There is no real mystery as to why we feel stress or why life can be hard. We all know that life is hard. Perhaps this is not so on all occasions, but for a majority of people, life is hard. This has nothing to do with wealth or with fame. This has nothing to do with looks or fashion, nor does this have anything to do with power. If wealth or power could buy happiness, then there would be no such thing as miserable millionaires.
Safe to say that most people are not born into the lucky gene pool who come from millions or billions of dollars and have every advantage. Safe to say that not everyone is part of any secret handshake club.
We are not all born equally because if we were, there would be no great athletes to stand out above the rest. No one would be famous for their singing or their acting. There would be no great writers because everyone would be a great writer. And no one would be pressed for an autograph because if we were all born equal then no one would care who they are – because who they are is no more important than anyone else.
Or look around at our business and corporate structures. Look at the discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion. We can be diverse in race, gender or creed, but whatever you do, don’t use the executive washroom on the 19th floor because this is only for the people in the C-Suites.
(Figuratively speaking, of course.)
Either way, we all have troubles. We all have stress. We have our own unique lives and our personal chemistry that allows us the option to be an individual.
We all go through feelings of betrayal and, rest assured, everyone in this world has had their hearts broken at least once in their life.
There is no mystery as to why people are stressed. We live in a hurry-up world where it’s easy to be pushed around or caught in the hustle of a push-pull world.
We often succumb to our thinking and our worries, which keeps us on-guard, to keep us protected.
There is no question that people struggle. However, the only question is why? What are the struggles connected to? Or better yet, are these struggles even real?
I revealed something personal in the previous entry. However, my reasoning for this was motivated by some troubling news. An old colleague whose yoga experience was life changing to his clients had made a choice to end his own life.
While at his best, my friend was bright and shining. His charisma was the kind that changed the room. I say this and yet, very few people knew about the darkness in his heart.
This was a person who looked to help people achieve enlightenment. This was someone who helped other people and, more importantly, this was someone who I looked forward to seeing.
He is, was and will always be one of the great ones to me. But nevertheless, he was struggling with silent demons that he simply could not shake.
There is a line within us which extends outwards or inwards or in either direction. This line breaks into different pathways and bridges us to a connection of thoughts, memories and to connections of experience and emotions that lead us towards a social and emotional mapping.
There are connections to moments of pain or confusion. There are histories of doubts and discomforts which we learn from (hopefully) to keep ourselves safe and sane or, at a minimum, keeps us breathing and alive.
There are files and pictures of data in the mind which, if we look, it’s no wonder why we feel stressed. There’s no wonder why people respond to words or sounds or social cues because at one point our mind has been mapped by an old instance or a struggle.
As an analogy, I can take this to a time when a friend of mine took me to a rifle range to fire his high-powered rifle. I had never taken a shot from a rifle like this before. To be clear, my lessons on how to shoot were quick and few. However, I did as I was told. I shouldered the rifle the way I was told to. I breathed the way it was suggested and when I was ready, I pulled the trigger and “BAM” the scope kicked back and smashed me right in the face. This hurt. A lot!
Each time I took a shot, I found myself flinching or bracing for the pain. I noticed this became a subconscious part of my shot which altered the trajectory and had me miss the paper target.
I can think of the times when I was bullied or laughed at as a young child. I can remember times when it seemed like the laughter sounded like something from a Charlie Brown cartoon; as if the entire room roared with laughter and me, I was the one they laughed at.
I connect this with the rifle experience because there are times when we experience pain or rejection or a social discomfort that hurts us. Subconsciously, we assume the discomfort will be the end result; in which case, we emotionally flinch to throw off our aim.
There is a way to detail our inventory and keep this simple. There are books that can help understand the child or the beast within. There are also therapists who can help diagnose this. There are valid Cognitive Behavioral Therapists who can help with this too.
However, the art of personal change is personal; therefore, there has to be an easier way to break down our emotions and separate them from feelings and from our thoughts. The more we connect to this, the more we can understand where our feelings come from and, thus, we can understand why our emotions react to our thinking.
The reason our stressors build is often connected to this elaborate monstrosity which we call our pathways of our thinking. One thought becomes two. Two becomes four and four thoughts become 6,357 (and a half).
We connect to biased assumptions which then connect us to a feeling and/or thoughts, which daisy chain into a lineage of ideas and patterns of belief and opinion. This can be so influential that we often make up our mind about our life or the day ahead of us on a subconscious level.
My friend lost to this way of thinking. He believed in his lies more than he believed in himself. He simply could not step away from this. So, he decided to step out.
Safe to say the classrooms I walk into will never uproar with a sarcastic laughter like it did when I was a child. Safe to say no one will ever make fun of me for stuttering when I read.
No one is ever going to bully me again yet I wholeheartedly understand the worries of shame or exploited humiliation. What I mean is, I understand the emotional flinch.
We all have scars. Some can be seen. Some are invisible.
But those are the ones that cut deeply.
I have found this to be true.
But unfortunately, so did my friend Murphy.