“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.” – David Foster Wallace
One of the most important rules of life is that we can never fully understand another person’s reality. Something always gets lost in the translation. I often say that one man’s floor is another man’s ceiling. We are all different. Unique.
That being said, it seems to me that being caught in certain fantasies, we never realize that men will always expend more energy to run away from what they fear than they do to achieve something they want.
It’s not money that the rich are after, but being at a close distance from poverty. It is not love that we are after, but the opposite of loneliness. It is not happiness that we want, but rather we’d like to not feel sad.
The more something terrifies you, the more energy you’ll put into reaching the opposite.
Of course, as it happens in life, this journey will change you. It will change your beliefs, your reality, your behavior. It will change what you do, how you do it, and how much time you devote to it.
Most successful people tell about a certain moment when they just “didn’t want to feel like that anymore.” It’s usually about hitting rock bottom. It’s about reaching the bottom of the abyss, with its many layers of fear, and staring up at the only source of light and deciding that you’d better die trying to fly than crawl through life.
But here’s the irony: life can be defined by a series of opposites. People can too. But we often forget that opposites can inhabit the same body, the same space, the same time. What I mean by this? That you can be happy and sad at the same time. You can be rich and poor too. You can have money, but have poor health, poor self-esteem…
Because there are some things we don’t fight and get. Some things, we become.
Life is all a bunch of opposites. You have to accept them all. Failure to do so will make life black and white and rob you of your ability to fully be alive.