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Uncomplicating Our Life: A Satire

Val is a life-long student of unexplored human potential and many challenges that self-honesty throws at us on that path.

uncomplicating-our-life

Nothing in the world is complicated, only misunderstood.

-- Chloe Gong


These Times Are Better Than Ever

Let's face it, stress is the sign of our times, which is nothing new -- except that it's also the biggest paradox of our times. Said in a nutshell: these are the best times ever in the whole long history of mankind.

And aside of our peculiar passion to complicate our lives, we don't have much of an objective excuse for being stressed out.

For a short comparison, I don't need to talk about centuries, or even millennia back in time when an average lifespan was about 35 years, the personal and public hygiene was horrible, and life was primitive and hard.

Not to mention all those wars, when civilians were killed just for the whim of the conqueror, and decaying bodies at battlefields were spreading all kinds of deadly diseases for which no one had been vaccinated.

So, let's rather compare the present times to something as recent as my own childhood, right after the WW2.

Just thinking about advancements in technology, medicine, hygiene, and freedoms, it honestly feels like I was born in the proverbial ""Jurassic Park" with dinosaurs roaming around.

Horses and carts were still a regular thing to be seen on the roads, with a local road cleaner sweeping the horse crap into his little cart. Light-switch was the only "high tech" thing in the house -- while those "better families" even had a radio, and only in my teens did we have a turntable with those vinyl records.

To cook our meal, wash ourselves, and have some heat in the house, we first had to chop some wood and smash off some chunks of coal for our furnace.

In the relativity of everything, people were generally happier than these days -- for the simple reason that the war was over, and their life was spared by some miracle.

Speaking for myself, with all those memories of a raw struggle for survival, these are the days when I feel as if living a "science fiction" scenarios, with all technological and other advantages.

The ones that are evidently taken for granted, and judging by the popular level of stress -- hardly appreciated.

Having lived in both realities, I am so aware that it's only up to me, not up to the circumstances, how simple my life will be.

uncomplicating-our-life

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.

-- William James

It Was Youth Painting It All in Pink

Every so often I hear people of my baby-boomers generation mention those "good, old times".

I don't share their nostalgic reminiscing, and with a simple, but eye-opening remark, I remind them how the only good thing about those times was the fact that we were young then, and youth had a way of painting everything in rosy colors.

Indeed, if you happen to be in my age group or approaching to it, you must be painfully aware how these days we are operating on less than half of those hormones that used to give us that extra spark of vitality, with that constant horniness running the turbines of our dreams, hopes, and ambitions.

It's our biology as the most prominent factor which affects our moods -- aside of the fact that with an extra little effort of mind we could override it and make these days almost as joyful as they used to be.

If you asked a young and in-love camel runner in Sahara desert how he feels about his life, he is bound to tell you that even that sandy emptiness of the desert looks beautiful.

But don't even bother asking the same that old, wrinkled dude sitting beside him with that empty look in his eyes observing the horizon of that same desert. He is likely to tell you something very similar to what a CEO stretched on a shrink's couch may say between two deep sighs:

"Life is stressful".

We also invented some other expressions saying the same thing, like: "Life stinks", or "Life is a bitch".

Normally I don't like playing a prophet, but only for sake of a little humor, let me predict, that the time may come when people will be ashamed to say that they are stressed out.

Honestly, I just can't believe that this crazy mental trend of complicating our lives may persist much longer. We may all be stupid to our forgivable degree, but how we can't see that we are doing it all to ourselves -- that I have a problem to understand.

uncomplicating-our-life

The most complicated skill is to be simple.

-- Dejan Sojanovic

When Complicating Is a Norm of Living

I may be copying this sentence from another of my articles, but -- man is the only being capable of complicating his life to an extent that he is lost in his own created mazes.

Now, you don't have to take seriously my amateurish theorizing, but I think that even our declining youth hormones, along with others signs of aging, is primarily caused by accumulation of self-inflicted stress over the years.

It just might be due to a principle that I like calling "monkey-see-monkey-do" -- albeit at some other article I might call it our "collective consciousness".

So we complicate our life because everybody else is complicating theirs, and we collectively invented our many stressors -- only to have something to bitch about.

No, I am not sarcastically joking here -- it's been scientifically proven that we can, and are, addicted to crappy emotions, so nicely fitting that somewhat humorous definition of a hypochondriac, who "only feels good when he feels bad".

Our cultural preoccupations expressed in general public awareness are all about some artificially created crap, like the news, talks at home parties, or at a hairdresser's salon. We just thrive on kicking some negative shit back and forth -- all just to feel "normal humans".

Seemingly, it's a sort of a compulsion to think, feel, and act like everybody else. Maybe out of a need to belong to the herd, to tune into the common mode of functioning, to be recognizable and accepted as "one of them".

As I am writing this now, I don't know why an image is being imposed upon my mind of a big bunch of jungle monkeys all yapping something in unison without a way to tell what the hell they are talking about.

Well, it's me and my pronounced right brain's hemisphere which often operates on metaphors.

But seriously, folks, why did we ever make it a norm to complicate things?

So I see this young chick with half green and half red hair, and that dude's body being one big advertising area covered with tattoos, and those idiotic politicians repeating their deceiving cliches, and a Pope honoring Easter as symbol of Christ's return, and not concerned that Jesus would kick his ass out of luxurious Vatican if he ever came back.

And the list seems to go on endless.

uncomplicating-our-life

The truth is that there is no actual stress or anxiety in the world, it's your thoughts that create these false beliefs. You can't package stress, touch it, see it. There are only people engaged in stressful thinking.

-- Wayne Dyer

Why Complicated If It Can Be Simple

Now, everybody, including myself, experiences that initial spike of displeasure when things go wrong in life -- so let's call it normal. But, when we make it our resolve to simplify our life, such negative responses become shorter in duration and so much milder in intensity.

I just can't get it when people say: "That spoiled my whole day."

You take a stupid giraffe, after it just won its race with a hungry lion -- as it peacefully continues to graze only some hundred yards away from gasping, tired lion who has given up on that particular meal.

As if nothing happened, giraffe is now ignoring the beast, whereas we, humans, don't need a beast to feel traumatized for a long time -- a simple visit by mother-in-law can derail us, after she has made those remarks about all things that we keep forgetting to fix around house.

When someone tells me they "just can't relax", I don't call them a liar, but I do ask them how they manage to fall asleep every night if they can't relax.

Indeed, it's the same mechanism at work, with the only difference that during daily relaxed state we don't go overboard and fall asleep.

You see how silly we are? People are paying some dear moneys to their shrinks with complaints about all kinds of stresses -- totally oblivious to the fact how each night they nicely sweep all that disturbing crap under the rug and drift into sleep.

With the only crazy difference being, that the next morning they sweep it out from under the rug, as if they owe it to themselves to continue tormenting themselves.

Really, being stressed has become a big part of our identity, our self-image, so we carry that load everywhere with us.

Then, there is another aspect of seeing it all. Namely, a huge part of our daily, moment-to-moment activities, is something that we have done million times -- so why do we feel stressed while doing it?

It's like we are only "rehearsing" brushing our teeth and making our dear morning coffee, so we need all that tension in our shoulders and all other muscles that are not being in use at the moment, notably those over 80 muscles of our face, including that ever tight jaw.

Really folks, could we just go through the motions of living which consists of all those familiar things, and free our minds for some joy of living?

For, if we treated our friends the same way as we are treating ourselves with all that unnecessary complicating -- we wouldn't have any friends. Agree?

© 2022 Val Karas

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