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How does one feel genuinely okay about life when this world is so crazy?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Idearealist, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Idearealist

    Idearealist Peer Supporter

    Hey all, this is probably going to be a pretty negative post, but I do need to put this out there because it's been gnawing at me for a while now.

    So one of my biggest hurdles has been finding a sense of peace and safety when this world and life in general just kinda seem like garbage. There is so much suffering, so much misery in this world, that it weighs me down and leaves me continually pondering the question, "what is the is the point of all this shit?" I've been reading a lot self help books, practicing meditation, trying to just observe thoughts instead of engaging with them in self-defeating ways, but I always return to my baseline which is an extreme sense of unease and existential dread.

    I want to feel better but don't know how. I'm exhausted from having to struggle so hard to regain homeostasis.
  2. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    There is indeed misery in this world, but there is also a great deal of light and happiness. I see it every day in a city with millions of people where I'm just one face yet witness and receive acts of kindness almost daily. These feelings are a sign that you are a caring person. They also signify high levels of stress and many of us have felt the existential dread after long periods of darkness.

    I understand what you're saying. I used to tell my cognitive behavioral therapist that living in a world where animals are hurt is too much for me. Sometimes the thought alone made me wish I weren't alive on this planet. That may sound "silly" or "dramatic" to someone who doesn't understand, but it's honestly how I felt. My therapist told me to remember that I feel empathy for animals because I am a caring person and I need to appreciate that about myself while focusing on what's in my control. No, I cannot save every animal, but I should feel proud of myself for adopting a cat, helping my parents care for a blind diabetic dog back when I lived with them, donating to various local animal charities annually (including the shelter where I adopted my cat who is my everything), etc. "Dealing with so many emotions is difficult, but you are not a sociopath and the world needs people like you" was essentially the message.

    Sometimes struggles lead to resilience and beauty; other times they don't, but we all deal with negativity as well as positivity in life. One more personal example - I used to fantasize about developing an illness and passing away. My mom and I weren't able to talk for an entire week recently. As soon as she was able to call me, she mentioned that I'm her best friend and she cannot imagine going that long without hearing my voice on a regular basis. I started thinking about how she would've reacted had I truly gotten sick and died. I went from being the kid she didn't quite understand to an adult she literally talks to more than anybody else, and my existence is far from pointless to her. Even if we lose sight of the point of everything, we have positively contributed to something or someone else somehow.

    Some questions for you to ask yourself, you don't have to answer these for me: when did you start feeling this way? How has this affected mind-body/TMS symptoms (keeping in mind that this could also be another symptom)? Do you ever feel more at ease, and if so, what helps? What are some ways you would like to contribute to causes you care about, even if it's as simple as planting a flower? Sometimes self-help books work, but other times we need a little more support. Would you be able to try something similar to traditional talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy?
    Sita, Lainey, plum and 3 others like this.
  3. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Unfortunately, you are not alone. Everyone I know feels some degree of exhaustion and stress, me included. In the past 6 months, I have tried to exercise, meditate and so on, but it seems to be not enough. I came to realization that unless I find a meaning and purpose during these hard times, I would not be able to sustain all the stress, doom and gloom. This is the book that gave me a renewed understanding how to live through the hardest of times.


    Whatever you can do to give yourself a sense of purpose, do it! People are different, but I found that for many doing things for others, for the community, for the friends or loved ones gives them that sense of purpose. As banal as it sounds, the more love and care we project, the more positive energy we receive back.

    My best wishes,

    plum, BloodMoon, Dorado and 1 other person like this.
  4. Idearealist

    Idearealist Peer Supporter

    I get really upset about animals suffering/dying, too. I recently mowed a large field and I quit mowing every 30 seconds to move mantises and grasshoppers out of the way. The fact that I probably butchered scores of critters -- even while mowing at the machine's slowest speed -- made me feel awful.

    I agree that the world needs more caring people, but it sure seems like we can pay a price for being conscientious. Is empathy taken to extremes toxic?

    That's sweet about your connection with your mom. My mom is one of my best friends as well. That's another thing -- I know I am going to be devastated when my parents leave this world.

    Good questions. I do think I need some type of therapy because I feel like all my negative thoughts just ricochet around the echo chamber of my mind. It's keeping me stuck and I want to move on with my life very badly
    plum likes this.
  5. Idearealist

    Idearealist Peer Supporter

    I figured I wasn't the lone ranger here. I'm sorry these stressful times are getting to you as well, TG. Between the pandemic, my whole state being ablaze (the air quality is so abysmal here that I feel short of breath and nauseous), and feeling like shit all the time, it's a lot to cope with. The external state of affairs really doesn't feel conducive to cultivating inner peace, but I guess that's just life.

    I've been meaning to read that book! I just finished The Power of Now, so I'll buy that on my Kindle tomorrow.

    I really wish I could be helping fight these godforsaken fires. I can help donate food and clothes to evacuees, but it feels so half-assed. Last year I think I could've volunteered and truly helped; currently I'm just too much of a mess.
  6. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am so sorry you are going through such a difficult time. Hang in there! You don't have to go out and save the world to project good vibes. Couple days ago, I found a tiny jar of jam by my front door - a surprise gift from my neighbor. She made my day! I gave her some homemade food in exchange - and we both were better off than before.
    Soph1802, westb, plum and 1 other person like this.
  7. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Forgive me for popping onto your reply to Dorado but regarding this question I feel like my personal experience may help. I believe it’s vitally important (particularly for sensitive caring people) to differentiate between empathy and co-dependency. I see these two things conflated all the time and it really matters because one is a beautiful, shining quality and the other is the loss of self by caring and doing more for others than you do for yourself. Empathy is an expansion of self to embrace others with compassion whereas co-dependence is a loss of identity which sees the person become a human doing rather than a human being, if that makes sense.

