An unhappy person sitting down

SOMETIMES OUR UNHAPPINESS IS NOT EXTERNAL

The world can be both an unhappy and a happy place. A pleasant and a disgusting place, or a bright and a dark place. These realities are real and not to be trifled with. So, being beaten, tortured, abused and molested are realities and not figments of the imaginations of the people experiencing them. In the same vein, having fun, being loved, tickled, hugged, pampered and respected are realities people experience and not figment of imaginations or myths believed by the people experiencing them.

The above said, there is also another reality in this world, that, sometimes and a few times, our sadness and unhappiness is not external but internal. They are not actual realities but creations of our mind and figments of our imaginations.

The concept and experience of happiness and unhappiness are extremely unique experiences, felt by the individual in ways the other party can never ever experience and feel it. For that reason a particular or same external act can generate two opposite feelings in two different. The same way, the same act over a period of time can generate two opposite feelings in the same person. Not to mention that the same act under different circumstances can generate different feelings form the same person.

It is on the above premises that we will look at the idea that sometimes, some of our unhappiness is not cause by external sources but generated from purely internal sources. This internal unhappiness among other things is usually caused by two main things. The first is the expectations we have in our selves and the second the inability to let go of this expectation.

Before I continue, let me state here that, it is not wrong to have expectations, neither is it a crime to have them or hold on to them. On the contrary it is actually a requirement and necessity in life if we are to live and continue to live. For without an expectation life has not need to continue o reason to be lived. The challenge of our internally generated unhappiness comes in when we set internal expectations for people or things in our minds that can only be fulfilled by our minds and not the people or things.

Many times and a few times, our unhappiness and sadness in life is because our expectations of people are not what the people do unto us. And indeed so it will be because unfortunately, the expectation is in your head and standards set by you in your head. For that reason since so far no one can perfectly conceptualize the totality of your minds requirement and workings, there is practically no mortal on the earth who can ever satisfy fully another person’s expectation.

An example to explain the above is a when a machine sets its expectations with the expectation that a man or human fleshed person should meet them. It will be most difficult for the human to meet it. Simply because the human is not a machine and the expectations of the machine are based upon the parameters of a machine. Another example is that which is so often experienced in relationships. A woman is different from a man. There is no way the expectations of the woman will be manlike. Nor that of the man be womanlike. However in a relationship the set expectations of the woman are what a man must meet up to and on the flip-side, the set expectation of a man is what the woman must meet up to. To meet up to those expectation the one party has to stop being what he or she is to become the other. Of which each party cannot do fully or totally, for to do that means one has totally ceased to exists as they are.

From the above scenarios then, the expectant person or machine ends up becoming unhappy because the other party could not or has not met the expectation they have set in their heads or minds for them. This is one of the sources of unhappiness for most people, their own expectations.

A possible solution to this little expectation issue will be to simply change one’s expectation or to try and re-align it to face the reality one is facing or to that which the other party can meet. But here too there comes a challenge. The machine cannot change its expectation to that of a human and the woman cannot change its expectation to that of a man or vice versa. The best solution is usually to release or let go of your expectation little by little. But that is the struggle also for some people. Let me use two examples to make it a little clearer.

You are hungry. What you need is food. Your expectation from your parent is that you will get some sumptuous and well spiced Jollof rice with charcoal grilled chicken. You get home and it’s plain rice with soup. Two things will happen depending on who you are. You will either get disappointed or refuse to eat because it’s not what you expected or you will get disappointed but still sit and eat. The first instance person will continue to be hungry and in addition become sadder and unhappier and will have missed the opportunity to be satisfied and enjoy any potential goodness and sweetness in plain rice and soup. The other person will be satisfied, become a little happier and will enjoy the goodness and sweetness in plain rice and soup.

The reality is that none got the thing they expected in their head. The difference is that one ended up getting what he or she needed and found a way to enjoy what they needed even though they did not get what they expected.

Another example we can give is in relationships and the issue of communication. You need sex. You expected your partner to dress seductively or to speak with you softly before the sex or as part of the sex ritual. Your partner wore drab clothing or just came straight without any soft talking or pampering. Once again two reactions to be expected depending on who you are. One will still make sex and have it and be satisfied, the other will refuse the sex, complain and become sadder and unsatisfied. Why so? Because it did not come the way they wanted it, they expect it and they know it to be. The reality is none of the partners got what they expected in their minds, but one ended up getting what they needed.

This trait is what is exhibited by weak minds. Rather than accept the reality and enjoy it, the persons keep pushing their expectation on the person to become it and do not pause to see if what they needed is still being offered albeit in a different package, method and or processes than they have in mind or have set and fixed as the right process.

The above two examples illustrates what I am trying to say about the fact that sometimes our unhappiness is internal and not external. Unfortunately some people never ever are able to grow out of this attitude, character and trait, and so end up never enjoying life, being happy and satisfied. They spend the rest of their life or most of their relationship in sadness because they just cannot shift gear from their expectation in their minds to taking advantage of what has been offered to them.

We need to be like children. Children have this trait, but they have something else, they are quickly able to move on to the next available thing that will make them happy when they realize they are not getting what they expect will make them happy. They hardly get stuck in their ways, and that is why they grow up faster on this world and kind of enjoy life. Unfortunately it looks like when we grow older our ability to quickly let go of what we are not getting to enjoy what we have becomes a very difficult task. Those who have learnt it are those who are happier in life with whatever they get, once it satisfies their need. And those who are happier are those who are more successful in this life. Some never take the responsibility of changing their expectation and enjoying what they have.

In conclusion I am not saying do not have expectations or to give up on your dreams and aspiration. No, hold on to them, fight for them pursue them. Just be careful that your unhappiness is not your cause. For as they say, we may not be able to control the world, but we can control our world.

JtdNarnor 22nd June 2020 3:06am