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New Perspective

skyfox66skyfox66 Explorer

I have been dealing with a chronic illness that has yet to be diagnosed for over a year now. It get's so bad I literally cannot get out of bed for days. I mention this because I've noticed I have a different perspective on life now. I've gone through denial and depression but these days I seem to have found a kind of peace with this.

This peace I am happy to have acquired has led to people feeling like I'm suicidal, I think? Things like, I don't need a career to make lots of money so I can just acquire useless things to show off. I have stopped talking to people who I feel like are just emotional vampires and just have no compassion for others. My mother even told me that she feels like she screwed up with me because I'm so not normal and I care too much about other living beings. It's not like I let people push me around. Not anymore. It just occurred to me one day that we all eventually die so why are we all spending our lives trying to acquire things we really just cannot take with us when we die.

I feel like I've slowed down enough to see what's really important in life finally. I'm looking for alternate ways of living my life now that I can't work anymore or even do things that require a lot of physical activity. I'm learning to even ask other's for help when I need to. I'm just amazed how this new found serenity is rustling so many feathers around me that do not understand Buddhism. I would like to teach the dharma someday and I know not to push my opinions on others. So, why is it other people feel like they need to inform me I'm not normal and I need to see a therapist (even though I already have one)? It just appears to be odd to me.

karastiHozan

Comments

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Hey there!

    Indeed, it's amazing how many so willingly subscribe to the rat race that we call our lives these days. I find it difficult to live in this society, too.

    Most people don't like change, or challenge. They see your different view as a rejection of what they are doing (or in many cases have done all their lives). Don't worry about it, you are a lesson/teacher in their lives so they can see another perspective. They are afraid of learning that they are "doing it wrong." That doesn't mean something is wrong with you. Or even them. Just different people on different paths. The more you live your path with courage, the more they will see you are doing just fine. I'm not sure how old you are, I'm 41, and my mom is always terrified on my behalf. She doesn't think I live in the "real world" and am going to end up in trouble later. She is very focused on status and retirement and loves the advice of professionals who tell her what she needs to save to have a good retirement etc. I told her I'd rather die younger and live a full life that was mine and not a life spent beholden to all this other stuff. She's not really on board with that, LOL. But her fear comes from growing up in a childhood of poverty and major problems. So I understand. Sometimes knowing why people do those things they do does help us see their perspective as much as we might wish they'd see ours.

    I'm sorry to hear you are suffering with such difficulties but so appreciate you sharing! Best wishes to you.

    skyfox66
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Hello

    I am not normal. :glasses:

    However I get out of bed to do a lot of my feather rustling eg:

    • Learning
    • Work
    • Cooking, shopping, chores, caring for others
    • Wearing hats
    • etc.

    Etc keeps me very occupied.

    What is the question again? B)

    skyfox66DhammaDragon
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @skyfox66 I went through the exact same thing when I was first diagnosed with my illness. It's degenerative and incurable, so I will live with it for the rest of my life. I think the people in our lives expect and sometimes encourage us to have emotional breakdowns, not cope with it and act out in anger at the cards we've been dealt. When we take charge of our reactions and adjust to cope without losing our sanity, it makes them feel uneasy. The ironic thing is, they'd tell us to do exactly what we ARE doing if/when we acted the way they expected us to.

    I feel like I've slowed down enough to see what's really important in life finally. I'm looking for alternate ways of living my life now that I can't work anymore or even do things that require a lot of physical activity. I'm learning to even ask other's for help when I need to. I'm just amazed how this new found serenity is rustling so many feathers around me that do not understand Buddhism. I would like to teach the dharma someday and I know not to push my opinions on others. So, why is it other people feel like they need to inform me I'm not normal and I need to see a therapist (even though I already have one)? It just appears to be odd to me.

    >

    Please keep on keeping on. Your journey and dharma study is your work to do. If you ever want to PM me, feel free. You aren't "normal" in the sense that you are not leaving your life in the hands of "fate", the unknown or other people's hands. I found on the days that things got hard (and still do), that a book by a woman called Toni Bernhard is amazing. It's called How to Be Sick: A Buddhist-Inspired Guide for the Chronically Ill and Their Caregivers and it's a wonderful read. Toni is dealing with her own as yet undiagnosed, chronic illness. My copy is so dog eared and worn from reading and re-reading it. It always gives me a bit of a boost when I have my craptastic days. And the Sangha here have been, and continue to be, a great support to me.

    _ /\ _

    DhammaDragonBunks
  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    @lobster said:
    I am not normal

    Who is?
    It's reality that's not normal.
    WE are fine...

    lobsterHozan
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I knew reality was up to no good! :glasses:

    DhammaDragon
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    To me, normal doesn't even really exist. It is just a way that humans quantify the world in an attempt to look at one easy picture of how things are. It's nothing but an average which serves little purpose beyond pigeon-holing complex people so that others can claim to grasp an understanding that doesn't even really exist. Our identifying with an idea of normal just ensures so many people end up left on the side of humanity's road as we drive past them for not "being normal" while attempting to hide all the ways we are also not normal lest anyone find out.

    lobsterHozan
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    Being labeled as normal has never bothered me nor has it impaired my ability to take an interest in helping others.

  • DhammaDragonDhammaDragon Carpe Diem Recidivist Samsarist Veteran

    One of my friends is psychoanalyst, with an Oxbridge degree.
    She's on her third divorce, gets drunk every time she thinks of her third ex, has a paranoid fixation with people being honest to her -the kind of person who wants to know what you're thinking every second- and has huge -as in HUGE- self-esteem issues.
    Can someone as imperfect as any of us determine who is normal or not?

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    I used to live in Norfolk, which is on the east coast of England. There is an expression "Normal for Norfolk", or NFN for short. :p

  • TiggerTigger Toronto, Canada Veteran
    edited May 4

    Very good advice from everyone here.

    I think if you look at what's happening in the world today, it's 100% clear that it's the "others" that are not normal, hiding behind their wealth and useless objects while the use of alcohol and drugs becomes more rampant. Depression is also an issue, although I know many people on this forum have or are suffering from some sort of depression, including myself. I think people are starting to really be negatively affected by this so called rat race, leading them down the wrong paths.

    And remember @skyfox66, Siddhartha kind of went through the same thing. His family and friends thought he was crazy for wanting to live the life of an ascetic when he had so much or could acquire so much.

    I wish you peace and wellness <3

    lobsterHozan
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited May 4

    I'm as normal as the next weirdo...ask any lobster :)

    DhammaDragonHozanTigger
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