Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What If We Were Taught That We Were Perfect Even When We Were Miserable?

"Maybe the whole problem, I think to myself tonight, is not so much that I am sort of sad a lot, kind of melancholy and often achy inside. NO maybe the real problem ( and bear with me, I am just trying this on here) is that lifelong, somewhat futile exercise of chasing my own tail round in circles in the never ending effort to be living at all times in the societally preferred,in fact, almost demanded state of "happiness?" Come on- is that even possible- all the time- really?? I mean wouldn't it be a relief of sorts if it was actually okay, allowed, understood, even honored, to be somewhat miserable? Not a crazy, raging, angry, suicidal, take no prisoners, keep every one else down there with you miserable, just a nice, I'm sad again today, mellow kind of blues?"

I have noticed that a prevailing theme in my life is the incessant obsession that the"party" is somewhere else, that the damn grass is most certainly way more green over there, that if only (fill-in-the-blank) then everything would be just perfect, and of course my own personal favorite, when such and such happens, then I'll be good. I think that this silly madness was born out of ongoing endless pursuit and through the seemingly so hard to find drummed in message that " I must be Happy!" This demand of sorts, I have heard as far back as I can remember. The goal of life is to be "Happy!" That elusive, exalted, blissful state of ecstatic warm fuzzies day in and day out.

It has been this search that has been my theme- my quest. To discover the magic trick to it all. And since I still have no answers, I pose this question to you, to anyone who will answer truthfully from their heart...

Is it really possible to just be in your own skin, in your own life, in your own mind, in the sometimes maddeningly boring silence, in the middle of a stressful life, on a crazy planet and truly live in a state of happiness for any length of time? Of course I know that your answer will be yes,( I've been asking this question for a long long while) and YES seems to always be the answer-- it's just that ( and this sums it all up for me right now) I simply never been that girl. And don't even try guilt tripping me into making feel worse like I am a selfish bitch to be feeling sad when there are limbless children in gutters in Calcutta- that only makes me feel sadder--certainly not "happy!".

God knows I have tried to improve my mental/emotional states and I have the books, gurus, medications and meditations, support groups, gratitude lists, journaling exercises, 12 step meetings, crystals, vitamins, workouts, CD's, DVD's, and so forth to prove it. (By way the meds did help but I walked around in a weird state of half numbness that was too disconcerting to deal with for long, that and the constant feeling that even though I wasn't miserable, I was "cheating"somehow). Just my issue, believe me I have no judgement. Oh heck, truth be told if I hadn't had horrific night sweats on them, maybe I would have "cheated" a long while longer too! Crutch- Smutch!

Still, even with all of those tools at my disposal, the long dreamed of and supposedly extremely possible  state of free floating joy, happiness and well being that I keep hearing about, seems to have eluded me.

I question often whether my seeming pre- disposition to a low grade functional and not exactly hellish depression is a result of karma, a bad childhood, an initiation/spiritual test of sorts, nutritional, "oh so suffering creative artist disease", bio chemical, hormonal (and this buried treasure hunt to test and find the perfect hormonal cocktail resulted in thousands of dollars spent! ) geographical (if I was living on the beach in Bali- then I just know I'd be happy!) financial,  after all who can be nice and chilled when they are sweating it out week by week? or a host of other possible reasons why I haven't ever quite managed for any substantial amount of time anyway, to be HAPPY. I am so getting sick of that word right now.

Now don't get me wrong. I have my moments ( thank God). There are times when I am the laughing, bright light and life of the party. Yes, in fact, I will have you know that Patrice has been known to have spontaneously experienced, cup wildly overflowing with good stuff times in my life. I have had extremely profound epiphanies that convinced me that this time- I had found the secret elixir, the potion of joy that will stick, only to wake up again some short time later with the same overall malaise once again taking me over.

