February 7, 2018 at 9:33 am #191167
12 years of an unconventional life. Lived my prime years living a very sheltered, introspective, spiritually rich existence. Have experienced the whole tiresome breakdown and awakening cycle over and over, more than I should have during my early 20s.
Its done its fine and I’ve accepted this spiritual path which is a blessing and curse.
I’m pretty numb to it all. Its liberating and empowering to feel the “inner happiness” when you finally steer your own happiness uninfluenced by anything external including how your loved ones make you feel. It reminds me of taking the back route. Its not fun and it’s such a long winding unknown road to get there. At times, it’s peaceful and the epitome of freedom and other times, it’s cold and ugly and you question what’s the point of long road to real happiness?
Your personality is stripped and you see the world for what it is- an unbiased view not affected by any emotion. It almost feels like you’re plugged out of the matrix. Its not entirely depression but the feeling of total detachment from life’s fishhook traps that keep us earthbound and living in the mudane.
I was surrounded by the beauty of nature the other day, waterfalls, lush evergreen forest trees- heaven on earth. But I couldn’t help but noticed an emptiness lingering around me. Here I am the place I want to be, where I feel the most connected and whole yet I didnt know how to take all the “beauty” in. Sure I was content but not what I had expected. It sounds pretentious but if you really could relate, it’ almost like I’m saying I don’t know how to be happy anymore . How do you experience it? How do you “absorb” the life in and “live it”? Your five senses especially your sight are stimulated but I’m realizing quickly its not enough. My eyes are taking everything in but I’m not there. I try to take photos to make the experience feel more real but they are just photos like everyone else takes and memories are just that, can be blurred with fake memories as far as I’m concerned. If I want to experience inner peace and joy, then I might as well lock myself in my room all week. What is the point basking in the company of luxury when you’re dead inside? It sounds like typical textbook depression but my conclusion is when you go through hell and sink beneath the lowest of your low, nothing fazes you anymore and unfortunately for me, it affects the joys and pleasantries of life. Its like I’ve been there, done that, is that all?February 7, 2018 at 10:34 am #191283MarkParticipant
Numbing is a protective mechanism. You cannot feel pain that way. If you shut that part of you down then you cannot feel joy as well.
I realized that recently. As much as try to mindfully engage with the world around me, to get in touch with my joy, there is a part of me that is still not participating. I decided to focus on opening my 2nd Chakra where my passion, creativity and sexuality resides to address this issue.
As much as I have worked on being vulnerable and open, especially with people, I know there is a part of me that expects to be hurt or abandoned and therefore there is a shield that is preventing me from feeling fully, to fully let go and allow pain and pleasure. This is an unconscious belief that is running that part.
I am not depressed. I just have this life long underlying protective mechanism to keep me from seeing all the colors of life. They are muted.
This may or may not fit you, your situation, background.
MarkFebruary 7, 2018 at 10:56 am #191291AmyParticipant
It sounds like you have indeed been through a lot and I am wondering whether or not you truly are steering your own happiness at this point or if you are still aiming yourself towards experiences and situations that you already have an expectation that it should give you joy. On the one hand, you shortly mention feeling empowered and liberated, however, when you mention being in nature, it wasn’t really written from the perspective of how much you love nature, what sort of meaning or connection it gives you, or how you have always had great experiences in it– instead you mention how it’s supposed to be pretty and so you are supposed to enjoy it. But perhaps you just simply aren’t drawn to nature at this point in your life or at all.
You also mention that despite being in touch with your five senses, you are still dead inside. It’s possible that despite having the cognitive knowledge that you should be able to be in touch with your five senses and use them to feel joy, pain, sadness, happiness (the whole breadth of the human existence), you’re not truly feeling them. Having the knowledge of this and actually feeling them daily and consistently on a moment to moment basis are very different.
