Giving ourselves over to life

Image: Julian Fernandes

What if, when you went to the movies, you actually believed you were living IN the scene with the axe murderer? How f*cking terrifying would that be?

I can relate. It’s why I can’t go to a super-violent slasher flick. Because I can’t remove myself from it. I get too emotionally invested in it and consumed by it. (It’s also the reason I can’t go to an Adam Sandler movie — but that’s for another post.)

Not that I get scared (well, maybe a little) — I get angry. I can’t stand the tasteless overindulgence in violence and fear. I start tying it into national problems, societal problems, and global problems. Soon, I’m caught in a vicious loop of complaining and hopelessness. Before I know it, I’ve eaten far too much popcorn (yes, I totally get it with loads of butter and salt) and have polished off a box or two of Red Vines. It’s ridiculous, really.

It’s easy to go through life this way. These thoughts and emotions we have — we think they’re our concrete reality. But if we understood — like, really understood — that they’re just thoughts, just self-constructed (yes, often ego-constructed) mental structures, we could see them for what they really are and truly give ourselves over to life. We could enjoy the grand theater of the human drama more.

When you can see life for what it is — you can give yourself over to it instead of being terrified by it.

It’s a common perception that — if we remove ourselves from emotion, we become lifeless, stoic, flat, blasé people. But it’s just not true.

Sure, we may be less prone to being swept away by emotion. But if we could really see thought for what it is, we’d find ourselves more brave, calm, and enthusiastic as we sit in our recliners and enjoy the show.

Jonas Ellison is a transformational coach and writer who helps people find their Mojo using spiritual, philosophical, and practical tools. To get his short vignettes in your inbox daily, click here.