“Identifying your fears is the first step to finding happiness.”

We discussed yesterday that pain is the natural response to lack of pleasure.

As humans we are lucky to have metacognition which means that we are lucky enough to realize that we are.  (Site note: The downside of this realization is that many of us are not lucky enough to figure out exactly what that means – and end up thinking that we are lacking due to things that we are taught in our environment as a child.)

It is this metacognition that ends up complicating life for us humans since in our desire to prevent pain as children, we end up involving a very immature and simple sense of self in the process.  The problem for us is that this sense of self really doesn’t have enough information or skills to know how to manage things on its own.  Instead, it focuses on the messages that it gets from the person it trusts, it’s parents, who may or may not have improved on the messages that they received as children, themselves.  Which means that the net result is that the child is wholly unprepared to deal with the realities of the pain that they are presented with.

So instead of dealing with the pain, it creates a barrier to the pain, called fear, to prevent us from even approaching those areas that might cause us pain.  The problem is that in our adult years, the pain is lost, and all that is left is the fear.  That wouldn’t be so bad, but since pain doesn’t go away until it is dealt with, we end up dragging it around and carrying a feeling of being unhappy our whole life due to the fact that we never dealt with the issues – and in fact might not even know they existed.  So if we want to unlock the true issue (the pain) we must work to figure out the fear, and then work backwards.

So lesson two, is that you must identify your fears, since within these fears, you will be able to find those areas of pain that need to be addressed and tackled.  Chances are they are still preventing you from finding pleasure today.

Tomorrow we will discuss how to identify your fears.

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