Can "Born-Into-Its" Ever Be Happy?

by Englishman 46 Replies latest jw friends

  • No Apologies
    No Apologies

    Its like you people are reading my mind!!!

    Eman, as a born--into-it, pushing 40, I have the same questions. I notice most of the ones that are replying in the affirmative to your question are much younger(I'm looking at you, Tink!!)

    So many things that have been missed, most of which are simply no longer attainable. A person has grown up with all the promises dangled in front of them, only now to realize what a fantasy it all was. Yes, you can go on, you can start over. But how do you reconcile to the fact that arguably your very best years were wasted, and now they are gone? How do you cope with the idea that you are not going to cheat death, you are getting older, that this life is all there is?????

    Gary,

    I also appreciate the quote on goals you posted. the part about depression being a result is very true.

  • Mr Lebowski
    Mr Lebowski

    First off, E, yes, you can. I'm in my late 30's.

    Three things that helped me:

    1) Let go of resentments and look towards the future. The harder I held onto my anger at missing out on my adolescence, not going to college, and all the rest, the more it got in my way. It's like the old coconut monkey value trap - as long as our clenched fist is inside the cocnut, holding on to the past, we can't get our hand out of the tiny hole in the coconut - so there we stay, trapped by our own values. Remember, you're still here - what do you want to do now?

    The best ways I found to let go (easy to say, harder to do) were to do cognitive work (therapy or seminar work) and to stay busy trying new things and meeting new people. The best way I learned that most people "in the world' are really good-hearted people was to meet a lot of them.

    2) Remember that happiness is not an end-result - it's a byproduct, a side-effect, that comes about when you are fulfilling yourself. Cast about openmindedly looking for the thing that is just the thing for you to spend your time and energy doing. Make a difference for others, and you'll make the biggest difference for yourself.

    Peace and contentment, my brother,

    El Duderino

  • Englishman
    Englishman

    Mr. Lebowski,

    I agree with your sentiments about the need to let go resentment and anger. What I'm querying is whether or not it's possible to be happy without having had the basic self taught lessons of life that come from what I can only loosely describe as a "normal upbringing". I guess I'm talking about there being no substitute for experience.

    Englishman.

  • ballistic
    ballistic

    It's been one hell of a journey, my exit has taken 9 years. For all the ups and downs, I wouldn't exchange the process for anything, yes it's like another growing up you do in the real world, starting to feel alive.

  • rocketman
    rocketman
    No furtive gropings to further his sex education, no rebellions, no underground music, no college parties,

    Or, he did do all that - it's just that his parents and the elders didn't know about it.

  • tinkerbell82
    tinkerbell82
    I'm looking at you, Tink!!

    hey, i fully appreciate the fact that i still get to live my twenties the way i want to ....BUT i think anyone born-in misses out on those key lessons that teach you how to function in society. it's a struggle for anyone. i contemplate my own mortality the same as anyone, and i feel just as helpless in the face of it.

  • Amazing
    Amazing

    Its difficult E-man, and likely not possible for some ... but I think most can make it. My son-in-law seems to be doing very well ... Jim W.

  • proplog2
    proplog2

    Englishman:

    You and others here seem to be totally ignorant of developmental psychology. Get off the sports page and read up on a topic before you try to develop a case.

  • Mr Lebowski
    Mr Lebowski

    Gosh, I think the semantic content of your post is great, but can you be more of an [email protected]&($ about hows you say it??

    Righteousness is a pain in the neck, no matter what religion you are, or were.

  • beckyboop
    beckyboop

    YES, because I believe that "happiness is a journey, not a destination". I left when I was about 30, and it of course wasn't easy. I too had the feelings of "missing out on my youth", so I did something about it. I tried things, experimented, read, talked to a WIDE variety of people--basically the things I would have normally done in my younger years (except for things like college--I still haven't done that one yet). And although the "things" I tried didn't bring me happiness, I sure as hell had fun trying them.

    I received a card from a good friend on my birthday that said "for a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin--real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one."

    I guess the only thing I could add to that is that we only have the here and now FOR SURE. We cannot get our younger years back, but we can still do or at least try whatever we want. We can make our lives as interesting as possible, and have lots of fun in the meantime. I think the hardest part for those of us born-in is this--we never knew ANY other way. So we have to completely dump out our former ways of thinking and viewing the world and start over. Because when we do, we find that whatever we had been told was wrong anyway.

    Becky

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