Anxious Amusement

I watch a lot of videos on YouTube. Some of those are vlog-style videos where people talk about their daily life. I also stay aware of current events, and sometimes I’ll pay attention to news stories about celebrities, tidbits that give a little insight into their lives. I also talk to my mother on a regular basis and hear about family members and their ongoing lives. I have a best-friend whose life I’ve been closely watching since we met many years ago. I’m also kept abreast of information on this friend’s Facebook feed. Additionally, I’ve been observing a little boy growing up for a number of years. And of course I watch my own life very intently. In other words, I’ve been monitoring people’s lives for a long time now.

My data is limited and I’m biased, thus my analysis is skewed, but it’s all I have to go by. With that caveat, what I’m most struck by is the struggle people have coping with life. Raw physical survival is not the problem, that’s the easy part. It’s the superficial self-imposed stressors that seem to suffocate us. So many people seem sad, depressed, anxious, insecure, frustrated, and unfulfilled. People seem as though they’re teetering on the edge of losing it. Why are we so charged up and ready to explode?

Even with the relatively easy life I live, coupled with my mindfulness, I can’t always keep myself calm. I tend to see the world through a darkened lens that I have to constantly wipe clean. No matter the walk-of-life a person comes from, self-imposed stressors are sure to find them. The answer they say, is to not let life get you down, keep your spirits up despite life’s discomforts. And they’re right I suppose. That’s the point of every game isn’t it: stay hopeful and have fun.

For me and the people I watch, physical survival is such a rare issue. But we’re haunted by worrisome thoughts, dark figments existing in our imagination. Our goal in this game is not to overcome the actual things we worry about, the goal is to overcome the worry itself. We need to dismantle our insecurity and the feelings of frustration. Physical obstacles are not in our way, it’s a mental challenge. It seems to me that we’re supposed to develop an unyielding trust in the goodness of life.

Why exactly? How should I know! But I’d assume it’s so we can relax and enjoy ourselves. Earth is a pretty interesting place after all, what a neat little adventure it must be to live out a human life. But the trick is to weather the storm. Don’t avoid the storm per se, but find an enjoyable way to navigate through the tempest. And if you’re crushed, laugh it off and start again.

These are the terms of the game: you’re placed within a captivating realm of constant activity where your physical needs are guaranteed. As players, we must align with the game, manage our frustration and stay hopeful, we must practice good sportsmanship and look out for others. The game keeps us moving, guiding us through a maze of dazzling distractions, miss one and there’ll be another coming soon. Above all, we mustn’t worry, but strive to enjoy the ride, admiring the spectacle before us.

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