Here are 5 life lessons that I’ve learned as someone who gets paid to have existential conversations every day. #1 is one of the biggest lessons that I have ever learned. You cannot fight what is true. Life is filled with pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral. As much as we love to chase the pleasant, life cannot be pleasant all the time. The people we love die. People get injured. Injustice happens. Life can be gruesome. And we cannot change reality beyond what is in our locus of control. The sooner we make peace with this, the sooner we can be at peace. #2: My deepest grief and sorrow have been my greatest teachers. Pain can cause us to focus on what truly matters which can be life changing. I have learned the most about myself and what my true purpose is through the worst experiences in my life. To know sorrow and grief allows you to fully appreciate and know joy and love without taking it for granted. #3: Believing we have control over the results of our actions is delusional. All we can control is what we do and even that is iffy at best. If we can let go of the delusion that we can control things outside of our control, we could let go and let be. #4: People see you via the filter of their own perception. No one actually fully sees anyone objectively. Therefore, everyone we meet has a version of us in their heads and probably each of the versions people have are different. So, who knows the real you? No one! And therefore, their judgment of you isn’t personal they are only judging their perception of you, not the real you. #5: When we avoid pain, we actually create more pain/suffering. Most people come to therapy to learn how to feel their emotions instead of avoiding them. Avoiding difficult emotions can get us into worse trouble than feeling them in the first place. We have all sorts of fancy defense mechanisms to avoid feeling uncomfortable. If you can learn to sit with your discomfort and pain, then you don’t have to be nearly as defended.
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