The Source of Unhappiness

Human beings can be their own best friend and their own worst enemy. Let’s talk about the latter half of the quote. Comparison is one of the most self destructive behaviours we humans inflict on ourselves; and it often operates below our own consciousness where it creates habits that last and last.

 Ideal vs. Real Self (the way I am vs. the way I (a good person) should be, I should have been a doctor…)

 Our internal self vs. the external self of others (other people’s projected image of us vs. what is going on internally for ourselves – I shouldn’t feel this way…)

• My grades vs. my brother’s/sister’s/friends’ grades (I am dumb or smarter compared to him, her or them)

• Good baby vs. Real baby (mine slept through the night right after birth, walked at 2 weeks, talked at 3 months, never cries, etc.)

• How I feel about my life vs. how I should feel about my life (smile, be happy, why can’t you be more like George)

• “You are your father’s son” (NOOOOOOOOO!!!!)

• Good looking vs. not good looking (“I hate the way I look, feel, think etc.“ (I am too skinny, too fat, too big features, too small features, hair quantity/type/quality/color, skin quality/color, glasses, braces, imperfect teeth, nose to long, pointy or big, too short, too tall etc)

• Strong vs. Weak (Physically strong or not – my body is fast, tough, endurance, etc, emotionally strong or not – doesn’t cry, doesn’t feel insecure, doesn’t whine, doesn’t look or act younger, etc,

Mentally strong or not – understands quickly, quick wit, funny, etc.

• Smart vs. Dumb (knows the answers, no dumb questions, no academic difficulties, large vocabulary, good speller, good conversationalist etc)

• Good student vs. Bad student (who gets the A’s, is popular, is athletic, knows the rules, does the right activities, etc; also thinking I should be good at everything, like the ideal student)

• Popular vs. Not popular (hang out with right people, do the right activities, right music, clothes, car, etc.)

• Fun vs. Boring (Active, funny, out going, Risking, etc)

• Creative vs. Not (music, drawing, acting, dancing, painting, writing, singing, etc)

• Right faith vs. wrong faith (who will be saved)

• Advanced Education vs. No Advanced Education (went to college, Masters, PhD, etc)

• Successful vs. Failure (Money, possessions, position, house, car, etc)

• Good Worker vs. Not (On time, works too long, not long enough, good team player,doesn’t complain, follows directions well, self directed, Great customer service, etc)

• Sexual prowess vs. Not (Men – many lovers, culturally great body, dominant, large equipment, long endurance, always satisfies lover, etc. – Women – No previous lovers but open to experimentation, Culturally great body, always satisfies lover, always in the mood, etc)

• Healthy vs. Not (what you eat, how much you eat, what you eat, what you drink)

• Aging well vs. Not Aging well (looks younger than their actual years, amount of hair, no wrinkles, no sagging, etc)

• Good Son/Daughter vs. Bad Son/Daughter (not caring, helpful, nice, quiet, successful, make us proud enough etc.)

• Wealthy vs. Poor (The right clothes, toys, car, house, neighborhood, haircut, taste, etc)

We compare ourselves to whom and what we could have been or could be, or should have been or should be, or should have done or might have been and still might be. We don’t see ourselves for who we are. We live in denial.

Comparison leads to an unlimited number of ways our dysfunctional culturally warped minds can come up with to undermine ourselves.

The price we pay is that we can always find ways to reject ourselves or part of ourselves, why, because we never measure up to the fantasy we have of ourselves, of our life, of our family – of everything or anything.

And we end up not accepting ourselves as we are, and the path to the best quality life passes right through self-acceptance.

This article is written by Dennis Hitlon

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