that alone is a successful life in my view. I mean health, conditions and death are something that is inevitable. You can die anytime, nobody ever knows how and when will you die. A lot of people claim to be happy but never share anything to this world, the legacy did not passed on. Nietzsche did have a life that most of us said isn’t normal, plus of his mental breakdown that leads to his early death. But what Nietzsche did was he wanted to share his point of view to the world; and some of his writings that are shared are wishful writings on how to create a better live; shows that he wanted share his life lesson. That, is a meaningful life. He contribute to humanity.
I have seen a lot of people over glorify happiness and I don’t think that’s quite healthy. I have a really beautiful childhood and a really loving family but still I can’t be what others define as “a happy ray of a sunshine” , as i literally have a physical and mental deficiency. It’s a constant struggle to stay healthy. I I tried my whole life to be somewhat happy; as it’s generic suggestion to say “don’t be sad” I believed so, I thought happiness was the answer to everything— as if being not happy — is a horrible horrible thing.
Except my dad. I don’t have to tell him anything, he somewhat knows whenever I don’t feel like I want to be happy in some days, he never say “don’t be sad.” Instead he always told me to
“get up the bed and start your day.”
— his exact words. It’s practical, and simple. And I can, indeed, be sad and still have my day — surprisingly at times content with doing so. I now understand what he meant by this. You don’t have to go against the nature of your state of mind; make peace with it; Nothing is forever anyways. Let it be, the sun will set eventually and so will storm; it’ll pass.
i am NOT against happiness. Of course it’s a great thing to have, but really, it’s not everything. Any other emotions are valid and you CAN be not happy and okay with it.
Being not happy; differs with not being grateful. I learn that I can be sad, in the same time i am grateful; even grateful for the sadness that I have. That being sad or depressed is not a weakness. It’s simply just an emotion. A phase. Niceness is necessary and essential but there are times that you should think of yourself. Being an altruist is a virtue really; but at times people with high tendency of altruist tend to forget about themselves. I am one of them. There are times where I thought more for others than myself and this resulting an emotional drainage of myself as I don’t fulfill my own need. Thus it frustrate the hell out of me most of the time. This is when I learn that being selfish is not necessary a horrible act, at some moments, you need yourself to save you. And that’s okay. It’s about appreciating other emotions that occur to you as a human.
The hardship that I’ve experienced and the moments where I sometimes just give up on trying to recover — moments where I can only tell myself “okay, you’re sad, but you still have jobs to do, at least get out of this bed and do your work.” — that’s my Selbstüberwindung.
“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how”
— Friederich Nietzsche.
To find a reason to live, with any hardship you’re dealing with now, find a reason to still get a move on, at least you’re going somewhere. Doesn’t matter that you die while doing so. At least you give it a try… and when you’re content and accepting your own conditions — whatever it is — and you can have your own Selbstüberwindung.