Escape from Self-Made Maze of Emotional Confusion
What to Do with Life?
Have you ever found yourself in a disoriented state of mind in which all signposts seemed to be pointing at a dead end street? Then, as if that was not enough to make you dizzy, your emotions also joined that headless-chicken-run in circles shifting from one lousy emotion to another.
So, without any apparent reason, a fear about an imminent loss would creep in, just to be replaced with anger of a completely unknown origin, to be soon replaced by a guilt that didn't make any more sense, possibly ending with a self-pity that stayed there for quite a while, as if that was supposed to be your best choice.
Crossroad of Reluctance
Now, no matter how much you are analyzing that mess in your head, there is no way to get to the bottom of that void in which every offered thought is only bringing you to a point where you have already been before, not somewhere that you might want to arrive.
Standing there at that intersection of multiple options we may decide to hitchhike and take a ride in any vehicle coming by first. As looking around is not helping much, there we go raising our eyes to the sky and looking for a patch of blue, maybe even a ray of sun sneaking through those dark clouds---and that suddenly makes us think of god.
Revolving Doors of Religion
That's when we decide to try that path taken before by so many before us, not sprinkled with daisies but with silent tears of disappointment while waiting to win some of god's attention with prayers. We choose religion in a hope that it may give us a new purpose, or at least a fresh excuse to go on living, while secretly hope that it may fix what we don't know how to.
So we arrive at the threshold of our holy place to be greeted with smiles, somewhat puzzled by their unnatural look, resembling that smile of a shrink inviting us to step into his office.
Well, after the initiation that gave us something to do, along with some cute names like a "child of god"---the road ahead seems to be straight enough; but little do we know that it's actually veering, and slowly keeps veering until we look around only to recognize that familiar intersection.
Actually just about the time when we already started believing how we were getting saved from that inferno of the afterlife, we got fast-forwarded into cooking again in our own oils of despair that didn't feel one bit like a salvation.
Book to the Rescue
The religion experience could have nevertheless made us somewhat enriched but still in a need for a shower of blessings that would put out that inner inferno of our confusion. Now comes the time to do something that our laziness never allowed us before - to read one of those promising "life-changing" books.
The first one feeling merely as a reader's appetizer, we are bound to keep reading and reading, until we have become quite knowledgeable. Maybe even to the point of starting giving smart advices to our family, friends, and co-workers---but not really getting any better ourselves.
Hey, here the book is mentioning something like "brain's chemical imbalances". But of course, that must be it, how didn't we think of that before. Boy, what names they gave to those "feeling happy" neurotransmitters! Something that sounds so sophisticated like "gamma-aminobutyric acid, dopamine, serotonin, and endorphin" must be good for us!
Pills, Pills, for an Expensive Yellow Urine
So there we go to that health food store, bringing home a little collection of bottles, hopeful as ever to remove that fog, that confusion, to get out of that emotional maze that has us running in circles.
That's the time while we still don't know about something like "placebo effect", so we have no way of saying why those damn pills seemed to feel so promising for a week or two, only to let us down giving us nothing but a little more yellow urine.
With an act of anger, or is it a sheer despair---which have been harder and harder to tell apart--- we are dumping those bottles to join the other waste, along with the waste of hope and money.
And so It Ends Up Being O.K. to Suffer
Crazy, isn't it, that after a certain habituation to our misery we start accepting it as our "normal way of being". Those smart neuro-scientists are even telling us about something like getting "addicted to lousy feelings". Apparently, the chemicals produced by them fit nicely into the pleasure receptors of brain cells.
Who would ever think of that!---so that must have been the inspiration for so many songs composed in the minor-key and giving the misery an artistic version. Just take that song "Buon Giorno Tristessa" (Good Morning Sorrow)---you don't even have to understand Italian, and yet you can empathize with the singer.
Well, that's the last terminal for so much of needless human suffering---this willingness to turn it into something more acceptable, possibly spicing it with more shopping, gossiping, alcohol, smoking, sex, TV, game watching, or just that good, old crying on everyone's shoulder about that crappy thing called "life".
The Bitter Pill of Responsibility
While we spend so much time at that intersection of our life, we are bound to unconsciously turn a blind eye to one particular road, which would expect us to take responsibility for our reactiveness to life.
Looking around at the state of the so called "human condition", no wonder that the road has been poetically named "A Road Less Travelled". No one around us is likely to tell us about it, everybody seemingly belonging to the same "headless chicken farm".
Indeed, suffering folks will try anything under that sun except what appears to be the hardest thing to do---to pull themselves up by bootstraps, seeing themselves as responsible, and even able to change it all. Everybody seems to be seeking solutions on the outside of the source of the problem---ourselves, and our narrow field of consciousness which we refuse to expand.
Like a kid who is hard to wake up for school, we are hard to wake up for our school of life, rather covering our heads with a pillow of a comfort zone to continue with our little nightmare that we sometimes dare to call our "life".
All of Our Own Make
At first experienced as a burden, taking responsibility soon starts feeling like a power. After all, whatever mind does, mind can undo, and all our crappy experiencing of life certainly is of our own make. Even if some of the co-players contributed to it, the last word in our mind is always ours, because no one can physically walk into our brains to "make us" think and feel this or that way.
We are so conditioned by the society to play victims of someone else's doing. At times it may seem like a whole world of seen and unseen irritants is against us---from those microscopic pathogens and pollution all the way to the threat of a world war or a huge asteroid colliding with our planet. Those alarmists sounding like the most convincing human breed.
It's always something "outside of ourselves" that seems to be threatening to our ass ---so, what a relief it is when we stop seeing ourselves at the receiving end of all that to notice how we have been the cause of it all along! No dragons to slay, no demons to exorcise either.
If we could believe even one bit that there is something like the "Law of Attraction", then even our "bad luck" and unfavorable circumstances would turn out to be of our own make. But we don't have to, if that's too much of a speculation for our intellectual taste.
Even by seeing it all in terms of a down-to-earth reasoning, we know that insisting on a bad attitude, self-pity, and constant negative expectations are bound to boomerang back on us one way or another.
By focusing on what we don't want all the time, how could we expect to get anything of what we do want.
So, there is really no point standing at that crossroad and waiting for the first vehicle to take us for the tour of sightseeing in our self-created maze of confusion. Looking from that mental platform of responsibility, there is no maze at all anymore, as our newly born power of intention coupled with intuition knows exactly where we are and where next to go from here.
Good Things Start with an Inspiration
Intending to depict that universal spiritual confusion over what to do with our lives when our nature starts rebelling with lousy emotions and pushing us to find a solution, I also wanted to offer this simple idea so shunned by so many---to take it all in our hands.
I was hoping to present the futility of our pilgrimage from one outside solution to another, never finding that long sought peace of mind, or at least its milder version of a smoother ride through life. At the roots of all human suffering is this alienation from the only source of our content---our own mind where it all started.
So, if you got a little inspired by this article, as I hope you did, just straighten up your posture, put a little Mona Lisa smile on your face, and continue where you left it off as that happy little kid you once used to be.
It feels so damn good---but don't take my word for it. Remember?---I am a part of that "outside solution", whereas the only possible one has got to be of your own make.