As children we learn that we have to do certain things that we don’t enjoy because it is necessary. We may resist ‘work’ for example, because it isn’t something we really enjoy. It is something we do, in order to have money, in order to then do what we enjoy. Thus joy becomes a future event that quite likely doesn’t happen, because the brain isn’t wired that way to start with. The brain experiences happiness in the present moment, full stop. So when we set up pathways of misery, we feel that same misery no matter how things actually improve. We can get all the money we want, or get the coolest partner, but if the brain pattern has misery, that’s how we feel. ugh. I know. So therein comes meditation, because meditation and other mind oriented practices help change the neural networks that create the experience of misery. It is simple. Yet this knowledge has not yet made its way into our schools and educational institutions. There is a lot of work still to be done in the area of emotional development.
The human experience, with its struggles and its uncertainty is fun, challenging and interesting–which is why we chose to be born. All of which should add up to happiness. However, that’s not how most of us experience life. An unpleasant reaction to existence is the existential angst that we are born with–life on Earth is the sign of a fundamental delusion i.e., in religious contexts, the fall from grace or the original sin as exemplified by the eating of the apple. (It could well be a metaphor for a genetic /mistake/ that created the human fall to Earth and subsequent struggle to go back to heaven/home).
The reason why we are unhappy on Earth is not the world, but the collective and individual misery living inside us. We live from a conditional consciousness. In other words, life becomes good if this or that is in it. It becomes not so good, if that or this happens. We learn this way of living from others. We believe it. But it isn’t true. Sadness stemming from the past, creates sadness in the present. Our discontent is a block in energy/a habit/ a brain pattern/ that creates more misery.
The question is can it be changed?. Our misery is hardwired at an emotional layer which most of us cannot even experience, because it is buried so deep in the brain, but the most important emotion that can change the brain patterning is empathy or compassion. In spiritual traditions, god is conceptualized as a compassionate and kind energy/being. Thus prayer is made to a god, and that helps people reconnect to a different emotion which is more unconditional than what we receive from other human beings. Over time the experience of misery should transform since spiritual training should help create various stages of enlightenment or god consciousness. It may not happen, and that is where hypnotherapy can be very powerful, because it helps reach the source of the initial trauma and release it.
Live is beautiful, amazing, and awesome no matter what has happened to us or any disappointment we may have. If we could learn to live unconditionally, i.e., as if what is happening is the way it is supposed to be, life can become a heavenly experience.
7 Ways to Practice Unconditional Living
1. Flow: Stop resisting what is. Life is the way it is. It may make us sad, but our sadness is our reaction to life. It isn’t life.
2. There is no actual ending to anything. Stop seeing time as a linear path. Most people sadden themselves when they organize time as a past, present and future. When you put your experiences on that kind of rigid timeline, then of course, you will feel miserable, because the past can look very nice when you aren’t in it– younger people usually have more hope–most people think of the past when they were more hopeful and feel sad. It isn’t the past that makes people sad, but what they think it means in the context of the present.
3. Other people are not responsible for your pain. Most people believe otherwise. Especially if that’s all they hear growing up, that’s how they start to conceptualize life. Nobody is responsible for your experience other than yourself. When we take control of our inner experience, we can change what is happening outside.
4. Developing emotional intelligence. The greatest pathbreaking and game changing discovery of the last couple of decades isn’t in the area of technology but in the area of emotions. We now understand emotions in a more holistic sense then we have ever done in the past. The integration of different cultures of the East with the West, has led to a syncretic exchange of information and learning. Emotional development rather than technological development is the only way to a peaceful planet. Learning things like self acceptance, kindness, empathy and sensitive communication will create the collaborative environment that we need for the future.
5. Know that our experience of misery is universal, except that some people have more emotional trauma that is activated in the moment. Being kind helps them and you to get over it.
6. Having control is actually a feeling of having control. You can have that, even in the most uncertain situation, by working with the mind’s inbuilt capabilities to re-imagine an experience. Visualize what having control in any situation would look and feel like. The reality will transform.
7. Notice the purpose of your being. Your purpose is already being lived through you, just by you being here. The more you are present with yourself, the easier it can be to live your purpose.
8. Trust your inner knowing. Don’t disregard the tiny voice that is cracking up trying to say something. When there is incongruence between your inner and outer experience–outwardly you are fine, but inside miserable, there is always a reason. Get to the core of it. Don’t hide from it and hope it will go away.