Wednesday, June 1, 2011

why is it so difficult to be happy?

This first post is about being happy, or rather why is it so difficult to be happy, and some elements to be happy.

Why is it so difficult to be happy? From an interview with J. Salomé

"Because I think that the quest for happiness is a true paradox. It is the most sought after thing but at the same time it is the one which is most maltreated. Because of self-saboteurs. Self-saboteurs are completely irrational behaviors, more or less conscious, that we will emit, produce. It can be a sentence, a word, a gesture, an attitude, that will go precisely against the result we wanted to obtain.
An example of self-saboteur: I love a woman, I want to spend time with her. But I am afraid she leaves me. So I will get closer to her, I will invade her, I will make her suffocate, I will try to possess her, which will make that precisely she will leave me. I have then triggered what I was afraid of.

If we take some distance, we will realize that there is a profound desire and appetite to be happy, but at the same time there are some deviations, some traps in which we fall. Then very easily we fall into the victimization [considering oneself as a victim], into the complaints, the accusations: it is the other one who doesn't understand, who doesn't like me, who doesn't know who I really am. This victimization is dominant in our modern society, and it makes us irresponsible [makes us feel not responsible for being self-saboteurs of our own happiness, because the other one is felt responsible].

I am often asked what is it to be happy. Well, it is first and foremost the capacity that one have to renounce to unhappiness. [this simple sentence: being happy is being able to renounce to unhappiness seems to be pure common sense. It is not. For that it is not as easy to achieve: "renouncing to unhappiness", especially when one thinks unhappiness is caused by others]. This is the first anchorage: to renounce to be unhappy. Everyone will oppose to this idea by saying unhappiness is someone else's fault. But we all have an incredible creativity when it comes to be unhappy [the self-saboteurs].

What are the roots of happiness?
First, to learn to love oneself. Not the narcissist and egocentric kind of love, but a love of kindness, a love of respect and a love of tolerance toward oneself. And this is not easy. So, first anchorage, to learn to love oneself.
Second, to learn to respect oneself is to learn to say no, and especially to learn not to let the other define oneself, such as when the other says applies a sticker on our person, and says "you are like this". The 4 accusations that can be found in all relations are: "you said ...", "you didn't say...", "you did..." and "you didn't do". So, second, to learn to respect oneself.
Third, learn to be self responsible. I am not necessarily responsible for what the others do to me, but I am responsible for what I do about it [this statement is so rich]. We should learn this as soon as kindergarten. This would better position our children in life, this would provide them with a better anchorage. Because foundations and anchorages are necessary in our existences. [and childhood is the best time to create them, an adult without strong foundations can precisely lack this self-responsibility (I am responsible for what I do with what the other do to me), and become a threat to him/herself, his/her partner or the relationship he/she is in or just anyone else; I will come back to this theme in another post to come].

And finally, fourth, be true to oneself. We are always in a conflict of fidelity. Fidelity to the other, to my company, to my love... and fidelity to myself. These 2 fidelity [to the other and to me] must learn to live together. When they are in harmony [I am true to myself and true to the other], the relationship is alive, can last and flourish. But if at a given time, taking the example of a love relationship, I become untrue to myself, while at the same time I want to remain true to the other, then I am no more responsible, I am no more responsible for myself, I submit myself, or I make concession, and making concession is sometimes close to compromising [compromising myself, in the sense that I make a concession which is detrimental to me].

What is being true to myself? It is discovering the relational need.

This is an adaptation, my translation (from french) and few comments (in square brackets: []) of an interview with Jacques Salomé.

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