Reaching a place of enduring contentment with ourselves

When sadness descends like a heavy
fog, our first instinct is to stop giving ourselves privileges. 

To deny
ourselves healthy experiences and emotions. To feel virtuous for depriving
ourselves. And to contract our lives and become small, because that will keep things predictable and

Our sweet little routine will protect us. Even though joy has left the

But’s a completely false solution. To punish ourselves for deviating
from the happy path, that doesn’t make us heroic and empowered, it only serves
to compound the pain. 

And so, instead of depriving ourselves when we already
feel sad enough, a healthier choice is to do something nice for ourselves. To
give ourselves the freedom to enjoy life in spite of our unsolved problems. To
find a portal to transcendence, whatever that might look and feel like for our
individual personality. 

Russell’s final paragraph in his book on the conquest
of happiness put it perfectly:

happy man is the man who does not suffer from failures of unity, whose personality
is neither divided against itself nor pitted against the world. Such a person
feels himself a citizen of the universe, enjoying freely the spectacle that it
offers and the joys that it affords, untroubled by the thought of death because
he feels himself not really separate from those who will come after him. It is
in such profound instinctive union with the stream of life that the greatest
joy is to be found

This is how we reach a place of enduring contentment with

By engaging in activities that match our vision of life, rather than
depriving ourselves of joy. 

By embracing a diverse set of pursuits that form a
complete identity, rather than letting one bad mood fill our entire identity


What privileges are you denying yourself because of sadness?

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* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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