Then tonight this funny, far out thought came to me-- maybe I ( we) have never been told that it is ok, that we are ok, in fact we are adorable even if we are kind of sad a lot. And as I mulled it over and sat with this far out idea a bit tonight. I suddenly are you ready?, felt much much much ( did I say MUCH) better? Not giddy, just not miserable, a kind of a lovely warm neutral...Which is a far cry from where I was when I started this conversation.

I think I just may be on to something. I will let myself be with this radical concept for a while longer and no doubt will report back to you on my findings. But I shall leave you with this thought...

How can we sadish types feel truly " happy" when we are being bombarded ( media, "well meaning" friends/family/strangers, books, teachings) throughout our lives with the very consistent message that we are flawed, not okay, in some kind of serious need of fixing, broken damaged goods-- for being who we are fully in the moment, including all those sad, lonely, lost moments too?

After all, we are ever changing, moving, growing beings and no matter what, this too shall pass. So let's all cut ourselves (and each other) some slack. OK? Instead of judging, hows about, we just keep hugging?

Something to think about anyway...

In the meantime,

Just Love!



Sliver said...

Pleased to meet you Patrice.
I think that this is a healthy train of thought, myself.
We are taught by society to 'be happy!'; 'smile!' all the ding dong day. *Especially* when we are not.
"Hi how are you?" is *supposed* to be responded with "Fine" or "Great, and you?", no matter the circumstances. It's maddening!
Our dark sides are as much a part of us as any other, yet we are taught to repress it our even outright ignore it. How can that be a healthy state of being?
I heard of a Hindu practice where you invite your 'demons' to a banquet at your table. Allow them to 'eat' their fill and be contented by doing so.
To consider your negative aspects like children that never got enough attention or nourishment.
Interesting idea.

patrice karst said...

God Bless you Silver .. You got it!

Jamiee Love said...

Because telling other people they are flawed is what sells Patrick! Didn't you know?! :)

I hope you will visit my blog. I tagged you in a blog game and I look forward to your participation.

Michael said...

Ahhhhh, happiness.

Heaven is an imaginary place that symbolizes eternal, spiritual happiness, whereas Hell represents a lot of things that are much more fleshly and humane: Grief, pain, misery, repentance, loneliness and anger. Bliss is hard to understand and trust me, I hate society's requirement of you to be presentable and happy all the freakin' time.

I am a boy that often sits on the fence when I define myself as being either always happy or purely pessimistic. I'm like that. I take pride and joy in being extreme. But I just do not know if I'm plain hateful or if I'm just full of love, if I'm always sad or if I'm always in high spirits.

What I know for sure is that happiness has to be found by oneself. People can influence you but how you take that influence is still up to you. Your emotions are yours to control and I'm with you when you say that happiness CANNOT be possible in your own skin, in your own life, in your own mind.

In a world that's ever-changing, with the number of people you encounter each day so high, and with people being so complex, it's just impossible for you to live happily always.

We can merely attempt to defy the laws of entropy, go against life's tendency to go toward chaos. I believe your end-message is right. Just keep hugging.


Pump said...

I myself am opposed to anything mystical and dont beleave in fairy tales about "souls" and "spirits" It confuses man and holdes him back.

patrice karst said...


That is sad to me--

There is so much magic and mystical wonder in the Universe, I hope that you have you mind blown open one day that you might see the invisible universe that is alive and well.

just love,


Indigo said...

Honestly? I truly believe there has to be a measure of sorrow with the joy. If all we knew was the happy, happy, joy, joy song...How would we truly appreciate, let alone recognize we were happy, if we had not spent an equal measure of time sad?

I have not had the "perfect" life so many try to give off. I admit it and embrace it wholeheartedly. Who I am is a measure of all, I've endured and overcome in my life. I treasure that and claim it along with any bliss I might have in my life.

There are no perfect humans. To claim to have found that perfect happiness seems to me a dishonesty to one self. Life needs a balance. What would make us think even in our emotional state we wouldn't need that balance there as well...As always when I comment, just my humble opinion.

I can relate with having a measure of sadness underneath it all..far too many of my readers have said it about my own writing. (Hugs)Indigo