I have gone through a lot of anger, hate, and sadness lately because I felt frustrated by getting no sexual pleasure, no sexual satisfaction. On many days of my current 100-day sexual abstinence challenge, I had to fiercely fight temptation, and my willpower victories typically left me with a feeling of emptiness rather than pride.
Now I know why!
I tend to tell myself, “Anger, hate, sadness, and frustration are what I have to experience. After all, sex is a basic biological need of every human being. I am currently not living in accordance with nature because I am suppressing my sex drive, so I must feel anger, hate, sadness, and frustration. It is normal and natural to feel that. In fact, it is a sign of my mental health! For if I did not feel anger, hate, sadness, and frustration while suppressing my sex drive, I would just be suppressing these emotions.”
Now I realized, however, that this is only a belief, a story I am telling myself. And by telling myself that story, I choose anger, hate, sadness, and frustration. My negative emotions are my own choices. I am attached to them because I am attached to my belief, my story. I am attached to the experiences I tell myself I should have. I am attached to my expectations! This is the power of the human mind: if it expects certain emotions, the body works hard to produce them.
My principle is: live in harmony with nature! But this is just a story, an expectation that living in harmony with nature is the key to a good life. It is not a truth, no matter how many ancient sages have taught it. And what is “nature” anyway? A theory, a belief, a story, and a set of expectations.
My sexual asceticism is a source of suffering only because I actively choose and attach myself to negative emotions by telling myself that they are natural and normal, given my sexual austerity. I keep telling myself that my anger, hate, sadness, and frustration are good, are right in my situation. They are what I am supposed to feel when I do not masturbate and when I do not have sex for such a long time. I need the anger, the hate, the sadness, and the frustration to feel human, to feel my “nature,” so I better accept them!
Now I have decided to quit this insanity. Actually, I did so three days ago and I have been feeling happy ever since. All my emptiness has turned into bliss—just by letting go of the belief that in order to live a good life, I must live in harmony with my biological human nature, including its sexual essence. As I detached from that story, I also detached from my anger, hate, sadness, and frustration.
This is what I learned: Every belief, every story I tell myself comes along with expectations of what experiences I ought to have. If I then make these experiences, I attach myself to them because they seem natural and true and right. But they aren’t! The only thing that is true and right is the raw, storyless, unjudged experience of the present moment. To choose this experience is to choose freedom.
If men were born free, they would, so long as they remained free, form no conception of good and evil. (Spinoza)
Whenever we say that what we experience is good or bad, natural or degenerate, expected or weird, appropriate or inappropriate, that is, whenever we judge our experience based on our beliefs, stories, principles, and values,—we do not experience true freedom.
Now reflect on yourself: what beliefs, what stories do you tell yourself to choose fear, anger, or sadness?
Maybe you tell yourself that you need to be sad because your current circumstances are objectively correlated with sadness? Maybe you tell yourself that you need to be angry because anger is what a dominant alpha male would express in this situation? Maybe you tell yourself that you need to be fearful because you can only grow by having fear and facing it? None of these beliefs will lead you to mindcoolness if you seek shelter in negative emotions as you miss the reality of the present moment.
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- The Path to Mindcoolness #1
- How to Disengage Your Mind from Anxiety
- Do You Choose Anger Because You Lack Confidence?
- MBSR Mindfulness Challenge – Part 1 [Introduction]
- Why Every Life Philosophy Is A “Feel Good” Philosophy