The illusion that we can wrest happiness out of life by changing our circumstances drives us in ways that draw us deeper into our problems. The more we strive to gain control, the more isolated we become. As we redouble our efforts, we cross boundaries with others that we should not. The stories we tell ourselves to explain our lack of success are unfair to those around us. Eventually, we internalize our failure to find happiness, and we begin to question our worth. Our relationships deteriorate. We find ourselves on the outside looking in wondering how things went so wrong.
As dysfunction sets in, we look for an escape. Here are some of the ways that we have tried:
- Trying to control those around us
- People pleasing
- Cheating on our partners
- Binging on television
- Obsessing over politics and social issues
- Obsession over pornography
- Spending to feel better
The list can be extended indefinitely. All of these hedonistic cures for dissatisfaction are like putting bandaids on deep wounds that require stitches.