Shameless Pleasures

April 27, 2015

 

It is so simple!

When I arrived to this world I was not able to take care of myself. I literally couldn’t satisfy my primary needs or arrange getting my basic pleasures. Оther people did it for me. Those were my first caregivers - my parents, my family, my neighbors... They were taking care of me out of pure love. At least they said so. Well, I’d love to believe them.

 

It is so unfair!

But I’ve already grown up a while ago and learned that pleasure is not always coming for free, if ever.

Even for a baby there are some rules

  • do not scream too much if you want your mother to be happy and smile.

  • do not burp on your father's new T-shirt if you don't want him to get angry and walk away for a while...

You learn as you grow: if you want to get people’s attention, surprise them with something they would consider nice

 

Being naïve as all kids, I tried to do what adults asked me to. But they asked for more and more over the time and it soon turned out that I had to:

  • clean my room if I want to keep controlling monster’s temper…

  • do my homework if I don’t want to see my parents turn into yelling monsters…

Overall I learned my lesson:

  • if I want to feel good about myself and ensure that others like me and therefore keep taking care of me I have to be what they want me to be. 

But it was not necessarily pleasant because I wanted to be who I was and to be able to meet my needs without losing integrity.

I felt trapped. In order to get my pleasure I had to give it up.

 

I want to break free!

I figured then that I was (as well as you are) capable of satisfying my own needs without getting lost in the process of unfair trade with others.

And I tried…

And they reacted. They told me that it was shameful to be so egoistic.

 They pressed the magic blackmail button: “We did so much for you, how can you betray us?”

  • How? How did I betray you? I was just trying to do what you claimed you were teaching me all this time and always wanted me to learn.  I was trying to be happy! 

But they would immediately ask: “Who would like you if you continue doing this? Are you shameless?”

 

I remember feeling horrible about it as a teenager or even a young adult. I saw myself being far from ideal, very ungrateful, borderline disgusting.  That was painful and I had a strong desire to prove that I was good, lovable and very decent. In other words, I was trapped again. And the others sealed my cage with a seductive promise of love and care.

 

I didn't realize back then that relying totally on the care of others compromises my dignity. Just like the victim of a vampire, I started becoming more and more dependent on those who provided “free” “unconditional” care for me. (I put quote marks here because sooner or later they all have to be paid back, even if you didn’t ask for their help, even if their help was not really helpful.) And if I refused to pay they would appeal to my consciousness and guilt.

It worked until one day I said to myself: wait a minute! I know this game and its’ rules! ‘Tis stupid!

 

Let’s break the rules!

Next time when they asked me, “Are you shameless?”, I was prepared and replied with no hesitation “O yes! I am!” Suddenly I felt free to do what I wanted to. And they had nothing to say any more.

 

What then?

As one can imagine, some people stopped being my friends soon after I broke the rules. It was frightening at first and I couldn’t help but asking myself

  • Am I really a bad person?

  • Will I stay alone?

  • Who will bring me the last glass of water?

 

But after a while I started discovering my own real needs. There were not that many of them. Each one was rather easy to meet. Since I made this discovery and started practicing so to say “self-service” while satisfying my own needs, I found myself becoming more serene, happy and… open towards others. 

I also realized that what people asked for was not usually what they needed. And what they need is exactly the same with what I need. So I became curious about other people’s ways of seeking the pleasure and happiness, noticing how creative and inventive all the human beings are when it comes to this ultimately important task.  Soon it became crystal clear to me that there are three correlated reasons for which people fail during this quest.

The Shame and Guilt (that one uses, in fact, to make others to take care of his needs) are the main problem.

The fear or reluctance to recognize and admit ones’ own weaknesses and vulnerability (since they put one in an unfavourable position on the care market  - I need help desperately but can’t help you).

The total ignorance about one’s own primal needs.

 

After all 

Imagine.

You refuse to play the shame-and-guilt game.

You accept the fact of your vulnerability and stop pretending that you are a superhero.  

You discover and explore your basic needs and turn the rest of your life into a non-stop quest, searching for new ways of achieving happiness.

You engage in this quest as many people as possible because it provides you with more chances of gaining your pleasures.

Why not to start right now?

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© 2019 by Ivan Kirillov.