Remembering why we’re here when times are tough

Ennio

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
In our tougher moments, whether they be from pressures and stresses inside of us, or from outside of us (and we can expect a lot of those in the future), many of us are likely to feel a little hopeless, helpless, and useless at times. You name it. The worst of it would seem to come at times when several things seem to ’go wrong’ at once, or worse, we feel stuck in the thoughts and feelings that remind us of our failings – or even the failings of a world that seems to be so awful. Any number of things can leave us feeling discouraged. At the same time, amidst this state, there may arise some understanding we hold deep inside; some memory we have, or some new realization we glean about why we’ve chosen to do this work that may lead to a renewed impetus to be ‘here’ to the best of our ability. And in remembering this memory, realizing this insight, or having that bit of inspiration - we find a way forward.

I’ve certainly been to those tough places and re-visit them from time to time. It just seems to be how life is.

We seem to meet the feelings of discouragement in different ways depending on their source, degree, the set of circumstances that surrounds them, etc. But whatever the case, there are those times when we’ve gotten ourselves through it and, more than that, feeling and acting constructively. Perhaps even thriving (as much as possible anyway) as a result. Amen! Thank DCM!

The point here, and I’m really asking a question - is how did those turn-arounds look for people here? Were there any particular understandings or insights that made all the difference for you? Did you remember a Eureka! moment you once had when you discovered this place, or after you discovered this place? Or did it look completely different? What’s your thought-anchor to this work (if you have one)? It might even be the thought of “what the heck else is there?,” or, “I’m just a stubborn SOB and I’m not giving up!”. What kept you and keeps you working on connecting to what’s being done here when the feelings of being overwhelmed, discouraged, depressed, etc. come, and you find yourself pulling away or having the feelings of giving up? It could be anything - anything at all that has made all the difference to you and helped you decide to make the next step forward. And the next one, and the next one…
 

Yupo

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The feelings of being overwhelmed, discouraged, depressed, etc. come at me mostly when I look at the direction of things going on in my career field (health services in USA). I see the dark sides of it, and wonder how I will stay 'alive' in it much longer, knowing I don't want to be apart of the parts of it I consider to be worrisome. It isn't just the health sector, of course. Things appear to be going south everywhere and in every way.
What gives me joy and strength is putting my foot down and saying 'NO. Not going to do that. I'm just not.' There is plenty to worry about, as I worry for family needs and my employees, as the top-down control noose tightens. Strangely, I don't worry too much. I think the worries would only increase in following the prescribed path, jumping through more and more of their hoops.
My values have changed so much in the last year or two that I scarcely relate to old friends and habits from before. It truly feels like being in a different reality. I can't go back, even if I want to.
I had a dream several years ago, I think it was about this, though I didn't understand it at the time. My friends were all very fat and happy. They had no curiosity to go with me to see what was in the big room on the next floor. But I went in there happily. The room was very clean, and the windows were open, letting in clean, fresh air.
 

SeekinTruth

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The "what the heck else is there?" thought can be interpreted in different ways. For me, it's pretty clear that without this network/Work, we will keep going in circles and repeating the same programs, same blindness, same mistakes, same lack of self-knowledge, etc. It also helps to arrive here with the "general bankruptcy" (or at least very near it) to be able to take it all in the most useful way and make some real progress. Without that "bankruptcy", if people are still living ONLY by buffers, "patching up", taking credit for their successes, and blaming others for their failures, etc., i.e. living the mechanical/exterior life, then a huge amount of what's available here will not be utilized to the max for self growth. Or so I think.

What keeps me going is curiosity about life (I think there's a purpose to being here - as the C's put it, lessons), and looking back on how I've become a better person over the last 5, 10, and more years. It takes a certain amount of time of struggle (against being mechanical / running programs, etc.) to have the perspective to look back and see just how much more self control / self-mastery has developed than, say a decade ago. THAT motivates me to keep going. After all, without self-mastery, we can't help others (at least consistently), nor ourselves....
 

Marina9

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Today I actually had a bit of emotions going on related to this, talking to my brother about it some happy tears came out of my eyes, I was a bit emotional but in that happy emotional state which is good. And this was because telling him and my family how I couldn't be more thankful to have found this network and all the people that have helped me in the journey. Today I was thinking about myself two years ago and how far I've come, but that wouldn't be possible without any of what we have and share in this network, all the efforts from everyone put together to help each other, to recommend books or whatever may help us in our journey.

