December 30, 2012
Those of us trying to make sense out of human nature ultimately face a terrible truth that most people take to the grave.
This truth is what prevents individuals, communities and nations from achieving lasting peace, success, happiness, health and all kinds of desirable things. This awful truth is behind our willingness to flirt with economic collapse, war and even our own extinction without doing much to prevent these things from actually happening. In fact, we continue to encourage them.
Humanity is on the brink, and we seem content in TV Land. Our health is in crisis and we suck down pastries and soda. Our economy is collapsing and we don’t take time to prepare our homes to survive even a few days without going to the grocery store.
This is where we must confront the awful secret that the majority of us are guarding so closely that we wouldn’t even recognize it, but that does not make it less true.
My goal is to do more than just tell you this common subconscious secret. I’m going to show you how to see it operating in plain sight all around you.
Once you see it in others, you may come to understand your own version of it, if you dare. To get started, we will need the help of an imaginary device.
Do the following experiment:
The lenses install certain beliefs into your perception. If you insert lenses that say, “Life is beautiful,” then the beautiful aspects of life will be revealed, like the cliche’ “rose colored glasses.”
If you insert “The world is dangerous,” into the glasses, suddenly you will begin to perceive all the ways you might be harmed.
The imaginary glasses create a perceptual filter for interpreting your experience. If you look at the world through a consciously chosen filter or belief, then you can evaluate whether or not the belief seems accurate or serves you in some way. Keep it handy if you like the new belief. Discard it otherwise.
Once you are comfortable with the imaginary glasses concept, install the following lens and go about your business.
The lens to install is this: People are addicted to misery.
You can substitute any synonym you want for misery: unhappiness, rejection, shame, negativity, failure, etc…
What I mean is, people consistently do things to make themselves unhappy, even when they have a choice to do otherwise. Most of us are experts in the art of self-sabotage. We routinely mess up our diets, business plans, relationships, and all kinds of goals by doing the very things that make us feel like failures. Then, we give ourselves a thorough thrashing for doing it!
I have rarely met anyone, myself included, who does not have at least one area of chronic dissatisfaction. In the vast majority of cases, the individual is doing things that directly create the dissatisfaction, then complaining about it, magnifying the dissatisfaction many times over. Then, they do it all over again.
Here’s the kicker. When you suggest obvious and available choices people might make to stop creating the misery, they resist or become defensive. It’s an addiction we are dealing with here.
With your glasses on, simply observe how much reality might fit logically within your temporary belief. Does your new filter explain much of what you see going on around you? You might observe the following:
A person who wants to lose weight munching greasy potato chips.
A man deliberately doing childish things, inviting exasperation and correction from his wife.
A woman goading her husband into a fight.
A dad disrespecting his children, inviting rebellion.
A mom yelling about how much she hates it when people yell.
Someone who hates pressure procrastinating a project until the last minute.
A coworker thinking his supervisor is overbearing while dodging every opportunity to do his part at work, inviting closer supervision.
And so on…
Nations working on trust with other nations routinely break agreements. Countries in debt routinely overspend and borrow more money. Corrupt communities routinely elect the same corrupt officials. It is a cycle that just won’t quit.
As you observe people engaging in these kinds of behaviors, does it support your temporary belief that people are addicted to misery? Does it appear they consistently do things that invite misery, pain and failure into their lives?
The field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming has long been an advocate of congruence, or personal alignment. Congruence means that your actions match your words.
Here are some examples:
Incongruent: You say you want to lose weight, then eat pizza and ice cream.
Congruent: You say you want to lose weight and follow a plan.
Incongruent: You say you want to save for retirement, but buy a new car instead.
Congruent: You say you want to save for retirement and do so.
Achieving congruence between your words and actions requires honesty and awareness. The deeper your honesty and insight, the deeper your congruence.
If you sabotage your diet on a regular basis, inviting feelings of frustration, shame, failure and general misery, then you can learn be honest about it. You might say to yourself:
I have sabotaged my diet. Honestly, I have come to expect and even find strange satisfaction in the feelings of shame and frustration that come when I blow a diet. I am willing to recycle these old feelings again and again and am even addicted to them. I don’t know what life would be like without feeling bad, and I don’t want to know, really.
No. It is simply the truth in many cases. It is not what we desire to be true. It is what is actually true. This is deep honesty, deep congruence. Living in this kind of honesty leads to change. Try it. The truth will indeed set you free.
Collectively, there is so much more at stake than weight loss or retirement savings. To create the world we all profess to want, we must deal with the fact that we are addicted to its opposite. We find misery and destruction strangely delicious. Many thanks to Peter Michaelson for his thoughts on this topic.
About the author:
Join Mike Bundrant for the free online seminar, Cultivating Empowering Beliefs, and learn specifically how to identify the limiting beliefs that keep you from your potential. Then, you will learn a ground-breaking process for cultivating new and empowering beliefs. Two dates in January 2013! Click here for details and to register.
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This article was posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 7:33 am