There is a part of one’s self who is dissatisfied with life not being completely blissful and peaceful all the time. Whenever you’re happy, it’s that little voice that pops up and says, “Yeah, but…”
Imagine this dissatisfied side of you as a distinct individual. What are they like? Having this individual in your head can be why it’s so hard to be thankful for anything, because this side of one’s self speaks up and adds in why we shouldn’t be thankful. To Dissatisfaction, nothing is ever good enough, except the goal.
The goal could be anything – such as total perfection and bliss and peace. Anything less than that is not good enough.
But while you might be asking “how do I get this side of myself OUT of my head?”, you are forgetting that this side of you has value. It is a PART of you. You don’t need to deny or attack your dissatisfied self. Just know why that side of you feels as it does. You don’t need to correct it – just recognize its reasons for thinking as it does, without attacking it. Otherwise it will continue to try and hide from your awareness, in the same way that we tend to hide our more extreme emotions from people we don’t think will understand. It doesn’t want your misunderstanding mind to see what it’s up to.
Put your Positivity Aside
So how do you work with a person who is extremely negative about every imperfection in life? Because that is essentially what you need to do – YOU are that person, but you are also the one who can work with yourself.
Just think of how you feel when someone else around you starts talking negatively about everything. Don’t you feel disturbed, and want to show them the positives in life?
Positivity is nice and all, but it will never dissolve your dissatisfaction’s negativity.
The only thing that works is to give your Dissatisfaction true understanding and kindness. Stop butting in its business, trying to tell it how to look at life! Your Dissatisfaction is capable of feeling gratitude, but only if someone treats him in a way he deems worth being truly grateful for.
So can you live with another person’s negativity without feeling the need to change or correct them? Are you willing to give understanding to someone with an insufferable, grim, dark personality?
Even if someone is in a miserable mood, doesn’t make it wrong. Trying to change their outlook on life at that moment is tantamount to control. And do YOU like to be controlled? No, didn’t think so. So why control and correct yourself, when you can understand instead?
Choose the Path that Energizes You
The other trouble with Dissatisfaction is that he can be so darn disapproving of everybody. He looks for flaws – with life, with other people, and with YOU. So, if you understand where your own feelings of dissatisfaction come from, you can choose not to let those feelings guide your actions.
What does that feel like? Say you come across a side of yourself, or someone else, who has a problem. Rather than treating them as an unsightly stain, you can care for them and give them patience and understanding, even if your Dissatisfaction doesn’t want to.
That’s the thing: You can do things your own Dissatisfaction disapproves of. You can hear what your negativity has to say, and still disagree with it and act according to what feels right.
If you let your disapproval dictate what you do, I can assure you what you do won’t feel right. It just doesn’t respect your spirit!
For instance, I don’t think for anyone, criticizing imperfect people is a calling. While you’re criticizing, you feel bad! You don’t just feel negativity towards others, but you feel negative on the inside. To really feel enthused about life, to really move in a direction that respects your spirit, you need to be willing to stand up to your dissatisfaction when it takes things too far.
Yeah, you might still have to deal with its glowering presence inside yourself, but, so what? So you fight with it a little sometimes. Your spirit is worth that much trouble, right? And hey, maybe your dissatisfaction has important things to say sometimes. But your kindness, thankfulness, joy, and love have important things to say, too. When making decisions, just taking into consideration what various sides of you have to say can be enough. Just, please, don’t let them rip each other’s throats out just because they disagree. Please. Every side of you has the right to speak.
Move beyond your Dissatisfaction
The following is fun little exercise you can do to get past your own disapproval of something in life. Not to be positive about it, but simply to return from disapproving thoughts, back to what feels right.
- Think of something about your life your are dissatisfied with. What bothers you about it? Write this down.
- How do you think that area of your life should be? Imagine the ideal and write it down.
- Then, given how things are and what you want, ask yourself, “What can I do about it?” Write down your ideas.
- Now, reflect on the prospect of doing these things – notice what feelings come up. These feelings in mind, ask yourself, “Out of ALL possible actions (not just the ones you wrote down), what feels right to me at this time?” Let your ideas come from your feelings – what feels right?
- Compare your list of what feels right to the list of ideas on what to do about the area of life you are dissatisfied with. There might be some major differences. (For example, you might want to solve not making as much money as you should be by working hard, but what feels right is to just relax and recenter yourself.)
- Remember now that you do not have to solve the thing you are dissatisfied about immediately. You CAN choose to do what feels right to you. And heck, if those two line up, maybe the time is right for you to do something about the problem!
- Ask yourself what you’d have to be willing to live with, in order for you to choose what feels right. Write this down.
- Now decide what you’ll do. You could do nothing. You could try to desperately follow your own ideal, even if it makes you feel depressed. Or you could do what feels right. It’s up to you.
Now you have a taste of what making choices in the face of dissatisfaction means. It means being willing to live with life how it is, sometimes, in order to choose how to live life in a way that feels right. You CAN live with unsolved problems all around you in life and still feel good! It’s not that you don’t want to solve them, it’s just that you want to enjoy the journey wherever you are along it.
Severus Snape from Harry Potter is a great example of this inner Dissatisfaction character. He’s generally disapproving of everyone, but once you know why, it’s clear why he’s no villain. Never read Harry Potter? Remedy this by clicking here.
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay goes deeply into the above subject, and is a great resource on methods for healing your life emotionally, AND physically.
Learning to Comfort a Person who Feels Sad
Becoming At Peace with Your Own Path
Find Your Unconditional Kindness, Feel Self-Acceptance
The Malcontents (Dissatisfaction seems to be their leader)