I went through a very difficult time over the past couple of years that involved a hospitalization after coming to terms with childhood trauma and various abuses throughout my lifetime. I have PTSD and my nervous system was completely overloaded and in my personal experience, I learned that I had not been feeling anything for decades and had instead been shoving everything down and dissociating from my body and surroundings. I had to start from scratch and re-learn how to feel everything. I did not even realize that I hadn’t been feeling things previously.
Like Mark mentioned, if you numb your pain, you also cannot feel joy or happiness. It sounds like you are really searching for an answer here and it might help you to start tuning into your own experience about what truly feels good for you versus what you think should bring you satisfaction. Leave your camera out of it for a while and focus on your own experience of what you are enjoying and what you are not enjoying. I would really recommend starting a mindfulness and meditation practice and to start getting accustomed to just being in the moment without judgement.
You say, “At times, it’s peaceful and the epitome of freedom and other times, it’s cold and ugly and you question what’s the point of long road to real happiness?” and I would have to say that the point is that you get to know your authentic truth and take care of yourself in a way that perhaps you never got to experience. Life will always be peaceful and free at times and then cold and ugly other times– this is simply the human experience of being alive. You cannot have the light without the dark. If you never suffer and truly feel it while holding yourself compassionately, you won’t be able to also feel the joy and light in the absence of dark.
Sorry that this is a bit long! I hope that you find some nuggets of wisdom in there to help. I have been in a similar place and know from experience that it can get better! Good luck; don’t give up on yourself!
AmyFebruary 8, 2018 at 9:11 am #191483anitaParticipant
You wrote: “when you finally steer your own happiness uninfluenced by anything external including how your loved ones make you feel”- I don’t know if I understand. Are you saying that it is possible for a person to not be influenced by anything external, for example, to be and remain happy when interacting with people clearly disrespectful to you?
anitaMarch 4, 2018 at 8:23 am #195851JimParticipant
I “numbed” my feelings back in my teens to block out the pain of rejection. However, numbing your feelings may help blocking out pain, but it prevents you from feeling pure joy. I have not found the way to unfreeze this cold heart.April 9, 2018 at 5:38 pm #201555
Sorry to not engage here more often. I’ve had a problem trying to locate my profile on this interface.April 9, 2018 at 5:59 pm #201557
Hi Anita, Yes.
Of course there will always be bad people, bad environments. The important and most valuable lesson I’ve learnt is not to be in denial or run away from the “bad stuff” but simply acknowledge it. Acknowledge it’s a bad situation but don’t feed it with your emotions. Be aware that a bad situation is a catalyst for a negative reaction. Think of yourself as seperate from the emotions and learn the power of selecting what emotion to feel. You don’t have to actively choose what to feel to fill that gaping void thats screaming for attention. You can just be, take the situation for what it is and move on accordingly. It does sound very cold and void of human feeling but you’re really just calming the energy that needs to be calm. It feels more liberating and empowering to overcome the reaction that was expected from you. Important thing is though, you need to be aware of what’s happening to you because if you shut off emotionally , it’s very easy to fall into the common trap of denying it.
This is obviously easier said than done and takes a lot of mastering and “rewiring” as humans are conditioned to defend themselves in a bad environment . I’m the most guilty of not following through what I learn.
April 10, 2018 at 4:14 am #201601anitaParticipant
- This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Rachael.
You wrote: “Think of yourself as separate from your emotions and learn the power of selecting what emotion to feel… This is obviously easier said than done and takes a lot of mastering and ‘rewiring’ as humans are conditioned to defend themselves in bad environment”-
I know that humans and other animals dissociate when trapped in a dangerous situation and unable to defend themselves (unable to either Fight or Flight/run). In that kind of a situation, the animal or person in a way is “selecting what emotion to feel”, that is to not feel fear, for one. Only it is nature doing the selecting.
I think that dissociating is already wired in our animal brain as a reaction to danger (the term Freeze is used, as one of three reactions to perceived danger: Fight, Flight, Freeze). It is not something to master, it is already there, at birth.