So, here’s everything you need to know about being a human being. Being a human being, especially if you’re a smart, sensitive, thoughtful human being, guarantees ongoing experiences of insecurity, self-doubt, anxiety, social awkwardness, uncertainties about who we are, what we want, frequent feelings of purposelessness, emptiness, dread of life, dread of death.
Being a human being, in other words, guarantees much confusion, and then more confusion.
You think this describes just fucked up people? Wrong.
It describes normal people. It describes everyone, as I suggested, with a sensitive, smart psychological orientation.
Does this guarantee tons of suffering? Not necessarily. Suffering mostly comes from our protesting these experiences—resenting them, fearing them, convincing ourselves that they signify there’s something wrong with us, believing we’re alone with them while others are enviably free of them.
Well, you’re not alone.
And it’d be great if you could stop trying so hard to feel less of these things and accept how basic they are to the human experience. Because they are. They really are.
We could probably jack-up our contentment levels 10-fold in the next five minutes if we’d just end our desperate search for inner composure, confidence, security, and just say “Fuck it, I’m a human being. I’m not meant to be without inner feelings of discomfort. Being a human being’s just fucking uncomfortable. There’s no way around that. And I can be ok with that. The moment I decide to, my life changes.”
For instance, we all want to feel comfortable in our own skins. The problem is how insistently we expect and demand it, as a condition to feel ok. Well, we need to stop that. We need to accept that, mostly, we feel uncomfortable in our own skins for all sorts of normal reasons, the over-arching one being that we’re human beings, not squirrels.
I’m telling you, aware how contrarian I’m sounding, that we’re not designed to feel comfortable in our skins. We really aren’t.
This doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy reprieves from these unpleasant experiences. Many of us do, and it’s nice to appreciate and enjoy those reprieves, when we can. But the illusion, really the self-delusion, is that those reprieves should be our default self-experience, if we were psychologically healthy.
Not true. Normal is feeling insecure, scared, self-doubting, lost, anxious, unsure of ourselves, nervous, socially awkward, and a host of other lovely experiences…often.
Sounds depressing? It doesn’t have to be, especially if we can start normalizing, and stop pathologizing, our insecurity.
Good article, I really hope that being normal is feeling uncomfortable, anxious, insecure, scared and so forth.
And the most important making bad decisions.
When you know exactly what you’re doing, and insist on doing it anyway, like mind-f’ing someone you pretend to love, it’s not a “bad decision.” It’s just deranged and sick. And when you don’t recognize how deranged it is, it’s even sicker. But thanks for the comment, whoever you are. I’m sure you’d never do that kind of thing to anyone.