    It rests a lot on self-esteem and is best described by Pete Walker as falling within the “Fawn” survival mechanism.

    http://pete-walker.com/fourFs_TraumaTypologyComplexPTSD.htm (Pete Walker, M.A. Psychotherapy)

    Essentially this is about knowing thyself and achieving a healthy balanced relationship with the world and possessing immaculate boundaries. It’s a work in progress for me and a root cause of TMS. This past year has thrown such tendencies into stark relief and while horribly challenging I know the detangling will be ultimately liberating and healing.

    God Bless darling.
    Kellso, Lainey, Idearealist and 2 others like this.
  8. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

    Bless your heart and your wisdom, @plum! How do you have a great answer for everything?
    plum likes this.
  9. BonnieLass

    BonnieLass Peer Supporter

    I dearly love you animal lovers! I am exactly the same way!

    There are plenty of times when I stop and wonder what the heck I'm even doing here on this planet. I almost died three times before my second birthday and I think that when I got here I realized I didn't want to be in this life and tried to escape. Each time someone saved me. I've felt like I skirted around the edges of life and never fully jumped in and engaged. It wasn't until 1983, working with a therapist, that I created and performed a private ceremony where I committed to being alive at this time on this planet. Even so, at the age of 71, right now I'm all alone with no family, no children, no siblings, and still very much feeling like an outsider. I ask myself over and over, "Can a home even BE a home if only one person lives there." I do have two cats and a dog, and they help fill the emptiness.

    I truly don't know how to be okay in this world today the way it is. I don't watch TV news at all--I can't bear it. I do keep up through online publications, but I feel like you can shut your eyes or close the browser window before the latest atrocity sears your brain cells indelibly. I would hate to be a child or a teen now-- their world has never felt safe.

    I don't have advice--just wanted to say that I hear you and feel the anguish you are feeling, too.
    Lainey, plum and Idearealist like this.
  10. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    You are ever generous to me Tamara ❤️
    (Any wisdom garnered is the sweet fruit of bitter experience.)
    Soph1802 and TG957 like this.
  11. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Or sincere experience.
    Great conversation here... I appreciate it.
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  12. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was at the supermarket this morning and I saw a gorgeous little terrier with their human and I felt a wave of sadness because in the past I always fussed doggies every time I met one in the world. Once I got home I realised that I hardly ever saw doggies at the moment and when I do we’re all so busy being mindful of social distancing that cuddles and fuss have gone right out of the window. I’m aware that our furry friends are also feeling the downside and have become anxious and depressed. It’s too much for all of us. It really is.

    But you know, the very best thing we can do is cultivate feelings of safety and be kind. I’m a huge fan of EFT/tapping and have done it daily, religiously for almost two years. After I’d done it for a year I took some time to reflect upon the gains and one boon that I hadn’t anticipated was that I felt safe for the first time in years. I guess aside from causing TMS, the riot of emotions simply left me feeling hyper-vigilant, tense and profoundly ungrounded. (Other things have helped too, such as yin yoga practices devoted to enhancing earthiness and feeling at home in the body.)

    With the way matters are in the world this state of being can shift and tilt back into the negative but having the healing tools to hand puts the power back in my hands and restores balance.

    The world needs our light, our love and are kindness and we can best ensure this by devoting time to replenishing, creativity and rest. Someone infinitely wiser than me once said “life consists of a fine balance between holding on and letting go.”

    May you find that balance.
    May you be cherished by the good.
    May the bad wash over you with nary a trace.
    Idearealist and Lainey like this.
  13. TG957

    TG957 Beloved Grand Eagle

  14. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
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  15. SFscribe

    SFscribe Peer Supporter

    Idearealist -

    There are a lot ways to think about the world's current situation.

    If we're only looking at and focusing on all the horrible things happening -- of course it is going to feel overwhelming.


    Consider that real change only comes with real suffering.

    Not enough people were taking climate change seriously enough - so the environment is giving us a wake up call.

    Not enough people understand we are all one and all connected - more wake up calls.

    Not enough people understand this is first and foremost a spiritual world -- not a physical, solid one. Few things are more illustrative of this than TMS. We are all part of the same spiritual and emotional being, and so is the planet. It may sound a bit new agey and cookey, but it's the absolute truth.

    We have always been evolving and progressing as a species, but progress never comes without challenges and setbacks - they are ESSENTIAL for progress and learning, and right now we are just in a setback/learning period.

    Suffering always has higher purposes - always!

    Keep on going. Everything really and truly is fine - and everything really and truly will be fine.
    plum, Lainey, Sita and 1 other person like this.
  16. Idearealist

    Idearealist Peer Supporter

    As much as I'd like this to be true, I have serious doubts. I still appreciate your support and encouragement, though.
  17. SFscribe

    SFscribe Peer Supporter

    Of course. Totally normal. I doubted it myself up until maybe a few years ago, and I am almost middle-aged. I don't say this to sound superior in any way - but the majority of humans still don't fully grasp this -- or dismiss it entirely -- and that is exactly why we still have so much more suffering and evolution to go through as a species. But... we are getting there :) I know it's extremely "kumbaya" sounding, but, believe me -- we are all headed to a very kumabaya place, haha. But... the way there is suffering and we'll continue to experience suffering until we are there.

    Here's a great Eckhart Tolle video - literally posted last week - specifically addressing your question:
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2020
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  18. SFscribe

    SFscribe Peer Supporter

    Idearelist - here's another Tolle video but this one he actually made very recently from his home, and again he addresses directly your issue of how it's possible to feel okay about things withe the way the world is right now - starting at around 12 minutes in he starts to discuss it. You will see it in the video but essentially he says what I said: suffering is the path to awakening and what we are going through is a natural part of our evolution as a species:

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