Saturday, May 13, 2006

Saturday, May 13: Chapter 13: The Pieces of Unhappiness

So, if we are going to explore this unhappiness thing, we need to separate out the parts to it. One way of doing it is to separate out 1: What happened., 2: The Story about what happened, and 3: The racket that we develop around what happened.

Example. My sweetheart leaves me. That’s the what happened part. My story about it could be all sorts of things, usually including the following: This is unfair. She’s bad/a bitch/ whatever. I’m so terrible. Life is so terrible. Poor me.

The racket is my getting other people to feel sorry for me, or to “help” and “comfort” me. The racket could also be demanding X, Y and Z from any future women I go out with. The racket could also be using my tragedy as an excuse to skip work, which I want to skip anyway, but don’t have the guts to admit. And so on.

Another way of separating out unhappiness is this:

The breath.

The words in the head ( so called “thinking.”)

My actions in the world.

Funny thing about unhappiness. What we really don’t like about it is how we feel clamped down and unalive inside during our unhappiness and much of this is as simple as noticing that we are limiting our breathing and stifling our wish to move.

The words in my head, the Story, this is the genius of the Work of Byron Katie, because she invites us to play with these words, rather than drive ourselves crazier and crazier by repeating our mantra of “She shouldn’t have left me,” or “Woe is I,” or “She’s such a …..,” of “Life is so unfair.” Or whatever, you know how we can be when we obsess.

And then my actions are my racket, how I try to push around other people with my victimization, but they can also be the running away kinds of actions, taking long drives to go places I don’t need to go, taking long drives to go shopping, watching endless television, doing five thousand push-ups.

These is all food for watching. We can watch our lack of breathing.

We can watch our words, thinking, story.

We can watch our actions.

We can wonder: all this from my reaction to something happening that I didn’t like. Hmm. What’s that about?


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