Addicted to Suffering
What is it in us that wants to struggle, stay poor, unsuccessful, missing the person that hurt us...?
What I came to realise from my own experience and that of many of my clients is that we are so used to suffering.
All of us have some sort of childhood trauma of feeling small, unloved, neglected, unworthy etc.
Even if our parents did a really good job, what the child expects is exclusive, undivided love, which is impossible in real life. Our parents are our whole world when we are kids, but they have other things, like work, each other, friends, worries, passions…
In a child's eyes this looks like abandonment and it usually stays around all the way to adulthood.
Then we subconsciously choose one of the three ways (coping mechanisms) to attract attention and “get love” we have been craving for so much.
Anger - throwing tantrums until we get what we want. Anger issues unless attended to can turn into abusive or narcissistic behaviour, even personality disorders like BPD or NPD. Very often people with anger issues are going to choose partners that will be submissive and desperately try pleasing their partner just to avoid drama (these people belong to the second group). Basically they will surround themselves with people that will tolerate their anger outbursts and give them whatever they want in those moments. Temporarily it might feel good and like it’s filling the void of abandonment and unhappiness, but in the long run it just keeps the circle of suffering going.
Victimhood - creating situations that will get us pity or help from other people, that we hope will feel like love. It can be physical illnesses, financial problems, emotional struggles, traffic tickets, missed flights… We are on a constant look out for a saviour in the form of romantic partner, family member or just a good samaritan that feels sorry for us. This is a tricky one, the more mishaps we have the more it confirms our belief in bad luck, being cursed… and the more we feel like a victim of life circumstances which in turn brings even more misfortunate events. People with victim coping mechanisms will usually be very soft spoken, good girl/boy, kind on the surface, they will use all available tools and masks to get others to like and pity them. Victims often fall prey to the first group of angry ones. After all, they want to feel like a victim, so what better way than having an abusive partner.
Serenity - pretending to be serene, “spiritual” one that appears not to be touched by worldly struggles and people’s interactions, hoping that will get us attention and love from others, because we are “so cool”. Serenity when genuine is a wonderful state to be in. But very often it’s faked, which comes with a lot of suppressed emotions, resentments, envy, grudges… Sooner or later these will bubble up and burst out probably putting us in one of the first two groups.
I myself was serene, then angry, then a victim. As you can imagine, none of them worked and brought a lot of suffering to me and those around me.
All three types come down to being sort of a victim of unlove. So addicted to suffering that we are afraid to let go of our story, because hey… suffering is unpleasant but at least it’s familiar. On a mental level we want to be healthy, happy, successful, loved, but deep down our ego knows, if we achieve that, our story of suffering is gone, its playground is gone, no more blaming partners, parents, government, weather, poor health…
One of my past relationships was so bad but I was too attached to leave, so I was praying every day to get out of it. When I did eventually there were times when I missed him so much I could feel it as pain in my chest. At the same time my mind and intuition were telling me - you are saved, you are better off.
I meditated on it many times, trying to figure out what I actually miss about him.
The only explanation that kept coming is - SUFFERING. It felt familiar, it felt mine, he was mine, I built my life around that idea. Even though soon after the breakup my life started blossoming, the world of opportunities opened up, I was free, the feeling would creep in from time to time. The little voice saying: all these new things might be exciting, probably better than where we were before, but they are unfamiliar and scary, let’s snuggle into a familiar suffering.
It took me quite some time to let go of this feeling. Every time I dwell on the past I would remind myself that the future will get familiar and cozy at some point and whatever happens from that point on will be better as it’s the next step on my life’s journey.
We truly create our own reality. Our thoughts become our life.
Are we going to keep playing tricks and trying to manipulate others to love us or should we become love ourselves?
Are we going to keep being afraid of success just because we are afraid of shining or are we going to share our God given talents with the world?
What can you do today to let go of your victim story?