After I told a friend about my last post, he put me in my place.
“What do you mean,” he asked, “that we don’t limit pleasure? We most certainly do.” So I thought about it, and he is right.
When we are happy, we don’t go around telling everyone how happy we are and spreading joy out of fear for being labeled as “one of those annoying cheerful people” by the curmudgeons of the world. When we are excited, we don’t go around telling everyone how excited we are lest someone burst our bubble and ground us in reality. When we are feeling playful, we don’t go around tapping people on the shoulder lest people think we are just plain weird.
So really, as he pointed out, we limit our pleasure as well as our pain. That is the way of adults, we have learned to control our actions to be socially acceptable, but in doing so we have really lost an important part of ourselves without realizing it was lost along the way. We lost touch with that key internal feeling of freedom that all children have, and replaced it with a restricted form of ourselves, which isn’t all that natural.
Those people that we meet that don’t have those controls in place, we see as weird, eccentric, and uncouth.
But if you think about it, who is happier? The person who is making their way on their terms through life, or the person who is making their way on the terms of the world through life. I would think that it is the former.
I would argue that this is one of the main reasons people turn to alcohol (when not getting drunk). Not just to forget about their troubles, but rather to allow themselves to open up and be free to feel unbounded happiness and emotional openness, which is naturally restricted.
However, there is an easier way to do this without alcohol. Simply tell yourself that you aren’t going to care what people think about you and that you are going to feel your emotions to their fullest extent because that is what will make YOU happy. But remember, only do this if you truly want to live and have the self esteem to back it up. Otherwise, you’ll just end up being embarrassed and wondering why you are acting like a fool. Try it once and you’ll know if you are ready. If not, work on your self esteem some more, then try again.