So that's what keeps me going on, the love towards learning and discovering not only what goes in my mind but what goes around the world, what goes on with other people whom share the same interests with me. And to keep on growing together. Now I can see that those feelings that sometimes I get like fear, slowly I'm starting to use them to transform them in a positive way and do something with that, not letting them overwhelm me as much as they did. And this is something I've certainly learned from here.
 

Seamus

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Why am I here? I keep coming back because I have learned so much and my aim is to learn and grow. The threads I've followed here, the articles I've read on Sott.net, the recommended books I've struggled to understand and apply to my life, all of these things have challenged me and I've grown as a result.

How do I keep going when things get tough?
[list type=decimal]
[*]Remind myself how many people have it way worse than me. I've always had plenty to eat, a nice house over my head, a car to drive, a job, opportunity, etc. Soooo many people in this world are abused, hungry, in pain and alone. What right do I have to despair? I have a responsibility to make the most of my opportunities. Which leads into my second thought...
[*]I draw strength from the thought of the survivors who came before me. The endless march of ancestors stretching back through time to the most primitive single-celled organism in the distant past all the way up until the present day. I don't know much about my family except for nationality because I come from immigrant families who were poor laborers when they came to the US. One side is Irish and survived hundreds of years of English oppression and famine. The other side is from Yugoslavia (Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian) and so survived hundreds of years of war, invasion and famine between the Romans, Turks, Austrian Empire, etc. On one hand my life is totally ordinary because there are so many people on this planet, but on the other hand it is unbelievably improbable when I think about all of the millions and billions who died in just the past 100's and 1000's of years, never mind before that. This thought gives me pause, puts my troubles in perspective and helps me to draw strength from my ancestors.
[*]I grew up with a saying: when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Both of my grandfathers were marines and I inherited this saying and the attitude that goes with it through my parents. Sometimes it helps.
[*]Wait it out. Everything that has a beginning has an end. Usually the end comes much sooner than you think. Meditation taught me that and continues to teach me that. Even the most unbearable sensations soon change and pass away.
[/list]

There have been many times when I've drawn strength from reading Laura's signature:

He who learns must suffer
And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
And in our own despair, against our will,
Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
Agamemnon, Aeschylus

I've referred to this increasingly in the last few years. I often feel a deep sadness in my solar plexus and chest and when it first came to me I didn't know what to do. It has been almost my constant companion of late and when I see how I have grown I am grateful.

In the times when nothing seems to bring me comfort and all seems lost to despair I continue on because I must. What other option is there? I cannot go back now that I know what I know and see what I see. Death is no way out and I might not get another chance in my next life. I keep trying different tools (meditation, writing, qigong, reaching out to friends, distraction, discipline) until something gets me out of my funk and I keep moving.



Edited punctuation
 

nicklebleu

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks for starting this thread, Ennio.

I have actually been in this place for a while now ...

It's hard to say where it comes from. I guess part of it is my personal makeup (high degree of neuroticism), another part is the way I lead my life (hectic) and another part seems to have deeper spiritual roots, maybe lack of faith or something along these lines.

I usually just keep going anyway, because it's the right thing to do (I've thought about it, come to the conclusion that it's the right way, and then stick to it), even though it feels a bit like "Groundhog Day", and also because - as you put it - I'm a stubborn SOB.

The other thing that helps me is realising that everything is a lesson, so there is no point avoiding it (even though I sometimes do that for a while). So what I am presented with is exactly what I need - it may be unpleasant or painful, but necessary. Of course, sometimes I wonder if that isn't just a narrative I'm telling myself, but again I think this is probably a sign of too little faith.

The other thing I recently have tried out - and I am not very good at that - is to just sit with this feeling without wanting to fix it there and then, which is my default MO. To just accept it as it is and not fight it - which I find very hard to do. But it seems to take some pressure off. And I am not entirely sure why I find that so hard to do.
 

Gaby

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
As a daily battle, the turn-arounds could happen on a daily basis. The one of last night, looked like this. I was remembering the following quotes:

At least you should by now know that it is the soul that matters, not the body. Others have genetically, spiritually and psychically manipulated/engineered you to be body-centric. Interesting, as despite all efforts by 4th through 6th density STO, this "veil remains unbroken."

http://cassiopaea.org/forum/index.php/topic,43069.0.html

"(Pierre) I was wondering about something. Some people report feelings in their feet, and they remove their shoes. Maybe it circulates from the ground. Some other people report feelings in their head like in the crown chakra, for example. Where does this Reiki energy come from?

A: Best if grounded. But drawn via connection with information field which is "adjacent" rather than "above" or "below"."

