The myths of suffering

So they speak soothingly about progress and the greatest possible happiness, forgetting that happiness is itself poisoned if the measure of suffering has not been fulfilled.
Carl Jung

The biggest myth out there about suffering is that one needs to hit the so called rock bottom to learn how to be happy. Let that sink in for a moment.

Now, rock bottom is different for everyone and it may look different on the outside too. We may go through the worse stage of our lives and still not hit rock bottom. Some characterize rock bottom as their own personal hell, others as death itself, suicide, deep depression, any mental illness, and so forth. But others will disagree with these notions and say “No, I think rock bottom is not that.”. Some even propose there isn’t a real rock bottom, or that everyone has their own and it’s impossible to define what this rock bottom place really is.

I’ve been a victim of abuse in the past, and thought that was my rock bottom. Then a few years later I hit a new level of mental health issues, and decided, “no, this is definitely rock bottom”. And it came to a point where I simply decided to stop competing with myself to see who of me would hit the bottomest of the rock bottoms. I decided to take medication, do therapy, read all the self-help books I could find and dealt with my own personal shadow the way I could, work I still personally do to this day. And I have to say, I’m alive, happy, with a good life and I do not wish or work on hitting rock bottom.

Much of the social upheavel we see today in our world is like this collective pull to hit humanity’s rock bottom. Self-desctructive corporations, self-destructive greed, self-destructive elites, self-destructive governements, self-desctructive voters, we can see it — it’s right in front of us.

For us to hit rock bottom as a collective it means extinction. It means disappearing and not deal with the shadows we left individuals. We suffer our whole lives this way and decide early in life that this has to be a battle, that there is no other way to live besides looking at life as a fight we will never win and will take to our graves.

The other day on Facebook I read a headline that said “If we win the war on climate change…” and I thought that everything is a war nowadays, it’s like we don’t even try to change things unless we have to fight hard for them, unless we suffer for them.

I’ve been in deep battles in my life and I’ve talked with soldiers who actually went to war, and the saying that there are no winners in war is correct. There aren’t. The blood runs in all our hands for allowing humanity to suffer this way just because we think we can’t deal, that the problem is too huge, that we need to suffer to endure life, that it’s a natural rite of passage to reach Heaven, and other ideas like that.

We allow the myth that suffering is necessary to dictate our lives, and then pretend we don’t and accept our own self-inflicted defeat. Or, others, deal with themselves, think of a joyous way to live and act on it, releasing themselves from the burden of guilt with freedom from the shackles of incessant suffering.

A whole other side of the myth is that there are those who do not suffer. We all do. All of us. Have you seen these super skinny girls who starve themselves? These guys who go to the gym everyday to look better in the mirror while loathing themselves deep down? Kids who have way too much homework and are not allowed to play outside. Abuse victims everywhere. Neglect from everyone. Addiction, psychosis, collective delusions, current animal welfare, physical illness, childhood marriages, terrorism, war, starvation, endless consumption of natural resources to fill the pockets of the few, and so forth.

How come we have accepted as a human collective, to accept suffering as a way of life? This is a question I won’t answer, but leave flying in your heads for you to reach your own conclusions about. We all have an idea why we adhere and have an attachement to suffering. Sometimes, we just think that if we suffer enough, there will be a reward. Other times it’s just how we’ve learned to handle life.