Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Tuesday, May 16, Chapter 16: What Gives When We Choose Unhappiness?

Well, this is again close to the Big Enchilada question of how to want things and not be pissy and unhappy if we don’t get them. Yet. Or ever. This unhappiness thing has a whole life of it’s own, and the more we can see how we are DOING our unhappiness, the more we can begin to do something else.

So, again, it’s up to you to look, but if you discover that unhappiness is coming from you, then you can think: If I am doing this, how much do I want to do this? And how long?

That seems heresy, doesn’t it? So contradictory to the bad feelings come from outer space or other people myths. If I’m doing my unhappiness, how long do I want to indulge in it and how intense do I want it to be. (Actually bad feelings might come from diet, but let’s postpone that for now, but being healthy physically, is part of the complete picture of a full and wonderful life.)

Like movement, that carried to extremes and becomes unpleasant, unhappiness can be backed away from. I can back off from unhappiness, do less, and with more awareness and see what’s really going on.

Here’s a couple of rackets to look at before we dive into the Byron Katie work, which we can find out about just fine on your own, either reading her books (Loving What Is. And I Need Your Love. Is that true? ) or looking at her website, thework.com.

One racket of our unhappiness is to punish people around us. Let them see how much we are suffering since they didn’t do whatever we wanted them to do. This can be quite common in couples, where one will mope and sulk until the other finally asks: “Okay, What did I do?” Kids and their parents, or parents and their children, this is a favorite. Let me push you around with my suffering.

Weirder, though, is the idea of punishing someone who is gone, or in the past, or dead, but still, in some part of our minds, we think our suffering will make this missing, or past or dead person feel really guilty.

And then there is the racket with ourselves. Which works like this: I want a new job and indulge in big batches of unhappiness when I don’t get it. The racket, here, is that I’m pretending that I need to whip myself with unhappiness to keep up my efforts to get the new job. It’s as if I believe I should be punished with unhappiness until I get what I want. Which can create a driven life, that may or may not be “successful,” but certainly will be unhappy, because any time I want to move to something new, I’ll go back to punishing myself with unhappiness until I get it.

There’s more to this, but it’s a pretty big piece. Chew it over and digest well.


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