Let it go!?!

I would say a lot of unhappiness is self created. Do you agree?

I encounter unhappy people somewhat frequently. Kids, adults, you can spot them in a heartbeat. Complaining, worried, dour, negative, critical, angry, self-hating. I think Americans have spent quite a bit of energy identifying ourselves with our *day* job. Our very language supports this. "I am...a doctor." "What do you do?" "My job is my life." The list goes on. None of these statements can even begin to explain a human being. And maybe we resent this association a little, as well we should. What's up with all the road rage? That's an easy one. Could it have something to do with not wanting to be on the road to where we are going, rushing along? I think it might. Each person is so much more than what we do from 8-5, or whatever the work hours might be. Are you rushing to the job to pay for the car, the house, new new new, too much too much too much? Something is wrong with that! It's enough to upset anyone, feeling like you are just breaking even, treading water.

I feel like I have a slightly interesting perspective on this, after the year I spent living in Spain. Far more than a job, in Spain, I found that each individual identifies with their family, their hometown, their foods, region, even neighborhood. Many young adults live at home longer, out of monetary need, but also enjoying family life, sharing of food, and the events of the day. Each person has intrinsic value as a daughter, sister, mother, brother, grandfather, you get the idea. What you do is a facet as well of course, but not so much more emphasized as we tend to do here. Society does not compartmentalize so much, the world feels open and more free, personal freedom is valued, leisure is treasured. Space may be a little more scarce, but kindness is flowing, and there is always time each day to share a cup of coffee.

I think if our western society could embrace this concept, our identity might learn to loosen up a little and truly we could breath easier. What is this that compels us to work, work work? 50, 60, 70 hours a week or more. For the health insurance? Where does it get you? Maybe a promotion, a little more money, but if life is truly a journey, and if the material things in life don't really make us happy, doesn't it make sense to slow down a bit? To read a book, take a nap, start a garden, call an old friend, perhaps try a new recipe? Join a club, travel group, or help with city planning for a fun event. I think a lot of people here get a difficult wake up call and it's so sad. They neglect healthy eating, exercise, personal growth. Maybe we feel we are entitled to perfect health, long life, total prosperity, because we worked hard. The truth is, many people all over the world work hard, but most don't have what we have and a sparkling tomorrow is never a guarantee for anyone. We should not feel guilt for our prosperity. It is worth enjoying what we have. Because at the end of our days, what will we look back and remember? The days we rushed from A to B to C, or those wonderful moments when time slowed down, we loved family, friends, ourselves, and we treasured the chance to simply be what we are: complex, multidimensional, and human.


1 comment:

E. Michelle said...

Most humans are so completely identified with their mind and the roles they play that they neglect spirit. We worship little green pieces of paper and think that it keeps us safe. We don't see things as they truly are all we see are images that our minds have created.

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