I was also thinking that often when I wonder-off from PotS, I always come back when I recite "clear my ears that I can hear". How can I answer the call if I'm not paying attention? When all looks pretty dark and I feel pretty lost and tired, I focus on "the truth" and "my true nature" before going to sleep. That gives me strength to face the next step and the next.
 

Yas

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
What brought me here is the idea that there was truly something wrong with the world and that we needed conscience and awareness (of the world and ourselves) to be able to actually do something about it. I was interested in many subjects of the forum, but what made me stay and get involved was that I could see other people who could see that the world was kind of mad and that the only thing we could actually do was to change ourselves, before we could do any other thing. So this is one important motive for me.

When things got though, what kept me going was the conviction that this is what I want to do. Sometimes I think I don't know why am I actually doing it, there's no heaven or hell to go to, so to say. So why? I always get to the conclusion that I really don't know why, but I want to continue anyway because that's simply what I want, and I'm sure I don't want the other options. Sometimes I think this isn't right, because I guess one should know the whys, but being honest, I don't fully understand that yet, I can think of many reasons, but ultimately it is something inside me that pushes me to keep going and gives me strength to do the right thing and to continue learning. That's why I love Kant's quote:

“Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.”

I understand it as being in awe about learning more about the world and cosmos, as well as the conscience inside us that leads us and that is connected to something higher than ourselves and our tiny worlds.

When things get really bad in my head and I'm thinking that I'm hopeless and that I'm "broken" so to say, what keeps me going is that I'm a stubborn SOB, as you said. I say "OK, I'm broken maybe, but I can do my best in this lifetime anyway and achieve whatever is in my broken ability to achieve."

Another one is gratitude for all the gifts I received in life, this network being by far one the most precious ones. And also, as Seamas said, a sense of responsibility that tells me that if I've been given this gifts, I must do my best to use them in a creative way that can some day help other people. I think I'm far from being able to actually do something for others, but that's what I strive for.
 

Moonbird

Jedi
Thank you Ennio for this thread. It surely came at just the right moment for me as I am feeling overwhelmed with dissapointment in myself and others. I've "fallen off the wagon" so to speak and my mechanicalness got hold and I reacted at my job.

Yesterday I was feeling the unfairness of a situation at work and it hurt pretty badly. I spoke up about it and got shot down harshly without any resolution. Before I reacted, I thought about it for a bit because I wanted to calm down my emotions. I wanted to bring it up in a calm and respectful manner. Well, it didn't work. I ended up upsetting the boss anyway and felt invalidated, humilated and insulted in the process. I am left feeling that I must shut up and suck it up, deal with it and am stuck in these feelings.

So it was a comfort finding your post. This forum is a soft place to fall and is just one of the many reasons I am here.

And like Seamas said, "I keep coming back because I have learned so much and my aim is to learn and grow." (Simple and karmic understandings.)

We are here at this time and place to learn our lessons so that we may graduate. And this is the only place I know of for me to do that.

And also what Seekin Truth said, "What keeps me going is curiosity about life (I think there's a purpose to being here - as the C's put it, lessons), and looking back on how I've become a better person over the last 5, 10, and more years"

My deepest, heartfelt thanks to this forum, Laura, SOTT, the C's and all of you. This place is home to me, and there's no place like home!
 

bjorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I hate my life, but I hate the pedophile Elite more.

That's what keeps it going.

I will solve the puzzle of consciousness. I know I can, ''Life is only real when I am'' and it wasn't the same a week ago, or that week before etc.

I only fear that there isn't enough time.



As for giving up.

The one time I considered to end this life helped me instead to realize what I can do and cannot do at this moment and by that set healthy boundaries.

So it wasn't all that bad. Sometimes you have to reach the depth to figure out ways to keep moving forward.
 

T.C.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
For me, it's less of a case of remembering why I'm here or remembering why I came here.

When I 'found' the forum, I wasn't in the position of Neo from the Matrix. I didn't have a splinter in my mind and wasn't striving to understand the unanswerable questions of life. I'd always had a predisposition to these topics and ideas, but they would come and go at different periods.

It's more a case of trying to understand all the time why I'm here, as opposed to remembering. And every day is a challenge. When Gurdjieff said we have to constantly invent new alarms clocks, that process has become a daily struggle for me. Every day I'm different and the realisation that it took me an hour to come to yesterday, that touched my soul and resonated with me and adjusted the course of my ship towards home in order to compensate for the direction of how the wind was blowing then, often has little to no effect on me today, and I have to spend time working on a new realisation.

