It can be delightful.  It can be miserable.  Sometimes life does hand one a stack of difficulties that one has done absolutely nothing to bring about.  Trying for the best way to handle our unearned troubles can be the only thing that we can do.  However, often people increase the sadness that life may have dealt because of unconscious mechanisms that they unwittingly have been taught by the unhappy, unaware people who influenced their life's direction and reactions.

Sometimes a world's misery is increased by having a psychologically ignorant, insensitive leader in a position of power, one who may be unaware that he or she possesses hostility towards life, intelligence, freedom of choice, sensuality, and ability to comfortably enjoy living.  Such an inadequate leaders may be a parent, or a political or religious leader who needs to spread their disguised personal hatred as if it came from intention of so-called high purpose.  No person, or nation, is immune to individuals who use their position of power to cause misery.

Revenge is often cited as an excuse for inflicting pain upon innocents who are blamed for the supposed imagined wrongs of their gender, ethnicity, genetic features, or harmless expression of belief that the one or ones in power do not agree with.

Many have suffered because a parent or leader has undeservedly and irrationally blamed them for his or her lacks.  Children grow up feeling that they are bad because those who raised them acted negatively towards them.  Children when young may view parents, teachers, and other authorities almost like deities who supposedly would not have acted so badly towards them if they had been "good".  The supposed "good" may mean not doing anything that the authority does not like even if that dislike is irrational.  Children may try to justify the bad treatment that they are receiving because doing such allows them to maintain a necessary illusion that they are not alone, that they actually have a parent.  If they perceive that their parent is acting irrationally towards them they may be flooded with a fear of being abandoned, and their need then for security may require that they believe the parent is acting lovingly.  These thoughts may set off a conflict within them that causes them to denigrate themselves, and makes them need to falsely believe they could not possibly be correct about their parent's irrationality.  They may need to develop a sense of inferiority least they believe their actually adequate judgment.  It is often too uncomfortable for a child to accept that their judgment is better than their parents.  Such inner conflict may sometimes result in suicide or other self-destructive behavior as a disguised expression of their anger at themselves and their parent.  People often try to solve many unhappy feelings with on act or one pattern of acting.

Some people will follow a leader whose title, manner or position givens them a make-believe mantle of righteousness.  Saying things firmly and ardently to people who are frightened, confused, and feeling helpless can be used by some to create an illusion that the parent-leader or authority actually knows what they are doing.  Many of us are unable to clearly perceive the knowledge that we need in order to avoid increasing the effects of the disasters that chance has inflicted upon us.  We may unconsciously have had to suppress our natural intelligence, or even think that we are dumb, because we do not want to accept what our innate intelligence may be making us able to perceive.  If we see clearly we may have to change our way of living, indeed; we may want to change our way of living, even if this change alienates us from those that we have been taught to revere.  For example, many stay in a bad marriage because of an illusion that it is good for the children or because we have been taught that institutions are more important then people.  Staying in a bad situation may teach our children that marriage, indeed life, can only be bad, or that security may only be purchased for the price of giving up our being what we need to be, even if becoming ourself may be harming no one.  This nation's wondrous ethic of having the right to pursue happiness ethically requires that we do so the consideration of the rights of others to be themselves and to pursue life as they see it when that pursuit does not harm themselves or others.

If one cannot decide what they need or want it is possible that the connections needed to clear their thinking may have to be sought with the assistance of an insight oriented psychotherapy that attempts to help one not confuse their fear with reality.  Clarifying our thoughts, feelings and reasons for action in a manner that allows us to connect our needs realistically may help us reduce anxiety, psychological depression, and fear enough to allow ourself a better life if such is possible.  Indeed, thinking that a better, more satisfying life is not possible may be our unconscious way of keeping ourself frozen in a miserable state.

Insight oriented psychotherapy may allow us to tap our power to act rationally and ethically upon our needs.

Drs. Lehrer
Associates in Psychotherapy, P.A.
Scotch Plains, NJ