Two Factors that Contribute to Struggle and Misery
This is not a self-help essay.
It’s an examination of why half the people in America, and a great many in the rest of the west, find themselves constantly miserable as well as in a constant struggle to barely survive. Even those with high incomes are frequently only a check (cheque) away from destruction.
Misery, Depression, Unhappiness — An Absense of Joy
Some people have the most terrible lives. Yet, despite that, they seldom focus on their personal situation. Yes, on occasion, their lives are too hard to ignore, and for a moment, they weep. And then they get up in the morning, and they forget their own situation.
Leo DiCaprio, after filming Blood Diamond in Africa, famously said that after seeing the joy of Africans in the most terrible situations, he would never feel sorry for an American again. I recall reading that, and I knew what he meant. I have been born and bred in Africa.
Consider growing up in an environment where people tell you that your sole purpose in life is to fly to the moon, and you spend your life knowing that you will never achieve anything worthwhile until you fly to the moon. Worse, you do not have the resources or the capacity to fly to the moon. What chance do you have of being happy?
People are generally unhappy because they have been socialized to believe that they must achieve this and that, and they haven’t done so. The conditioning may be buried deep in the unconscious mind, but misery that is the result of an inner perspective is often buried so deeply that people are completely unaware of it.
The reason that some people do not suffer from this misery (despite bad patterning) is that they are deeply involved in something outside of themselves. Over and over again, when one meets miserable people, they are self-involved. And while this may sound harsh, there may be a reason for this.
During babyhood and childhood, the brain forms a sort of filing system — templates for different experiences. If those experiences have been unhappy, harsh, too difficult to negotiate, lonely, or some such, those are the templates we are left with for life. They are extremely difficult to eradicate. As far as I know, only Dr. Lloyd Glauberman’s HPP recordings remove them, and that can take up to six months. I, personally, used them for three hours a day for six months, and my childhood patterning disappeared.
Traumatic patterning tends to make us self-involved. It is too hard to step out of ourselves. It is as much as we can do to try to stop the hurt that is eating us alive. So we don’t develop outside interests.
When we are emotionally involved in something that interests us, then our inner demons don’t disturb us so much. As I’ve said before, we do slip up, but because most of the destructive patterning that used to be buried deep inside is gone, it is so much easier to get up in the morning and say, “Let me go kick some ass.”
It isn’t easy to get out of this, but it is possible. A lot depends on the second factor that causes such intense internal misery.
Our Economic, Political, and Social Systems are Also Responsible for Our Misery
It is a fact of life that people in some countries are happier than people in other countries. This is not because their DNA is different. Or that people born in those countries have fewer people with chemical imbalances in their brain, or some such. This is because the economic, political, and social systems support the people in those countries.
It is impossible to live a life without stress if the economic system is one of competition for survival. Competing with others for the basics is highly stressful, especially when one does not wish to compete. Yes, there are people who love competing with others. They are driven by the need to win. However, most of us are not like that. Most of us just want to live peacefully and easily.
I’m a great believer in life being easy. Stuart Wilde once wrote a book with a title that read “Life was Never Meant to be a Struggle.” I read it more than a quarter of a century ago, and I cannot remember what it was about. However, I really wanted to believe that life wasn’t meant to be a struggle, so I read it. At the time, I read several of Wilde’s books. I gave up when he wrote that teleporting oneself was achieved by doing two spins to the left, a wiggle, and then an upward lift. Or something like that.
My point is simply that when there are sufficient resources available to live an easier life, plus when there are resources that enable us to find solutions, misery disappears.
When we grow up in a culture that gives us absurd ideas of what it is that we are supposed to achieve in life, it can contribute to a life of despair. The bottom line is that we aren’t supposed to achieve anything. Life has a natural drive that pushes us towards doing what we can to survive. If we are meant to do anything, it is simply to survive and reproduce. Other than that, we more or less have a choice of how we want to spend our lives.
Most of us want acceptance by others. We want to be connected to the community of people around us. It is when this doesn’t happen naturally that we can become exceptionally unhappy — especially when we need big bucks to make those connections and get that acceptance.
I would suggest that we have been programmed and patterned incorrectly, and that many of the things we strive for won’t make us particularly happy. That’s why we read about people who take their lives despite having everything that we think would make us happy.
How I Eradicated the Misery From my Life.
I think those of us who aren’t drenched in misery are more content than happy. Happiness is one of those fleeting emotions that touches us from time to time, but it is not a lifelong condition. Contentment, however, can be a lifelong condition.
The first step I took was learning to be thankful for what I had. As I had nothing, I had to be thankful for waking up in the morning. After that, I became thankful that the sun was shinning. Thereafter, I became thankful that I had clothes, a meal, and small basic things. It took me about a month to stop focusing on what I didn’t have.
My second step was listening to HPP recordings for six months — three hours a day. It wiped out the tremendous trauma. There was still a lot to learn, but that was 30 years ago, and while I have had to do more work, the really bad patterning from chronic abuse was eradicated.
My third step was to drop out of work. I don’t deal well with office politics, am non-competitive, and as I had two disabilities I didn’t know about (Asperger’s and APD), I didn’t do well with people and office politics. Life has been a struggle financially since then, and at times that has been beyond terrible, but at least I didn’t have to put up with the sexual harassment and bullying at work.
My forth step was find a way of earning money that did not involve working for and with others. I dealt casino gigs — black jack, roulette, craps, pai gow, etc., edited, did some ghostwriting, and did some temp work. Later, I retired early, and was extremely lucky to have developed a small following on Google Plus that supported my writing through Patreon. Every little bit helps — even the coffee at Ko-fi!
My fifth step was to find out what really made me happy. Surprisingly I found that I love old buildings — Gothic, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and that I prefer to live in the old world rather than the new world. I discovered a deep sense of social justice inside myself and started reading up about political and economic systems. I love lap swimming, cycling, and walking in cities and towns. I love to travel and to dance (jitterbug, salsa, zydeco, waltz, etc.) I also love photography and having coffee with friends. In discovering what made me happy, I could bring more of those things into my life. Obviously, right now, with coronavirus, dancing isn’t going to happen anytime soon — if ever again.
Our Misery isn’t Our Fault!
I truly don’t believe that we became miserable through any fault of our own. I think that our early patterning, in which we were exposed to awful experiences, stayed with us because it’s damned difficult to remove. The second factor is simply the environment we find ourselves in. Misery is a terrible way to live our lives. I spent most of my life being miserable. It took a long time to change myself and change my situation, but I’m finally there. I hope that something of what I’ve said helps you.