life, rabbit holes and reality

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“Stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it.”

via creatingaquietmind

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“Well I guess it’s only life,

It’s only natural we all spend a little while going down the rabbit hole. “

The Shins

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“We don’t create a fantasy world to escape reality, we create it to be able to stay.”

Lynda Barry

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Ok. We chase a lot of things in Life. We sometimes chase them so blindly and relentlessly we don’t even recognize the rabbit hole we have started running down. Happiness is one of those rabbit holes.

choice pursuit of happinessWhoa !

WTF.

Happiness is a rabbit hole?

Well. Suffice it to say happiness is a tricky thing.

Having it is awesome.

Seeking it is … well … a rabbit hole.

The search injects us with most of our everyday stress which means most of our stress has nothing to do with what we have, but rather what we don’t have <seeking what we want in other words>.

And while wanting a new car or some shirt or the cool new phone is a tangible ‘want’ <and not even close to sending you down a rabbit hole>; happiness is much more elusive. In fact. Much more elusive than you would imagine <or want>.

First. Our brains struggle to remember happiness in a realistic way. Semi-happy moments in the past take on a Life of their own and become exponentially happier in the memory. Yeah. Happiness has a wary relationship with reality.

tug of war jonothan marsh

Jonathon Marsh doodle

Second. Our brains relentlessly tug at and tease out the minutiae found in unhappy moments. This, ultimately, translates into the fact we cannot seem to forget unhappiness and inevitably, because of that, do anything – include some absolutely absurd things – we can to avoid it.

Therein lies the rabbit hole. Life is not meant to be avoided.

Shit.

Life cannot be avoided <whether you try to or not>.

What do I mean? While we seek to control our own destiny and write our own fates … others grab our Life while we aren’t looking and write whole chapters for us that we can only look at and say “WTF” just before the inevitable ‘not written by us’ happens.

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“Life is like a library owned by the author.  In it are a few books which he wrote himself, but most of them were written for him.”

Harry Emerson Fosdick

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And all that ‘not written by us’ stuff keeps on getting in the way of what we want to write about happiness for our Life … as well as it gets in the way of erasing the unhappy shit. This particular rabbit hole, this relentless pursuit of happiness, makes Life particularly difficult.

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“It hasn’t been easy, and it never will be. After all, every day is also a chance to slide back into the darkness. To live in ourselves and our regrets, instead of this moment. To run away from those that would help us and let self-hatred drive us back into isolation, despair, and destruction.

Nick Spencer

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Every day is not easy and actively pursuing happiness shoves our happy ass in a slippery sloped rabbit hole faster than you can blink an eye.

Ok. As a corollary to chasing happiness, lets maybe call this the other rail on the tracks down into the frickin’ rabbit hole, is chasing simplicity <often believing this ‘elusive simplicity’ will lead to happiness>.

Is this a paradox in Life? Shit. I don’t know that, but I do know the more we seek simplicity the more complex things tend to get and … uhm … the less happy we become.

Whew. Boy oh boy … talk about the slippery slope leading down to the rabbit hole of self-hell. Seeking simplicity is it.

Simplicity entices you day by day and even hour by hour. And each day you do not attain simplicity the more and more you look at it as some type of failure and you try harder and harder … for something I am fairly sure you just cannot attain. Or if you can attain it … well … it doesn’t come from a book or some formula or even some sage advice from a friend … it is something more earned by living and attempting and finding.

Simplicity seems so simple and yet it inevitably takes much much longer to master than you feel it is supposed to.

Simplicity seems so damn easy that we, well, get impatient when it doesn’t happen.

Let me state that differently. We get impatient with Life. Uh oh. It’s not like we can dictate the pace & flow of Life <I will come back to this>.

The next problem?

Even if you actually DO attain some simplicity you are aggravated it took so frickin’ long. This is compounded by the fact that simplicity is one of those weird things that as soon as you attain it you start hearing other people say “geez … why did it take you so long to figure THAT out?”

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“Just because you took longer than others doesn’t mean you failed.”

Hassann

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<I use this quote to close the rabbit holes business post too>

And maybe that is my biggest point about rabbit holes and Life … and reality.

Some of the things we seek most in Life, whether it be happiness or simplicity or whatever silly thing you have decided will better your Life, always seem to take longer than what you want. And we get impatient.

And if we get really thoughtful about this whole impatience … we would realize that our aggravation is with Life and not any inability within ourselves <or even in assessment the foolish pursuit of this non-real reality objective>.

rabbit hole deviant artLife does not suffer fools lightly. Life is oblivious to your impatience <and relatively indifferent to you in general>.

How does Life deal with the fools and silly impatient people?

Rabbit holes.

Life gives us rabbit holes to chase after silly things and dive into in our relentless pursuit of attaining “it” and waste our lives wandering aimlessly within this hole with slippery walls and minimal handholds to help us climb out of it.

Well. That summarizes reality … and rabbit holes.

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Written by Bruce