I used to suffer. I used to feel lonely
If you are lonely, unhappy with yourself, suffer from social anxiety, needy then this post is for you.
Disclaimer: I am not an expert. I do not claim to have all the answers. Your suffering may be entirely different from mine. I am just an ordinary man who used to suffer immensely and has managed to move passed that.
I used to suffer from a lot of depression. I suffered for 30 years (my whole life). I was always a bit of an outcast, different from other people. I always had trouble making friends. I had dependent relationships with women which have all led to failure, pain, and suffering.
I was an extremely needy individual. I depended the validation of others. On my own I was never happy. I needed that reinforcement to feel good. It seemed that chasing happiness was an endless struggle. I was very anxious, and believed that I had suffered from social anxiety (I had even gone on meds on a couple occasions).
I guess you can say that the majority of my depression was a result of the relationships (or lack thereof) I had with others. I wasn't content with myself and was afraid of being alone.
I tried very hard to fit in. I was made fun of for being "unique", for being strange, nerdy, etc. I was ashamed of who I was. I thought that I had to become something different or change before others could like me or accept me.
A majority of the pain would come from comparing myself to others, worrying too much about the future (this was a big one), trying to impress others, resisting my current emotional state, trying too hard, setting expectations too high for myself, not being "myself" in social situations (or trying to be something other than I who I was), looking for happiness.
Then one day I had a talk with one of my friends. He said something to me I'll never forget. He said, "Bro, your problem is that you've become outcome dependent. You have these high expectations and you've become depressed because you have set unrealistic goals." He also went on to say, "If you continually compare yourself to others you will forever be an unhappy man."
That day I would forever change. I no longer suffer, I love who I am, I am no longer needy.
There are a number of other realizations that I had a long the way, in fact a great number of them, but I could go on and on, so I will only discuss a couple of the big things that started the chain reaction…
- Stop comparing myself to others
- Be 100% authentic
Once I stopped comparing myself to others, I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. It allowed me to focus on myself, my life had become simpler. As humans we make things much harder on ourself then we need to. I had given myself permission to be me. I had essentially lowered the bar. I had accepted who I was. Honesty is a key word here, I was honest with myself. I admitted to myself (honesty) that I wasn't a badass. Once I had accepted who I was, there was no longer a struggle or a sense of urgency to become something. Submission and acceptance are two important key words that describe this process.
Okay, so I was no longer comparing myself to others. In social situations, I had given myself permission to be myself. I had adopted the attitude that I would be myself, and fuck anybody who doesn't like me for who I am. It was a "take it or leave it" attitude. It sounds kind of silly, but I would tell myself, "I am a nerd" and I don't care what other people think of me (I would remind myself of this when I felt stifled). To "be yourself" sounds very cliché, sounds like a bunch of bullshit. I've heard it a million times before, but I had never realized how powerful it was, because I didn't know what it meant to "be myself."
The notion of "self" is a collection of the experiences in your lifetime. In other words, you are who you are because of what you have experienced. So who then can judge who you are? You had no say in the family you were born to, the place in which you were raised, and you have experienced what you have thus far and THAT CANNOT AND WILL NOT EVER CHANGE. In other words, you cannot change the past, you are "stuck" with you =)
So to "be yourself" means to express yourself. To express what you have experience, your interests that have developed as a result of your experience, and your views. This does not mean that everybody is going to like you! Once you accept that, life gets much easier.
That is all that I have for now. I am new to the boards here, I only wish to help or inspire others, and perhaps offer a bit of hope. Also, one thing I might add is that this process takes time. Change does not happen over night.. One must ACCEPT that. A sense of urgency to change will only add to the suffering.
Feel free to comment on anything that I've said here. I am willing to elaborate on anything that may not be clear. As I said before there is a LOT that I could write about (I could go on for ages).
Also, if any of this sounds even remotely familiar to any of you, I would highly suggest reading Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" ("The Power of Now" is more advanced in my opinion). Tolle talks about the ego (self). To dissolve suffering one must learn about the self, A New Earth is a good place to start.
