Essay: Hey, You


Feeling ill at ease again? That's terrible. It really puzzles me why it's so hard for you to just sit still without thinking anything bad, without feeling doomed. Have you ever noticed your fingers and toes twitching all the time? I do understand it's not so much your choice. But just how do you plan to get out of that almost constant state you're in. 

I'm sorry; I know it's insensitive of me to tell you how to feel. After all, as you always say, your neurochemicals or neurotransmitters have taken you hostage. That sounds crazy but I get it. I know how much you want to rein in those invisible stuff within your body controlling your feelings, how badly you wish you had a different genetic makeup. Genes, you say, have something to do with your level of happiness right now, with why you often find yourself paralyzed by dark thoughts and feelings. That sounds messed up, really. You seem to be blaming anything for your messed-upness. You say, it's your ego, your inability to transcend your ego. The ego is the enemy. The ego that thinks it's larger than the universe. And then it's brain chemicals and hormones. And then your genetic makeup. Where did you read that again, that happiness-is-fifty-percent-genetic thingy?

If you ask, you're simply being too weak right now. You will lose in the game of natural selection, my friend. Others will outlive you. With cortisol flooding your system, you will get sick sooner and die ahead of your more psychologically stable (hence, more fit) friends. But you're not afraid of dying right? Everyone dies, after all. That person who seems high on something every day will die (while being high on something, possibly). Those super-achiever friends of yours who are getting all the good attention, who are winning in the game of social validation, they will die like you, and a hundred years from now - heck, a million years from now nobody may know they ever existed. Are humans still even around a million years from now? (I like to think that humans will have become birdlike or fishlike creatures by then, or have settled in a faraway planet reachable from dead Earth via a wormhole near Saturn). The plants or viruses that may still be around would never know. Do they even have memories other than cellular instincts?

Okay, enough of pessimism. (Do not infect me!) Listen, I want you to feel better. I don't want you thinking about human extinction all the time. I want your momentary feelings of joy and excitement to last longer than usual. I don't want you losing friends and loved ones because you are too sad, too afraid, too weird, too out of this world. I cannot alter your biological makeup. I cannot dictate your nervous system how to behave. But I want you to do this: Do not take life too seriously. Okay, that's cliche. But try it. Keep telling yourself, "My life is not serious. It's a loooooong comedy film." Then imagine everybody around you - friends, family, stressors - walking around with the snout of a pig or the trunk of an elephant. 

I am not a psychiatrist or whatever, so you may actually ignore what I just told you. But allow me to give you another piece of advice. Maybe this one is better: Hang on to romance. You know, the stars, sunshine, magic, dreams, true love. Doesn't merely saying those words feel good? But I think the best thing I can do for you - and this is something I know I am very capable of doing - is simply to love you. Unconditionally. Why don't you try loving me back? With all your heart. Maybe that will make you feel better.

Written by Rebelander Basilan

Photo credits: Pixabay

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