What I've found is that when I'm at my best, I'm not even thinking about why I'm here: I'm just Being and Doing, and when I ask myself, "Why do I do? Why do I strive? Why do I try?" the totally honest answer is, "I haven't a clue." This is a catch 22 situation though, because I hate to not know why I'm doing what I'm doing. I believe I should know why I prefer the good life - the life of a Paleochristian, perhaps - and be able to argue for it, but my arguments are purely intellectual. And if I've had a few good days together, then I start to notice the quietness of my inner landscape and something feels like it's missing.

Unfortunately, the truth is that the thing that is actually missing is the predators mind, the negative introject, negative thought loops, the siren calls and seductions of self-pity, self-absorbtion and self-focus. That old familiar friend, my false personality that I had to rely on all my life to get me through each day, scavenging for whatever morsels it could steal from others and from life, rather than working to produce its own fruit.

And it's so sneaky. IT is what starts me off wondering, "Why am I living this way? Why is it better to be sober than to be a drunk? Why is it better to study than to watch T.V.? Why is it better to work on group projects than to play video games?" And I respond, "Why, yes! These are valid and important questions. I need to spend time thinking about these." And I begin to contract and weaken and lose myself. And lose momentum and fall into inertia. And then I get depressed, and then that confirms that the predators mind was right all along: that life is so hard and painful and there's nothing for me and no reason for me to exist.

I have taken these kinds of thought to their logical end, and come to the understanding of something Laura talks about in one of the chapters of The Wave. In my own words, it is like this:

As long as anything exists it is always doing something. For a rock, the thing that it is doing might be that it is just sitting there. But at the same time, it could be filtering rain water, or it might be acting as a home for little bugs. For animals, they are always doing something based on their motivations to satisfy their needs and drives - but they don't really get to choose what it is that they do.

For people, they are also always doing something; even if they choose to do nothing, they are doing something. This distills down into two possible choices: Being and Non-being. And in the eyes of the universe, both are equally valid and useful and needed. And that's so hard to know, because then, in understanding it like that, the choice of which way you go is TRULY unweighted. And for a person, that is a tough situation, because we've spent our lives needing to be manipulated into choosing things.

But the Universe says, "Nope; none of my business. It's entirely up to you and I love you either way."

Earlier this year, I came up with a term that seemed to really resonate with me, but I knew there was a lot more to it than what I could articulate at the time, and I think there probably still is. The term is, "an Existential Mismatch". It came from the understanding of the following situation: "For an adult to live as a child is a kind of existential mismatch and results in depression and despair."

Now, on a purely practical level, this idea is self-evident. An adult is supposed to be a good obyvatel and provide for themselves. If they do not do this, they will end up penniless and homeless and will die from illness and starvation. But I believe there's more of a soul 'orientation' or 'polarisation' involved in it, too. If you are having a hard time coming to a visceral understanding of right and wrong, good and bad, why you should do this and not that, then your gut tells you. If I live in ways that tend towards Non-Being, I get severely depressed and end up in constant despair.

I am now working from the hypothesis that it goes against the nature of my soul to live this way, and that is what causes the despair. And so, by observing myself, I find that to live any other way than in the light of truth and Being, that for me is an existential mismatch.

There is one other aspect to this. Ultimately, I believe the reason to exist is to help others. This isn't just an arbitrary, feel good idea, but again is a conclusion I've reached through logic.

For starters, I think it would be impossible to end up in a situation where you were ever the last human being in existence. This in itself implies that our existence only has any purpose in relation to other people. When you have lived in such abject misery and despair, you realise that you wouldn't wish such a state on even your worst enemy. So then what is the reason for my suffering? It is to understand the suffering of others, and when you can get out of your own self-centred narcissism for two seconds, you realise the amount of pain and suffering other people are going through.

So I think a strong reason to carry on going every day is because if you can stay alive, you MIGHT just be able to alleviate the suffering of another person at some point. If all my despair and misery leads to me helping another who is in that situation, then that cancels out my own. But what if I end up helping TWO people who are going through the same thing? Then that more than justifies and balances out my own - it actually gives a concrete meaning to my life.

And so we suffer in myriad ways to figure out how to alleviate all different kinds of suffering, so that we can help others who are asking. And that for me, at the moment, is why I treasure my involvement with this network.
 

PerfectCircle

Jedi Master
Interesting thread.
I can find myself in a little bit of everyone's story.
I remember being in an intensive depression before "awakening", I was asking myself "What is wrong with me, why am I not like the rest of them?"etc.
Then, after the initial shock of how things have been working in our society, I was glad that there are others wanting to learn the truth and why it all was hidden from us.
CS material and Gurdjieff defined and explained stuff that I shallowly felt with my intuition.

