Let’s Simplify Life
Updated on August 11, 2017 Vladimir Karas moreVal is a life-long student of psycho-philosophy of living, and a devoted practitioner of many techniques enhancing personal evolution.
Contact Author We do not have to mimic anybody “Good, Old Times”
Let’s face it, stress is the sign of our times, which is nothing new – except that it’s also certainly one of the largest paradoxes of our times. Said in a nutshell : these are the perfect times ever in the entire long history of the mankind, and aside of our peculiar passion for complicating our lives, we do not have much of an objective excuse for being stressed out.
In my childhood, and we are talking the time right after the WW2 within the devastated Europe, horses and carts were still a daily feature on roads. Nothing apart from the sunshine-switch was a push-button advantage in households. To cook your meals, wash yourself, and have some heat in the house you needed to first go chop some firewood and smash off some chunks of coal to your furnace.
Laundry was done manually, clothes and bed sheets were boiled in an enormous container for disinfection. TV was unheard of, and families of a mean income could not afford a radio , and naturally, forget about something like a turntable. Speaking for myself – today I’m living a “science fiction” with all these gadgets that make life so much easier – while leaving the rest as much as me to also make it simple.
What was really so “good” about it? Youth Was Painting All of it in Pink
And yet, every so often I hear people of my baby-boomer generation mention those “good, old times”. I do not share their nostalgic reminiscing, and with a simple, meant to be eye-opening statement I remind them how the only good thing about those times was the fact that we were all young then, and youth has a way of painting everything in rosy colors.
Indeed, depending on your age now, nowadays we are running our engine on lower than half of those hormones that used to present us that extra spark of vitality, the sexual energy being that secret motoric behind most of our dreams, ambitions, and activities.
Yes, being young made all of the difference Not knowing how easy we got it Like a Trend of Modern Living
Now, is it really our declining hormones to be blamed? Well, you do not should take seriously my amateurish theorizing, but I believe this new hormone situation was merely the results of all layers of accumulated stress over time.
Yes, I am contending that almost all of that stress was completely unnecessary and mainly due to our collective consciousness which took the attitude of complicating as a norm of living. Man, we are like that dude in my favorite definition of a hypochondriac who is “only feeling good when he’s feeling bad”.
Seemingly it is a form of a compulsion to think, feel and act like everybody else, and who knows why. Maybe out of the need to “belong” to the herd of the identical mode of functioning – to be recognizable, accepted as “one among them”. But, regardless of the underlying motivation may be, it is silly and unnecessary, and self-destructive in a final analysis.
Thus, it is a small wonder that we won’t recognize these times as one of the best ever. For a moment seeing our minds as instruments for processing our reality, a metaphor with musical instruments seems appropriate : give an out-of-tune guitar to Eric Clapton and he won’t make any music on it. Likewise, give ourselves all advantages of the fashionable living, and our minds will still be producing only “noise, not music”.
If I could only embrace it all Different Yes – but Happy
In my working days I would come in on a typical Monday softly whistling or humming a contented tune, and having a pleasant word for everyone, especially female co-workers. Well, I used to be not flirting in a sense of constructing a pass at any of them, but I always liked giving them compliments, they usually knew that was it.
My happy disposition became contagious over a time, and yet there was always a long face or two that were insisting on being miserable. My boss being one of them would go a step further while mumbling something like : “Man, you are not purported to be happy on Mondays”. Call it insubordination, but I would not follow that instruction.
Well, to borrow my expression from above, I did not care much to be “recognizable as one of the group.” Being an oddball was not making me feel either lonely or misunderstood. And it still does not.
“Whatever doesn’t kill us – makes us stronger” Happiness that Was Not Meant to Be
At times people tell me how “lucky I used to be to be born with such an easy going nature”. Then I tell them how mistaken they’re. I used to be raised beside a polio stricken aunt and grandma, neither of them capable of run after me, so I had to spend most of the time around them where they may keep an eye on me.
No playing with other kids. Then, I was constantly sick with something and a notorious cry-baby because of my then undiagnosed subclinical hypoglycemia, which was not helped one bit with my regular heavily sugared morning coffee. I used to be shy, withdrawn, terrified of strangers, of the dark, tiring fast, and with an awful muscular coordination which made me often trip over my very own feet.
On top of it, my beloved family, with nerves shattered throughout the war did not have much patience for such a “monster of a kid”, and i got often punished for being clumsy. Now, how is that for the history of my happy disposition?
One person to befriend The Times of Unfoldment
So, how did all that change, after witnessing my parents’ divorce at the age of nine, living with a depressed mother, and twice getting seriously sick on lungs as a consequence of undernourishment? Was that actually me?
In fact, but after deserting of my very strict father I got all the liberty in the world to start unfolding into something the seed of which I carried in my young soul. On the age of ten I read my first book on psychology, and when thirteen, in order to do away with my fear of dark, I visited our huge city cemetery by myself – around midnight.
