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The Awful Truth

By Carl Munson

This article exposes just ten of the ways human beings make themselves miserable. If you can hear the awful truth, you can then be free of it...

For most people happiness doesn't last. Everything from mild discontent to deep depression obscures the truth that life is good. Who do you know who is consistently free of worry, doubt, anxiety, guilt and other emotional burdens? You may even think it's impossible to be free of those burdens for long. If that's the case, you'd better stop reading now and stop wasting your time.

If, however, you are inspired to read on, you may see the awful truth that this article points to. And if you do, you'll also see what you can do about it. Perhaps, like me, you'll start to live with less unhappiness in your life.

You Run a False Self
There are two of you living in that body. Most obviously, there's the personality - the one who's coped, adapted to and survived the stress of life. For all but the few, this surviving personality carries the hurt and pain accumulated from all the situations that have been 'survived'.

But where it could have let its pain refine into pure experience, it held onto it and created its own painful, living identity. Now, it lives in - and on - the 'other you' as a malignant false self. This has been going on for so long that you think the false self is what you are. It certainly runs most of your life and informs most of your decisions. But it's not true.

True or not, it will lay over and suffocate the 'true you' for as long as you let it. The longer you leave it the stronger it gets. And in time, your true self gets harder and harder to find.

You Tolerate Stress
You can accept stress (and use it as an excuse) - or keep giving it up. It's only natural that we are pushed by life's circumstances - that's life. But what we as a society call stress, is more the reaction than the reality of life's challenging circumstances. You get stressed because:

  1. You have expectations
  2. You can't accept life as it is
  3. You compromise your true self
  4. Your false self 'gets in' first
See the distinction between life's stress and your stress about life. To stay free of unhappiness, accept with grace life's stress - that's life. But more importantly, keep giving up your stress about life. On a practical level, get clearer, less compromised and stop creating unmanageable circumstances that are the seeds for stress in the future.

You Are Not Clear
What are you doing with your life? For you, today is your attempt to steady the boat called yesterday into what you hope will be the calm waters of tomorrow.

You're a creature of habit. You're on auto-pilot in a fog of your own making. To get clear ask yourself:

  • What am I doing?
  • Why am I doing it?

Do your actions merely serve your compromised concept of life (your living)? Or are you really alive, spontaneous and responding to life in each new moment? Life will feed you if you respond with true integrity rather than react with your false self. If you continue to indulge your false self, you will starve your true self of life's nutritious delight.

You Expect
One of your most powerful sources of unhappiness is your false self's righteous sense of expectation. Everyday, you're likely to set yourself up with expected results which will lead you reliably towards stress, frustration and anger - and away, once more, from lasting happiness.

You have no right to expect anything. As you see this, you'll notice that your prayers and desires are very false - self-centered. What comes your way is Life's will, not yours. And when they are in line, it's a blessing - something to be grateful for. When your will and Life's will do not combine, don't take the opportunity to get unhappy.

Take it like a man (or woman) - a man (or woman) who desires freedom from pain more than the pain itself.

You Believe
To protect itself, your false self creates structures of thought - predictable thinking lines - more commonly known as beliefs. The people of the world play it safe within these structures, and every now and then go to war over them to feel alive. It doesn't work - life and the happiness it brings forth cannot survive in these conceptual frameworks or prisons.

You don't need to believe in rain to get wet. Life happens, whatever you believe in. Bin your beliefs, you don't need them anymore. Unless of course you need a ready source of disappointment, disagreement or an excuse to be unhappy in the future.

You Compromise
How many times does your mind say 'yes' when your body says 'no'? And before you know it, it's out of your mouth! It's your false self up to its old tricks again.

Your body is more honest than your quick-thinking mind. Your body wants to survive and be free to conduct and transmit Life energy.

Your false self - possessor of your mind - wants to have its way; it wants to ease its pain, appear nice or get revenge - whatever it feels like.

As Life calls on you, pause. Don't knee-jerk your way into more compromise and stress. Be still. Look at the facts not the feelings.

You Think Too Much
You won't die if you stop thinking! It's true - your heart beats regardless of your consideration. Most of your mental activity is a waste of time and energy - your time and energy. A thought can connect where you are in this moment to where you want to be in the next. And out of it arises the action required.

Unfortunately, you tend to leave the moment and take a ride into the past or future on a 'train' of thoughts. It doesn't take much to get you moving into thinking. Many times throughout the day, you leave the 'now' and disappear into thinking. Hard as they are to give up, imagination, worry, day-dreaming, speculation and consideration all rob you of your precious connection to now. Catch yourself thinking in this out-of-control way, and stop.

You Live Emotionally
When the object of your emotional living and loving ends (is taken, leaves or dies), you suffer - your happiness ends. But that's exactly what we're conditioned to do. It's no longer enough to just love in the world. Your false self will reach out to claim what is naturally good - that is emotion. Your false self will then hold on to the object, think about it and ultimately mourn its loss.

When you see that it is possible to live and love without emotional attachment, your continuous joyous experience of life can be undisturbed. All physical forms must perish - that's the law of living life. Know that the love you experience is inside you. The 'object' is a reflection of that love. When it goes, as it must, your love will still be there 'inside' you - untouched beneath the flailing false self.

You Don't Love
If you Love me, don't tell me, show me. What is Love in the Internet Age? Is it cards, gifts and text messages? The gestures are easy. It's true love that's the real challenge.

You know how difficult it is to be true to Love rather than the preferences, feelings and desires of your false self. It's marked by the sinking feeling you get when Love seems to leave your relationships. But it's not Love that leaves, it's you.

Real Love is really going out of your way, overcoming your false self in the face of the beloved. It's about putting Love before your habitual unhappiness. There's no truth in 'I love you'. True love is demonstrated in every new moment (or not). Do it. Love.

You Fear Death
What's going to die? Your body? - Yes. Your false self? - Yes. The Life in your body hidden under your false self? - No.

As long as you are identified with your body and false self, you have every reason to fear death. Let your false self die before your body dies and lasting happiness is all that's left. Enjoy...

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