You only need to practice these 3 simple mind tricks to ensure that you never live a meaningful life – just one that serves others.
Firstly, in the absence of innate intentions and desires, let relief be your motivation – and by no means desire. You only need to 1) start associating the relief from something unpleasant (like social pressure, angry relatives) with pleasure. That will no doubt make the rest of your dealings with the world full of you seeking relief – and them pressurizing you.
You will probably do it in the shape of a life role that will motivate you to 2) mistake dependence wit love.
All you need is 3) learning to lie to yourself – but so well that even you believe it. And then black will be white, sour will be sweet, stinky will be fragrant, painful will be meaningful, and your life can be called great – even when it is not. It’s what we call it what matters – not what it actually is, right?
So I give you the three mind tricks that will make your life as meaningful as never having been born – and you the perfect cog in the system of rejected lives and mutual exploitation for no one’s purposes in particular.
1. Mistake Relief With Pleasure
This is where it all starts. There is always some pain or threat to avoid – but there isn’t necessary any innate desire to follow and thus to gain genuine satisfaction. So you keep avoiding the negative (fear, threats, social shunning, angry spouses, family disapproval, etc.) and neglect to figure out your own desires, let alone going after them.
It happens in small things, like sex. When ladies in general are so keen on approval, they learn to equate the relief from social pressure and gratefulness for his approval with actual pleasure coming from actual sex with him. So the day after the wedding amount of sex immediately declines. When relief from social pressure to marry is gone – what are these ladies supposed to spread their legs for? For some, gratefulness lingers, so the full decline in the amount of marital sex and satisfaction only occurs by the end of the first year. And even the remainder can often be put down to desperate babymaking – to get this sex thing over and done with. For good.
Mommy blogs are teaming with scary self-justifications starting with “I love my husband but...” and ending with the expression of disdain for sex, feeling it to be humiliating and degrading, and themselves objectified. But the one who objectified you is you. And you also objectified the guy who was simply used to play the role of the husband – maybe you never even loved him for himself. And chances are you still don’t realize it – it is not in your interest. So if you feel that he is using you as sexual outlet and your libido doesn’t match (bruhaha) it is because you are using him as a tool for your coveted status as wife. You had to get marriage – and you got it. Marriage. Not love, not happiness, not a satisfying life. Those are independent variables. Marriage is what you got.
This is why sex feels like shit after the wedding because relief from social pressure and gratitude for approval are over. And because you have objectified yourself the day you started dating with a purpose. Do yourself a favour and don’t make a baby to fix things. That is the betrayal of three people to cement yourself in a place you won’t want to be. And it absolutely never works. Never. This is official science.
But the consequences of pursuing relief rather than your own agenda seep into other parts of your life as well.
When you pursue relief you will disregard your inner drive, you will simply forget how innate intentions even feel. And the world around you will learn that you can be whipped by threatening you with disapproval and anger. So they will be constantly disapproving and angry to nudge you – and you will be constantly appeasing them. The sad truth is that you are becoming each other’s tools – while no one wants or does anything. No need to be born for that, just saying.
It tells a lot about you what motivates your actions: the things that threaten you (malevolence) – or the things that attract you (appeal). Whichever you go for will multiply in your life. Chances are, averting the threat will beat going for your heart’s desire in your pre-thinking decision making process. So you are essentially asking to be threatened again the next time they want something out of you. Your world will end up full of threats and malevolence – and void of things that deserve your efforts.
Not the world’s fault – those things and people exist.
2. Confuse Love With Dependence
Dependence is a tricky word. You think that only the weaker one depends – and the other one has freedom – but in real life strength and weakness are multi-faceted and dependence is mutual. You depend (cannot leave) when your spouse makes the money, but you also depend (cannot leave) when there would be a shit storm if you did. Either way, you cannot leave. And when there is no way out – your mind starts to change to make you feel comfortable about the unchangeable. (Let’s hope it really is.)