I just sat on a bench in front of someone’s grave, sweated bullets in an agony of fear until it was gone. Long before my thousand books on human nature were read, and long before I used to be a devoted meditator, I simply quit the nonsense of complicating my life, somewhat disgusted with that crappy habit.
Well, why did I just volunteer to share this unfavorable first chapter of my never to be written autobiography? To show off or something? Probably not. My intention was to indicate how whilst kids we could start defying every prognosis in textbooks in psychology about some “inevitable outcome of less than happy childhoods”. Some folks may relate to it and find an inspiration in it.
Is complicating really a lot fun? Indulgence in Lousy Feelings
Now, everybody including myself gets that initial spike of displeasure when things go wrong. However, not inclined to complicate my life, I trained myself to manage its intensity and what’s much more important – its duration.
Namely, why do we need to go on and on over the same mishap, as if we didn’t do it right in the first minute or two, so now we need to make it better? Not adding anything new to the situation and even less to its solution, we just keep it on until it snowballs into something which will stick with us for the remainder of the day like a dark shadow that we can’t shake off.
Literally, it “makes our day”, and for a long while I can not understand why we are doing it to ourselves. Why complicate things so much? Then we also have to tell everyone about it to make them “feel better”. You see what I mean?
Keeping ourselves well covered and protected Selective Ability to Relax
When someone tells me they cannot relax, I ask them : “How do you manage to fall asleep at night?” Really, what exactly do we do with all those worries, frustrations, grudges, impatience, and all other pearls of stress at our bed time?
How will we succeed to loosen down all muscles and nerves to have the ability to sink into that oblivion where none of that emotional crap seems to matter anymore? How is the mechanism of falling asleep different from relaxing throughout the day, aside from we don’t overdo it like in sleep?
It is truly amazing how we reserve that ability only for our bed time, ably sweeping it all under the rug – until the next morning when we sweep it out again to continue tormenting ourselves with that standard passion of complicating our lives.
And then we discover the fantastic thing about all of it With an Awakened Spirit
All it really takes is awakening of our spirit enough to understand that it’s all of our own make – all our responsiveness to life. Nobody is pissing us off, trust me, we choose it – consciously or unconsciously, and with a few of that spirit awakened we may choose to stop doing it to ourselves.
The world just isn’t about terrorists, bad politicians, high cost of medical insurance, climate change, and a nagging spouse – it’s about our response to all that.
We aren’t helpless automatons waiting to see what sort of emotions will happen to us. They’re our constructs, together with our attitude, our beliefs, and our dominant thoughts during the day.
So, let’s get up and stop complicating this life, we do not know if we’ll get another one to make it better. Everybody knows on their gut level how they are making things complicated for themselves, and there is no magic bullet to undo it – apart from befriending ourselves enough to not do it anymore. Let’s face it, folks, if we were doing to our friends what we sometimes intimately do to ourselves, we would not have many friends. Agree?
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sendingAuthorVladimir Karas 8 months ago from Canada
Au Fait – It feels so rewarding to see other people sharing our views, and your eloquent skills backed up together with your studies in psychology even make them look better.
I actually appreciate your long comments C.C., you always express your fine mind in ways that make me feel like we just had a pleasant conversation. Thanks for letting me know about your views about this important matter of people wasting a lot energy and precious time on unnecessary fussing over things that ultimately don’t matter one bit.
C E Clark 8 months ago from North Texas
Agree that people often obsess over things that really aren’t important. One can gain plenty of confidence just by looking at a situation or event realistically. A friend who has now passed on used to say, “A hundred years from now nobody will know the difference or care.” Sometimes it’s more like a couple of days and even just a few hours from now. No need to attend 100 years. People often seem to anguish over some very trivial things.
One thing most people do not understand is that many people are so worried about the image they’re projecting to others that they really don’t notice details about anyone else unless they’re so horrible they can’t be ignored. So if you understand the person you’re meeting for the first time is most likely agonizing over how they’re coming across to you, it allows you to relax and be yourself. They won’t notice for those who aren’t perfect because they’re too focused on how perfect they’re coming across to you.
I don’t care about belonging to any herd either. Sometimes what one must do to fit in just isn’t worth it. Fitting in could be overrated.
I believe people could improve their lives markedly if they might simply put things in perspective. Often that alone will free up hours of time, as one needn’t do or think about things that actually don’t matter anyway, and that leaves more time for those things that do matter, or better yet, things one finds more enjoyable.
AuthorVladimir Karas 2 years ago from Canada
It gives me a terrific pleasure to hear from you, Esther. If it hadn’t been for you and your encouragement, I might have never been part of Hubpages. And I’m really glad my hub served as a bit reminder to you about our conscious power to make of life what we choose. – Be well my friend. Val
Thanks for this reminder that life is as simple, or as complicated, as we think it is and that we will handle absolutely anything if we believe we will. (am linking to one among my hubs) – Welcome to Hubpages Val