To be fair, as a human who lives in the present, how are we supposed to reverse engineer our millions of years of biological purpose and evolution, and then do so?
However, the reality of life is that it works the opposite way. Life works a certain way, and therefore we work that way. It’s really that simple. And that requires respect of the natural order.
We need to respect life for what it is. Go with it, and not fight it.
We egotistical humans need less dissonance between the way we think things should work and the way it actually does.
We ask why.
Why does the universe exist? Why do we exist? What is our purpose? Why do we struggle? Why do we need to struggle? Why do we need to work? Why do we need to be obsessed over a vision and a purpose? Why do we need to do what we love? Why do we compete? What is sexuality and how does it affect me? Why do we need things? What is money and why do we need it? Why is my life the way it is? Etc
We expect that the answers to these questions go in a certain direction.
Healthy: Universe exists —> planet exists —> we exist —> I exist —> I am the way I am – > I have a purpose —> all those Why’s exist
That makes sense. It’s a fairly healthy way of accepting and living.
The issue stems when our egotism takes over, and flips those arrows around.
That order becomes (it’s the same items as above, just in reverse and a lot more dark – I’ll explain why below):
Unhealthy: Why do we exist? —> what is my purpose? —> why do I exist? —> what is this thing we call humanity? What is the purpose of humanity? —> why does Earth exist? —> what is the universe? —> what’s the point of it all?
Somehow that’s stressful and painful and depressing to read. When read that way, it suddenly sounds deserving. As if life isn’t fair.
Isn’t that incredible? Our EGOS are to blame for attempting to reverse the timeline of these events to feel unfair and deserving. It’s almost as if our existence forgets that it’s built on billions of years of evolution and begins to question what we do and why.
The takeaway from this is to treat things with respect and understand that there’s so much out of our control and knowledge and understanding. It’s to appreciate that our egos are doing the talking and that these triggers will and have existed far longer than we do.
This applies on a (slightly) more micro level as well. [sorry, I speak and think on the Macro more than is probably healthy]
Healthy: We exist —> I exist —> I live —> I need shelter —> I must find a purpose —> I have a family and friends —> I get a job to support myself and them —> I want to add value to society —> I want to do what I love
Versus: unhealthy, ego talking:
I wish I could just do what I love, and my friends are doing better than me so I’m failing —> if I don’t add value to society something is wrong —> I need a job to support myself and my family —> I must create a family —> why don’t I have a purpose in life? —> why do I need to work so hard just to have shelter? —> what’s the point of life? —> why do we exist?
You can see now how depression and anxiety works. It speaks with ego first, and a natural attempt to understand.
Healthy goes with the flow. Depression and anxiety fights the flow.
Going with the flow means accepting that we live therefore we are. And that to an extent we must trust society’s goals for us as if they are imposed on each of us, and function and have a purpose and dream and fight for something bigger than ourselves. To turn off our egos, and do what we need to do to accept what the cards of life are giving us. To make the most of life, rather than accept the least.
To me, this perspective of reversing the arrows of understanding helped me grasp that so much is out of my hands. Things are simply and beautifully the way they are. And it’s helped me focus on what really matters. What really matters to me is caring for myself and others, love and empathy and being who I am, creating, picking a goal and fighting for it, adding value to society, being myself, and having fun.
Because doing what we love and being who we are and helping others without questioning is what humans have been made to do. It’s what makes humanity so amazing.