Lastly, this is a very personal journey. Every body is different so no path is set in stone. Others can serve as guide posts, but ultimately it is up to you to make that journey, and it starts with knowing yourself. In fact, that is the path. Know yourself.
Bravo, I applaud your post Honesty.
Good advice, succinct and honest. I've never read that author but I'll look it up. My personal recommendation is for Ayn Rand's Anthem- about the importance of ego in human development.
this helps alot. i always feel like i need to prove myself to the world. when the only opinion that really matters is my own.
brilliant post, thank you :)
I agree and I don't see this as having more ego.
In my opinion ego is not love or accepting yourself and trying to be happy that way regardless if people like it or not. Like those things that you mentioned that we have no control over(family,enviroment we were raised in etc.)
Ego is what makes us feel bad when we don't have what we desire..
It causes you to not be happy with what you already have and wanting more for yourself. It is something that I feel is not love its negative.
Of course people should be able to accept and love themselves and try to get better if their lives are not very good at the moment so they can move forward in their life. You can do that by trying to be happy with what you have and not getting mad or upset that someone else has what they want..
People must be more humble and not wanting more and more for themselves..
Wanting to be more this or that or have this and that in my opinion is worrying too much about yourself instead of accepting yourself and trying to be happy with what you have and then helping others on this planet.
Like for example people that are homeless and don't have much food but some still can smile and be good people regardless of their situation.
Some try to accept what is happening and make it better and have hope and not get mad because others have somewhere to live and food to eat and they don't. And even though it hurts me to see them that way I admire how they can still put that smile on their face..
When you said "Submission and acceptance" that sounds like letting go of a lot that ego..
Caring so much about what you don't have and what you want to have is a form of ego.
For example lets say someone wants to breakup with you for certain reasons and you keep trying to convince them not to instead of being more understanding because you are worried about not having them in your life and in other words you are thinking of yourself and your needs instead of how that person feels..
Like I said there is a lot ego in this world. That is why so many people want to have so much money and material things or also control..
It is hard to let go of and I am still working on it..
But maybe more people can start seeing how much they are stressing about meaningless things and let it go..
It really did change my life. It's easy to get caught up in this, I still do. But with practice I've become much more aware of it.
It's unbelievable how differently people respond to you when you stop trying to impress them and when you stop caring what people think.
Do the best you can. The best to your standards, and you will be golden.
I think one of the reasons that people have such a hard time is that they try to change everything all at once and get discouraged when they don't see results.
Start small. Be honest with yourself. Don't try so hard. And so starts the domino effect.
The ego cannot survive honesty (or truth).
Why do you do the things that you do? Do you do it to impress others, to be more popular, to try and make yourself feel good? It takes some balls, and the ego doesn't like to be judged (even by oneself).
Regarding control.. Letting go is liberating (I used to be a perfectionist/control freak). It can be a bit scary because you are essentially embracing the unknown. But once you get the hang of it you begin to feel like a new man (or woman). Life becomes more exciting and mysterious.
Part of the problem is that we add so much complexity to our lives. It is human nature. We buy things, take on new expenses, try to live up to society's "ideal" expectations. These things may feel good in the short run, but what we are really doing is setting ourselves up for suffering. We chase the things we think will make us happy, and once we get there the happiness is either short-lived or not found at all. That is root-cause of suffering. Expectation. Learn to be content and live in the moment and you will be free.
(This thread has gotten horribly off track, but good shit here nonetheless)
Tolle says, "end the delusion of time". THE DELUSION! How powerful. What is delusion? Anything that can't be perceived through the senses. That is delusion.
It is illusory thought that results in negative emotion. Ego, past, future (none of which can be perceived by the senses).
Think about it... Does thinking about the past and the future result in stress?
Thinking about the past = remorse, regret, sadness, etc.
Comparing yourself to others = insignificance, etc.
Thinking about the future (with the exception of planning for survival) = stress, worry, doubt, fear
One more thing ...
Emotion is a result of thought.
Try it for yourself. The next time you feel a "negative" emotion (stress and anxiety are really common), check your thoughts. What are you thinking about and in what time period (past or future)?
So the key is to be aware your thoughts, don't let them drift or spiral out of control. This does take practice.
awesome post. thank you
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