Dealing With People Who Suffer
Discovering what happiness and what suffering actually is reveals so much about not only what we are doing right but what we are doing wrong as well. The realisation opens up a great understanding of how and why we do things especially those things we don't realise on the face of it. This realisation is also the case when it comes to explaining the behaviours of others around us. This is not always a good thing and in quite a few cases it can be utterly disheartening. This factor is perhaps one of the biggest examples of why ignorance might indeed be bliss. Instead, we see the destructive behaviour of people we care about.
First off, how can we be so sure we understand why people are doing things especially when it is most harmful to them? The answer is that when we understand the meaning of happiness (internal, reliant on nothing or no one achieved only after addressing negative thoughts in one's mind etc.) we can pick up red flags much easier. Often it is the more obscure clues that turn out to be the most revealing. Once we know what happiness is we can know what suffering is (feeling dependent on other people for happiness, driven by thoughts and not by logic, prey to hormones etc.) and we can spot if someone is unwillingly or unknowingly suffering in life. These people think achieving something is what will make them happy as if that's the promised land unaware that in pursuing this they are unwittingly setting themselves up for suffering. If you are trying to achieve something to make you happy it means that you are obviously not happy until you get there. And when you get there you will be stressed about losing it. The suffering doesn't end, it only changes.
As people who have woken up to the world, to feelings, to logic and want to live free and happy rather than stressed and continuously chasing a shadow it is hard to watch others walk happily into the storm that will overpower them. It might take a week, a month, a year, a decade but eventually you know that suffering; that ultimate suffering is coming. What form it takes is what worries us; will it be a crushing realisation? Will it be an amicable revelation? Will it simply push the person into running towards another form of suffering in another direction? We can't possibly know but we do know it will happen.
The worst thing is that no matter what sense we might try to talk them into, no matter the alternatives we might show, no matter the explanation and the attempts we can make to show them the light they will most likely march on into the dark as long as it is familiar, easier, more short term with a feel-good factor just around the corner. There will be nothing we can do for these people we care about. The problem with offering help is that it is useless if people don't ask for it. They are blind and no matter the sight we offer they will mostly not accept it. Why? It would show that they are wrong and everything they thought was normal and orderly is deeply flawed. Some people can't take that, some people won't; as if realisation and revelation ever comes easy to someone! It doesn't!
So how do we explain it? Following on from a recent article about discipline and how that helps us control our minds and helps us no longer become prey to what makes us suffer we can see that very often the people, friends, loved ones, relatives we see who are sleepwalking their ways into suffering have little general discipline in their lives. I bet you might be able to find this out. If you want to help someone, help them improve their discipline; to verying degrees of approaches. In the more extreme circumstances you might even have to for-go the softly softly approach in favour of being more direct. Doing this will help the person start the process of realisation for them without doing the thinking for them.
As a little aside it is always the quieter ones that need the most help. Those willing to speak, especialy to speak their mind are often the most ready to change though it might not seem it. Those who are quiet are so because they don't want to reveal their thought patterns for fear of being contradicted and thus are least willing to be revealed an alternative even if it will help their lives unimaginably.
Finally and most distressingly of all there will be times, and they will happen, when someone you know and care for will not accept help to the point where they force you in some way to stand down either through cutting off communication or simply through an action that forces you and your desire to help them achieve happiness away. How this happens can be completely out of the blue and is the eternal nightmare of people who try to fundementally help an individual. You have to be ready for it even if when it happens it can be quite devastating for you as well. These individuals who push you away and engulf themselves in what is obviously setting themselves up for inevitable suffering are those who have decided to fundementally throw away their potential, their self-respect (not to be confused with self-worth which is different and fake) and their desire to be truly happy. This might seem heartless but in the end there are some times when people are at one time or another beyond help. When this happens you simply have to let go no matter what you might feel for this person. From personal experience this is one of the hardest things in life to do; but at some point it has to happen. I'm sorry, some people are just too far gone and you will have to just watch...if you are strong enough to do so...as they set themselves up for a fall so great they might not be able to recover fully from it.
Sometimes it is hard to help people avoid suffering and to help them lead truly happy lives. We are fighting against an in-built system that is designed for us to fail whether they are hormones, the media, our friends, our family, Disney and so on. But to those who are reading who have woken up to the truth about happiness and what we really want in life i ask you to not give up. Keep trying no matter who might push you away or resist to the point of extremes. To those who are reading who have yet to wake up; listen and be open to having your mind changed.