The Lives of the Dead

Some of the most interesting people I meet are dead…

The Cure for Unhappiness

zen bound

Ipo  (yes, him again!)

Wherever you find unhappiness in your life, seek the place where the spirit is shackled to the ego, then sunder the bond.

The spirit’s sole purpose is to ascend. The ego is ballast holding it earthbound. Loose the ties. The perspective broadens as you rise. What confounds and hurts when standing in the midst makes beautiful sense from a distance.

Humans pursue happiness in various ways but there can be no true peace until these knots are severed.

First, however, the knots must be acknowledged.

The ego manifests in our desires, our expectations, in our sense of entitlement from the rest of the world.   It manifests in our need to be loved and acknowledged. It manifests in the way the world is reflected back at us through the eyes of others.

But you are not these things. You are not your possessions or your job, not your social status or physical entity.

When you feel the pain of the ego, ask yourself “What does this represent?” “Why do I want this so much that not to have it will cause me pain?” And, most importantly, “Who am I without it?”

 me: This came to me the night before we hosted a big holiday party. I’d been cooking, baking, cleaning, setting up for days. I’d been on my feet for ten hours. My back was screaming. Finally, at 2am, thoroughly exhausted, I collapsed into bed, so happy to finally be able to rest. And then, IPO! (he’s so insistent!) Wouldn’t let me sleep until I wrote it down!
But as soon as it came into my head, I realized this was something important.
I’m generally happy and positive with very few things that nag at me, so this is not the kind of subject that normally occupies my mind. It literally popped into my head apropos of nothing. And not only that, but when I was so exhausted, I could barely formulate my own thoughts.
Since then, I’ve been thinking quite a lot about this.   When I consider the things which have made (or make) me unhappy in life – incidents or phases or interactions with others which made feel hurt, frustrated, angry, depressed — in every case, this unhappiness was/is indeed a result of my ego. Of course, even knowing this, it’s not so easy to let go but at least it puts me on the right path to solving the problem, and puts the responsibility firmly in my own court.
I know this for sure: the more in touch we are with our spiritual essence,  the less we need to possess or achieve in order to feel whole.


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3 thoughts on “The Cure for Unhappiness

  1. Ipo has a point here: who are we without our pains and burdens? That’s a question worth to be asked.
    On the other hand, the thought that the pain makes beautiful sense from a distance is a real comfort, isn’t it? We already get an idea of that when watching the small, slow earth from a plane.

    • I do believe many of the most important lessons come through our pain. Of course, while we’re in the midst of that pain, we only want it to stop! BUT, when we acknowledge that pain and disappointments are opportunities for personal growth — and then look for the lessons — it does take the edge off it. It brings something positive to it. And, it allows us to get some emotional distance, even when we’re in the throes of the worst of it. As I always say, “Shit is fertilizer.”

  2. Pingback: Telling the Truth About Yourself to Yourself | Leap Like A Frog

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