26 Dec A young woman searching for the road to happiness
Babyface comment: A girl I have been having endless discussions about life with wrote some of her thoughts to me. I think it is worthwhile reading:
To grow up
As babies, we can only communicate through emotions. We cry when something is wrong, we laugh when we are having fun and we’re silently awake when we feel harmony. Neither speech or writing are abilities we are born with and therefore we can not send our messages through those means. The dynamic emotional life shows itself within 30 seconds after a natural birth. Our unconditioned force and our creation.
How does it happen then that adults are not crying, having temper outbursts and show their fears to the same extent as babies? Probably it is because of that during the most formative years children are taught to push aside these feelings. A child falls and gets hurt and she begins to cry. The mother is (hopefully) comforting her baby, but the question is how? Will she do it through loving touch and presence, or will she use some technique in order to make the child to stop crying? Quite often I hear parents “hushing” their crying baby, perhaps saying,”common, it is not that bad?!” or “get up now, let’s go home and have some ice cream”. The intention is certainly good, but indirectly this signals that the child should stop expressing what she feels. As a consequence, we become less authentic and behave more frequently in the manner expected of our surroundings.
To be shaped by society
In Sweden we have relatively clear expectations of how that super human should behave. First you must have an education, followed by working weeks at least 40 hours long. A partner should be found with whom you’ll live happily ever after. A couple of kids of course, but the modern feminist can not forget her career just because she is a woman. Oh no! Parental leave hours are equally shared and in between the careers, child care and other interests some Christmas baking is fit in to add some atmosphere to life. To many I know that this actually sounds appealing and there is absolutely nothing wrong with such a kind of life. What I do think is wrong is that lifestyles outside these frameworks generally are questioned or even attacked. Why? Who is it that says that this way of life suits everyone?
Breaking the pattern
So many go seeking. Seeking for happiness and the perfect life. Perhaps going on pilgrimage. Perhaps turning the winter pale face toward the sun to get some pigment reaction. You want to feel sweaty, eating exotic fruit and live a life that matters more than money and prestige. You want a bag on your back, to be on the go and sleep with who the hell you want at any time you want. Indulging for real, maybe that is enjoying life. You want to drink beer and feel your feet ache of today’s physical feats. Go to sleep on some primitive material and ignore everything called comfort. You want to read poems by Karin Boye to learn it is the journey and not the destination, that is the actual goal.
To see behavior patterns in a new way
During the past year I have gone deeper into spiritualism, in which a significant part is to work with one’s ego. You know that person inside who becomes offended when others picture of you is not consistent with your own self-image. To become aware about that we have a self-image we use as a starting template when we behave, talk and interact with others, is a refreshing but occasionally painful process. A separation can also be created in the relations. Not appreciated behavior patterns of friends was previously ignored with a mental note like “everyone has their own problems”. Now when I am confronted with these patterns it has started to hurt, I cannot pretend I don’t see it any longer. A pain that feels so unnecessary because those behaviors are still not natural. They are the product of societies artificial expectations on the individual. And in the same way as I can see this among my friends, I can also painfully see that me myself are still acting out as many ego patterns. These changes of awareness occurring during the journey are of course also strengthening, but they do still hurt. Things that had not previously been doubted are now brought to the surface. I still want to believe that development and its sometimes painful side effects are worthwhile. Although we have all heard that ignorance is a bliss.
Finding a way through life
I believe more or less all people have their mental loads to compete with. And I also believe that the sum of the loads are constant. The loads may vary slightly but the suffering continues. With that said, I do not think turning ones life upside down have to be the solution to one’s problems. A stable base to start from combined with some adventure and development, that could be a way to go. Perhaps those contrasts are what’s needed for happiness to appear. But if you wanna spice up your life with contrasts, it may be important to reflect on why we want to use these “add ons” and how they affect us. Are you on the whole enjoying your life when you go on a new work shop or use alcohol or drugs, you will probably not be swallowed or dependent. This is because the rest of your life provides a counterbalance. However, if you feel bad and these new add ons will be your comfort, a way to manage everyday life, the add ons suddenly fill another function and they can become destructive.
To chart my way through “picking the cherries from the cakes” encountered throughout life, is something I believe in. The happiness and love always inside us cannot really be lost, it can only thrive.