Saturday, May 29, 2021


"We inhabit a bright, beautiful planet full of promise and peril, lovingly tailored to our precise specifications. We need the sad and horrible parts. If we don't get enough of them - if we've implemented cheats to override them - we pay to get our fix, and/or brood, worry, and stress our way there. We need all the movies."
      -- "Why God Lets Bad Things Happen"

Most people spend most of their lives making themselves miserable over the prospect of future misery (which only rarely materializes) and the recollection of previous misery (which no longer exists). We can even make ourselves needlessly miserable by recalling the times we made ourselves needlessly miserable over future misery that never materialized!

If misery's so bad, then why are people so endlessly thirsty for it?

In "Grief Survival Kit", I asked
If you're so phenomenally upset about death, that can only mean life is truly amazing. So why ruin so much precious alive time with unnecessary drama? If the departed saw you doing this, they'd slap their foreheads and holler "Stop! That's just crazy! Don't do that!! Especially not in my name!" They'd want you to mourn for a while, and then go out there and kick ass, relishing every moment.
Even real misery - right now, in the present moment - often turns out, in hindsight, to have been unnecessary. Very few of my unrequited crushes were so great. The balloon that floated away was just some balloon. Bad days with good people were good days. The wallets lost and fenders dented didn't matter. Physical pain fades, and that which doesn't becomes easily tolerable once accepted.

All that remains once you've disregarded the flotsam, the drama, the entitlement, and the trumped-up hoo-haw, are an isolated few horrors I could either suck on like lozenges of woe, stoking my misery (to counterbalance moments when I worry I might be feeling inappropriately happy), or else embrace like rich chile heat in the stew of it all.

Further Reading:
"New Cars and Pizza and Needlessly Making Ourselves Miserable"

No comments:

Blog Archive