tiistai 6. toukokuuta 2014

Day 400: Fear of being happy


I realized today that I am afraid of being happy. I was talking to a friend and trying to explain how I have experienced myself and life lately, and when it came down to saying “I have simply been happy” I noticed a resentment towards making a statement like that. To break the moment down: there was an impulse/idea to express myself through the word “happy” - I reacted to the word with resentment – a push to say the words despite the resentment – followed by the fear of having made a mistake – followed by thoughts along the lines of “what does he think of me now”, “did I screw it up”.

When I stopped to think about this experience I realized that because I have grown used to thinking of life in polarities – the good and the bad – I am constantly both afraid of being unhappy (because it is unpleasant) and happy (because it always leads to unhappiness, which is again unpleasant). Because I have seen how the ups and downs of living life in autopilot always lead to each other, I have created an ideal and a desire to find the in-between, the equilibrium – a state of balance that would be neither here nor there. I realized that because of this goal I am afraid of any experience that is NOT bad (unpleasant), because I interpret them to be in the “good” end of the spectrum (red flag - “you're gonna crash!”, “this is not going to last!”), when in fact this might not be the case.

In my experience there are three ways to position oneself towards life and the experience thereof. One can either filter one's experience through the negative (pessimism, cynicism) or through the positive (optimism, hope) – or one can do neither, and simply take the reality in as it is (realism, pragmatism). I do not mean to place these three in any order, and I do not claim that the latter is the “best” way to live life – I have simply found through my own experience that it is usually the most real, genuine or honest way of living, and I do prefer truth over happiness, as focusing on the truth usually leads to solutions whereas focusing on happiness usually leads to compromises.

The dilemma that bothers me here is that what I have defined as the in-between/equilibrium is actually enjoyable – just not in the same way as the positive polarity. I interpret myself enjoying life as “bad” because I believe I should not be enjoying myself, that enjoyment is bad because if I enjoy myself I must be off-balance. This is a misunderstanding I need to correct. There is a clear difference between enjoyment and having my head in the clouds, so to speak – as well as there's a difference in experiencing pain and suffering. The equilibrium does not mean that I should not be experiencing anything at all, but that I simply experience the things I come across without holding onto them, without transforming them into mental scenarios, into rocks that I load onto my back, and instead allowing them to just flow through me as space flows through time. Perhaps to be in balance is to know how to bring myself down from the clouds as well as to pick myself up from the ditch.

I realize that the experience I now labeled as “happiness” has not been just pure enjoyment but that I have slightly gone to the positive end, and what I need to realize is that IT'S ALRIGHT – I don't need to panic, lol - “oh fuck, I'm gonna crash now?!” - lol – no, what I need to do now is simply to land gracefully from the heights. I can trust myself to handle myself well enough to not plummet back down.

And to be honest, I am not entirely sure how much of my happiness experience has been balanced and how much of it has been hype, precisely because of the resentment. I am probably looking at my enjoyable experiences through the resentment filter and seeing “bad” in them even though there would actually be none (or very little).

This dilemma of what kind of enjoyment is OK and what is not calls for an experiment:

  • I commit myself to allow myself to enjoy life and self-expression without guilt.
  • I commit myself to allow myself to use the word “happy” to express myself (because when I observe myself it is clear that I am living this word at the moment – no point in suppressing myself).
  • I commit myself to observe and take note of any and all energetic sensations I experience in order to map out my happiness experience.
  • I commit myself to not suppress any of the energetic sensations (feelings) I experience, but to instead live through them within and as breath.

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