Monday, January 7, 2008

comfortzones dangerzones

So today seemed a little stressful. I've noticed these days I always start out these posts with So...
But it was.. just a little. You know when you think you have to make some critical decisions and then you get all stressed and everything seems so intense and you feel like you can't stop. It seems like there are so many things to be done.

Today my sister was reading an article out loud from Psychology Today. Basically it was about the different ways the mind tricks itself, or you.. for that matter. It went on to give a couple examples, but most notably for me personally something about- and this is my own description of it- how we as people have comfort levels .. but as opposed to comfort levels of feeling good, they are comfort levels of worry or a comfort levels of fear. Comfort levels that many times we have grown accustomed to.. so that no matter what happens, even if things appear to get better or a quality in our physical surrounding changes.. we might still create something to be stressed or worry about. So in a nutshell although we might perpetually be in shifting set of scenarios (what some people call growth, or change, or life) but still live with the same set of emotional values, the set point of experience.
With this in mind I think about the experiences of people in the past who perhaps did not have as many amenities as we do.. But were they any more or less happy? Maybe so, maybe not, you know?
Or how I've heard tell that even people who've suddenly become rich and no longer think they have to worry about money, eventually still do not feel any better or worse than they did before they received the money.
Check the age old adage that "money can't by love" or happiness for that matter.
But what does buy these things? What does get you love or happiness. I think there are numerous ways to be wealthy, or happy, or secure.. with Freedom from gnawing worry, fear, and cripplin doubt. Take this for instance...

Perhaps our level of fear or doubt is something we are accustomed to. Like as familiar as your baby blanket or home-cooked meal. ( though not as lovely naturally)
Like I have this thing about lateness, and as strange as it seems it is a familial trait, passed down... ( but skipping that story) I think it is a set point. Like I might have weeks to do a paper or complete an application.. but historically I have always waited until the very last minute. It's like there is a ticker, a boiler level, the teapot screecing, a point of uncomfort and fear that eventually pushes me into get working, but in the worst possible way.. I get into this hype like I'm running so fast.. I have to get this done.. I have to get this done.. and everything around me feels red, inside my body and out. I am in the danger zone.

I mean naturally it is by no means comfortable and eventually I always become mired in some pain-staking existential crisis.. like what is this?.. why am I doing this to myself?.. I have to finish this assignment or my life and my academic career will be doomed? I have to do this... and then I start getting crazy.. and spiraling downward from there.

But in some weird way, do you think that we become addicted to these feelings of worry and crisis and defeat? It's like a way of looking at the world. If you think something is the only reality, many times, maybe most of the time you actually don't see or perceive other ways of being as possible realities.. and possible for you. It just does not register.. either on a conscious or subconscious level. Or if you do see those possibilities sometimes we just fall into the old way and the same old story. It's kind of comfortable right? I have seen myself do this to myself time and again. Do you think we get addicted to the story? That a level of pain or uncomfort can become the comfort level/the set point/ match point of our lives. Where we think we feel alright. And only you can stop. Only you can actively decide this is not the story I want to live.
Sometimes it takes a great energy, sometimes it takes an energy to push past that immediate force... a kind of motion through fear, even whilst feeling it.

I would like to make that leap. I'd like to move. I would like to do that right now.
SoHere's to the night..


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  2. "But in some weird way, do you think that we become addicted to these feelings of worry and crisis and defeat? Do you think we get addicted to the story?"

    addiction to feelings of fear and worry? maybe. addiction to the stories of our lives? i don't know.

    it's because of the constant fears that we stick to our stories. for example, if an anti-social individual, self-proclaimed or not :), avoids meeting new people then it is due to his/her addiction to fear. will his/her life, or story, change if they did. yeah, to some extent it will :) but that's not problem is it? the problem is getting there. how much will it hurt or help until the story changes...or what's being expected of me and others if i'm willing to rid of my fear. so really, the only cause of this fear is the presence of fear itself. brings new meaning to "there's nothing to fear but fear itself" doesn't it? :)

    & so we move on with our lives with the fear of the unexpected only to realize later that we also have feared about all that we've missed out on because we've feared so much throughout the making of our stories.