Monday, July 14, 2014
Get Philosophical Every Now and Then!
It's really strange to see how much personal freedom we actually allow ourselves. Busy, busy, busy. Keep going. Keep the act up. There's even those people who pretend to be so busy, and wear it like a badge of honour, so that maybe people will look at them and say "Wow what a busy person, so much going on in their lives! I wish I was that busy!" when really if you break it down, the person with this "so much going on with my life" persona is half the time just putting on a big act to try and impress the people around them. With big smiles on their faces to let everyone know how happy they appear to be.
When I look at a person like that all I see is a big juggling act to keep their image up, and not to let it slip. But I don't see any real joy in it. What I actually admire is a person that is willing to take time off for themselves. You need personal time for yourself, first of all to know yourself better, but second of all to get your mind together. To get things in your head straight. The ability to sit down and reflect on your life and to imagine a good future for yourself is worth a lot. Try and limit outside influences as much as possible. Because these voices are strong when you're in "busy, busy" mode. But once you find a bit of peace and quiet for a significant amount of time, you can really start to get a sense of yourself.
To me it feels like a process that goes "expend your energy (when around people a lot), rejuvenate (solitude), expend your energy, rejuvenate". That cycle is pretty important. When I would hang around people for days, and days, and even months on end, whatever originality I seemed to have seemed to get sucked out of me. It all got expended. And when you're running dry on originality or whatever your own "thing" is, things just get ugly and tiresome. From my experience anyway. Outside influences rub off on you a little too much and you start doing what others do a little too often. The outside is acting in on you, rather than your originality working from within coming out.
The key is to have balance. Spend too much time by yourself and you'll get lonely, but spend too much time around people and you'll get too irritable. You gotta work the two different states off eachother when it feels right to do so.
The major problem I see is that we get nearly no personal free time at all. Even when you go home, you might be glued to the TV or laptop, or whatever other bit of technology that seems to keep us entranced. And then there's work, washing the dishes, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, even keeping up with the latest TV series seems like homework sometimes etc etc. Then sleep and repeat. Sleep, repeat. One big change that I made at a stage in my life when i was highly irritable and also depressed was to get away from it all. I turned the TV off. I got away from the computer. Even away from people generally. And I sat and I reflected. Just lying on my bed, in my room, throwing a tennis ball up in the air just to keep myself awake while I thought about life.
It felt like an ocean of thought that was totally random going on in my head. And by sitting down and "getting my head straight", getting everything together I was gonna put some structure to it all. It really is just learning to tame the mind. Instead of the mind controlling you, throwing you about life here and there in a confused manner. I would sit for hours just thinking about life, what is was, why is was so bad, how I was gonna get out of it. Just trying to put some meaning to it all. The thing that really did it was to break "the mess" down into simple parts. I tried to look at the core mechanics.
What did I want most of all? To be happy. Ok, that's a start. Were my immediate surroundings any good? Not really. The immediate culture of life around me was hard to fit into. Ok, so maybe I could try and put myself in better surroundings, maybe go travelling? Was my mental health any good? No. I beat myself up at every opportunity I had. Ok so I'm gonna learn how to get mentally healthy. What about my physical health? No, I have a terrible diet. Ok, so thats enough to work on for now. If I work on some of those key areas and improve them, maybe my depression will lift. So then I went about working on those areas, and it took months and even years but eventually things got better.
The thing you can't do with this is over indulge in it. Because that can develope "over thinking" and disengagement with reality etc. You really have got to re-engage with reality every now and then, and then go back to "philosophizing" about life. The best method for engaging with reality is present moment observation. Just observe your surroundings. And the overthinking will lift. But if you can learn to get away from everything every once in a while, and ponder life, it can be a great tool for life and your happiness.