A middle-aged woman with distracted look and lacklustre eyes is sitting in front of me. «I cry all the time… do you see, all the time… and I can do nothing with it…». It is become clear during the further conversation that tension and depression are client’s stable life’s companions. The answer to the question, what does woman need, is obvious. It is relaxation and joyance.
But if you think about the majority of us, living in this world, we really lack the ability to relax and enjoy.
Many people, addicted to various kinds of addiction, satisfy these needs with the help of alcohol and smoking. You can ask any smoker: “Why do you smoke?”. “That is the way to relax” will be certainly found amid his reasons.
Another group of «constrained and depressed» lives «on autopilot» in chronic stress state and doesn’t even think about solution of this challenge. It usually comes to an end for them as psychosomatic illnesses: early strokes, heart attacks, high blood-pressure, disordered digestive tract and so on.
And also, there are those who realize this situation as a crucial one, but vainly seek for a way out from it. And, indeed, how can a modern man release the inner tension and charge with resources? At the first sight, there are many ways: visit of a nightclub, bar, restaurant, theatre or video parlor, training in a sport club, bowling, skating, making a home party or just walking along a night park…
Then why do physicians and psychologists, having such excess of ways, sound about the chronic fatigue syndrome? I think that the point is in emotional tension, which is present in everybody’s life. Unfortunately, important things are not taught at schools, for example, how to form up and keep the personal comfort boundaries: to ignore boorishness in public places, not to get involved in useless discussions about politics and economics, to filter newspaper and TV news. All of that sharpens our resources and decreases the immunity.
To my mind, another important factor is insufficient concern for ourselves: everything for the sake of job, friends, parents, family. Isn’t it too much altars where we hasten to sacrifice ourselves? I foresee the accusation of call for selfishness and egoism. But, as a matter of fact, there is nothing bad in this word. It is translated from German as I AM. And there is also written in the Book of Books: «Love thy neighbor as thyself». We were taught to put an emphasis on a neighbor, but if a man couldn’t love himself, how does he must learn to love those around him? Then it isn’t love, it is a sacrifice. Where is the difference? Love has a take-give balance. Love gets exhausted without this balance. A sacrifice only gives and it eventually runs out. Everything alive needs resources, in other words, concern.
So, where does joyance live? I have recalled the expression: «A kid is always able to give three lessons to an adult; he is merry with no reason, he is always busy with something and he can attain the desired at any cost» .It seems to me all the philosophy of happiness is in this: to be able to enjoy, to follow your interests and to know how to get what you want. And now I suggest you to ask yourself the question «Where does all of this go?» Can these abilities fade away automatically with the ending of childhood? I suppose this is a merit of the society that vices a personality. And this same society is presented by common people: primarily it is parents to whom it is convenient to have obedient child and not spontaneous one, then educators and teachers (no comments here) and so on through the life. How many times I have heard such phrases as: «I can’t do so, this will offend him, her, mother, brother, friend…» We need to learn to leave the responsibility for feelings to other and not to take it on ourselves. It is well known that it is impossible to offend, you can only take offence. Formerly in certain situation, my co-worker said about her child such words: «I don’t know, how he will get it through. If he doesn’t cope with it, he will grow up and go to a psychologist». At first it had seemed to me cynical, but with time I realized that this is sharing of responsibility for feelings.
And where the joyance can be found? The answer is simple. It is inside yourself. If you recall the classification of Eric Berne’s roles then the Parent teaches, evaluates, knows everything. The Adult reasons, analyzes, free of prejudices. And the Child is unpredictable, creative, free of dogmata, impulsive, it is he who «answers» for demonstration of the joyance and spontaneity by individual. And now everyone can think about which role he plays himself in his life most of the time. The truth is that all three subpersonalities (roles) and its adequate demonstration are needed for balanced existence. At work I am an Adult (responsible, reasonable), I am a Parent with my kids and inferiors (solicitous, tutelar, supervisory), with my friends and alone with myself I can be a Child – spontaneous, sincere, joyful, sad, kind, bad – because here I have no need to play the Role, here I can be MYSELF!
Author Natalia Tarasenko
Translator Stanislava Unychenko
Original text Где живет радость?