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- Today 10:14 AM
- Sep 25, 2008
uh oh.... you mean to tell me that getting depressed because life isn't worth anything and you're just wasting your time, finding a way to be happy without any substantive solution, watching every situation you try to help in turn out worse, purposefully distancing yourself from others, blaming yourself for it, and remaining "ok with everything" broke into pieces for you after about 6 months?
Eeep. Who would have thought?
I must be a ticking time bomb... or perhaps more like a jack-in-the-box... counting about 2 months and a week doing almost exactly the same thing. ........you all may want to brace yourselves.
*hides under bed*
At the beginning of this year, I was at a real low point in my life... [past history] ...I woke up today thinking I'd realised what it was. Despite doing more stuff this Summer than I ever could of dreamed of - I've been to countless football matches and parties, been paintballing, jet-skiing, snow-skiing - I still felt like I'd wasted a lot of my time. I think doing things to please myself just isn't enough for me; I feel compelled to do more for this world than take for myself. I've always tried to help others where I could but it's not always possible. In some instances I've tried to help but only ended up making things worse than they were, and that doesn't help with the self-criticism. And being helpful for people isn't always worth it; countless good deeds can go unnoticed, and it makes me think why I bother. I don't know what it is, but there must be something I can do for this world... And I don't think I can be truely happy untill then.
I think doing stuff for the world and not just for you (i.e., being a giver and not a taker) is a positive step for anyone and has more potential for happiness in the long run.
I also think that with a lot of life contentment issues, each person can't skip steps; we actually have to try numerous things and have them fail or we have to understand the limitations of that approach via personal experience before we can move onto the next. Put another way, we can't change just because we hear an idea; we can only really change when we're ready to change.
So I think it is a great thing for you to have this realization and to push forward with it and explore it and its range of potential for others and for the well-being of your life purpose as well.
I think for me, ultimately, I had to move out of a sense of "doing" and back to a sense of "being." When doing good is the priority, I found myself doing good when I didn't even want to or at my own continual expense, which eventually eroded me and my ability to continue in that vein. I think that is the trap of being altruistic; contributing to the world and others is a good thing... but there is no end to it, and you can't easily justify drawing healthy boundaries for oneself if you're looking to it as a means of generating happiness in your life.
I don't think there is anything we can continuously do that will make us feel satisfied forever. (I even look at Mother Teresa, who didn't feel God for much of her life although she was obviously giving a great deal to others.) It all gets old, it all gets stale, and if we're missing something, eventually it will become obvious to us.
We all have different roads. For me, it was about finding myself; I spend the majority of my life suppressing myself and just trying to do things for others. I didn't even have an idea of what I wanted out of life, what I desired, what I was allowed to have... and eventually even though everyone thought I was wonderful and responsible, I felt like a dead person and had no existence of my own. I would also resent, inside, all the time feeling like if I was in a relationship with someone, I'd end up being exploited because I didn't know how to draw boundaries; I withdrew a lot when I could, to avoid being subsumed, because I always felt like I had to give as part of "being good." To me, that led to severe suicidal depression and a lack of interest in living... "I" didn't exist anyway, I see now. No wonder I felt dead.
Once the boundaries get in place and balanced, I think that frees people up to give more altruistically, without wanting anything in return (even if it is only a "good feeling" over making the investment); I think sometimes we're still using altruism to charge ourselves up, and when we don't get a positive response for our giving, it can eat us up over time. But when you're secure in who you are, you can give without needing a particular response back. That helps with the depression too.