You can see it happening everywhere. This is why ladies start their no-sex-in-marriage posts with “I love my husband but…” and end their hate-being-a-parent posts with the mandatory “...but I love my children“. These are telltale signs for anyone who is not invested in role playing but they can’t seem to read themselves. Entering one-size-fit-all roles, without insufficient information, full of falsehoods about how it works, and making no choices always suck. And the justification is always the same.
So you navigate yourself into an unpleasant corner in life but keep reminding yourself that “this is love” and “this is life” – giving both of those things a bad name. If you squint over that dinner table and look at your grumpy, bitter spouse from a certain angle that must be love what you feel. This is what you were supposed to achieve, right? One item of opposite sex human to spend rest of life with – and it’s achieved. So it also must be happiness. It must be because you cannot leave. And why would you, anyway? It’s only the rest of your life, no one cares about it. You certainly didn’t care about it enough to give it some thought while you still could.
But sometimes, when they are not speaking to you, or when you focus on the money they bring home – you totally feel gratitude and relief. There are comfortable things in this arrangement and you choose to focus on that. This must be love. You Stockholm syndrome yourself into redefining your dependence as love and relief as a life worth living. And you do it with ease because you are so good at lying to yourself.
3. Learn To Lie To Yourself
Strictly speaking, lying to yourself is also at the core of the first two points.
You may not be able to change your environment (or at least that’s what you keep telling yourself because it sounds better than you’re lazy to even try) but do not despair. You can always change your mind about it.
People are spectacularly bad at realizing whether they enjoy or hate something. There are so many taboos as to how you’re supposed to feel that you can hardly have time to think for yourself from all that received wisdom. People confidently report being the happiest at home with their families – whereas actual stress hormone levels indicate that they are the most stressed out under the pressure of family, demands, resentment, noise, and not having a moment alone for rest of life.
Women are still mortified by how hard motherhood is – despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. But they choose to remember only those mandatory last words of every single mommy post ever written – about how it’s worth it. And then they realize that … those other women were also just using a lick of paint to cover their guilt for the thought crime of feeling that a sucky thing (motherhood) sucks? No. They think they are wrong to feel that it sucks and that the blogger was actually honest. So they write their own posts.
We are conditioned to swallow justification after justification, social dogma after social dogma – and believe them over our own eyes and our actual feelings. Couples who don’t admit that love is over create a loveless mud instead of a life, quickly make a baby and distract themselves with a wedding – and surprisingly enough still can’t love again. The pattern is so predictable there’s no need to be born for to find out.
Some argue that without these beliefs they would not function – and they’re right. You need to swallow dogma after dogma to keep you running despite all the falsehood and false assumptions you’d already unthinkingly internalized. So you announce your feelings and opinions to be wrong – and convince yourself that approval is pleasure. And you convince yourself that whatever you must live with is love – and pass this wonderful sentiment down to your kids. The same way you received it.
If, on the other hand, you refuse to remind yourself that family is supposed to be love there’s no need to equate home hell with love, resentment and self-suppression with life. And you don’t need priests to keep telling you that you did the right thing – rejecting love and life in favour of The Program. And you won’t condone the sanctimonious people who make sure to ruin our lives if we resist them.
If you never learn to lie to yourself – you will be much harder to lie to. Not just in your private life, but everywhere.
If your thinking processes are not primed to justify going for the least resistance (see all the above) but to see the world as it is – or at least how you actually feel about things – you won’t need any of the social dogma. It will be harder to take you for an idiot. You won’t believe things that are obviously aimed at making you serve someone else. Just imagine if people believed their eyes over fancy narratives that are comforting but false at every turn – and the keep hearing it from everyone. So it must be true. Like the sheer expectation of lifelong monogamy used to be that only made 99.9% of people miserable – but they were dismissed as doing it wrong.
If you don’t need justification to stay in the mud you won’t eagerly gobble up whatever you’re supposed to think and believe, but take the hard but rewarding route and create it to yourself. It’s never too late. The rest of your life is still ahead of you and worth saving. Not for them – for yourself.
Featured image: Kolmanskop