Nowadays I notice that there are cycles of bad/good mood and energy levels changing from time to time. How much time does the bad energy and mood last depends on situation at my work place and the amount of terrible happenings in the world.
Since I work in a commercial sector of a foreign corporation, I face with many, many negative oriented people and situations. It is in one hand strengthening myself and testing my emotional and mental control, but it is also getting more and more unbearable lately. I would gladly give up the job, but this one gives me solid earnings and it is very difficult to find a decent job where I live. Also, earning sufficient money enables me to feed healthier and focus on self-work, when not at workplace.

In rough times I keep telling myself that there is a reason why I am here and should use the opportunity to learn and grow as much as possible. There are, on the other hand, situations where I get emotionally exhausted and only want to listen to music or play some games etc.
Music is important tool for me as well. Even the sad, melancholy music helps me when in depression. :)

And last, bot not by a mile the least, this forum gives me the biggest motivation, as well as a feeling of sanctuary since I've been feeling like an alien almost my entire life. I am truly grateful for all the work made by the crew and I admire many people here (not in a STS way :) )
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have my dark and depressive episodes, but I don't think I've felt the full extent of the horror of the situation. Maybe it's buffers doing that. But to answer the original question, I come to the question, "What else is there?" Or, "What else would I do?" I could ignore reality and fill everything with A influences, but I think I'd get bored pretty quickly with that and be unfulfilled. And I'd crave reading a recommended book or going back to the forum.

I've had some interesting thought experiments or minor revelations recently. Usually things come to me in the shower. Despite all the horrible things going on in the world, I am sometimes grateful for the chance of being here and learning one more day. And when I remember that, I'll think, "Thank you for this day." This realization seems a bit like self-remembering, and everything seems a bit more "real". Like, "Oh yeah, I really do exist, and existence exists, and this is all real!"

A few nights ago I had a feeling that my understanding was increasing. That everything was starting to make sense. It reminded me of the domino scene in V for Vendetta. All of this information gathered over the years cannot just sit there and do nothing. I mean, if you're in a room full of tools, you might even mistakenly bump into one and pick it up and use it, right? That's the worst case scenario though.

But this feeling I had was like I knew that I am here to learn, everything makes sense, and everything is going as it should be. And there was some relief in knowing that. And I love learning, and although public schooling is mostly a sham, this planet is a real school where we all learn. The lessons are tough, and they will most likely get tougher, but so what, we all are going through this.

And that connects to my next thoughts: The Universe is in a constant state of decay or entropy. And it takes the effort of consciousness units to willingly insert energy to put the pieces back together so to say. A sort of upkeep or "universe maintenance". And we see that people, made of matter, are also in decay and are suffering. If we work on ourselves, and thus become able to help others, we can decrease the entropy that others experience.

It's like T.C. was saying, getting to a point where you choose what you're going to do. And I agree it's hard to be unbiased about whether to choose STS or STO, being or non-being. For both of those to be equal, I guess that's what Love is.
 

annp

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
When I am feeling as if everything is hopeless, I remember how clueless and lost I was before I found this network. Just a quick recapitulation of my prior life is sufficient to remind me of how much I have changed in the past 14 years. Also because I am stubborn – even when I think I am getting nowhere and that I have no capacity for the Work, I tell myself that what’s important is my commitment - even if it does take infinite lifetimes. Giving up would be giving up on life and literally becoming ‘a dream in the past’.

Lately when dark thoughts threaten, I have begun to recite the Prayer of the Soul – it stops that negative spiral and reminds me of what is most important. That no matter how miserable I feel in that moment, it is only temporary and I can learn from this experience and choose how I wish to respond. Finding SOTT and this Forum has been an incredible gift and I feel that it confers an obligation to learn as much as possible so as to be able share with someone else who may be searching in the same way. I think that when you are truly committed to an endeavor, you have an internal strength, and even though you might not always feel it, others may sense it and that may give them courage to keep moving forward through their own sufferings.
 

Keit

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
For me it was a gradual, years-long process of even reaching the state of such "discouraging moments" to have a meaning beyond them being the consequence of mechanical reactions and programs. It took some time to grow an understanding and a feeling of responsibility.

After that the main lifeline and a reminder has been the idea that I have made a promise to myself and the Universe to constantly make steps, no matter how small, toward becoming a better person, in order to be able to repay at least some of the kindness that was offered to me by this network.

Because when looking at the general state of the World and my personal situation, it is easy to see how fortunate I've been. Therefore, despite having the occational black and white moments of thinking that it is all pointless, and that I will never reach a state of optimal Being, since there is SOME undeniable progress, it is my responsibility to give back some of the wealth that was offered me.
 
Top Bottom