Solve Problems; Be Happy
Manson's idea of "solve problems; be happy," is a concept that leaves us readers to present the usual, wet-rag-cliche, "easier said than done," until it's no longer a wrung-out towel but rather just strings of fabric left in the turnaround of aggressive squeezing.
As cliche as the saying is, it's often true. How we go about un-truthing this truth has yet to be discussed, but Manson presents two problems that halt happiness progress- i.e. the 'solving' of our problems.
"Some people deny that their problems exist in the first place. And because they deny reality, they must constantly delude or distract themselves from reality. This may make them feel good in the short term, but it lends to a life of insecurity, neuroticism, and emotional repression."
2. Victim Mentality
"Some choose to believe that there is nothing they can do to solve their problems, even when they in fact could. Victims seek to blame others for their problems or blame outside circumstances. This may make them feel better in the short term, but it leads to a life of anger, helplessness, and despair."
Each gives a "temporary high" that- if left unchecked- becomes addicting. It's this addiction that makes rewiring the brain that much harder to rewire (as is the goal).
I'm either of the two in times of frustration. I slip into victimization when I yell out towards the sky, "why can't things ever be easy?" as if the divine were actually listening (when in reality(most probably), I'm heard solely by my concerned neighbors) and I cradle denial when I hide away in my room, listening to ASMR, trying to ignore the problems at hand and restore my inner peace.
Initial reactions, I suppose. But there's a shift in mindset when we look closely at the reality that is our lives. A mindset from victim of circumstance, to victim of self-blame- I'm unsure if this shift is any better.
Like water in a tea kettle that is very suddenly boiling, my mouth attacks the closest thing in an attempt to release frustration when I, too, hit my boiling point. When stress after stress isn't resolved and weighs down on my being, wears down my patience, until I can't keep quiet any longer and every bit of held back anger is released through loud words directed at the plastic juice bottle or the door I slam, or the toys I keep stepping on- that quick moment where everything is both immediately freeing and immediately regretful- I am reminded of this huge fault of mine. I can't help but wonder, "why?"
Why am I not better than this?
That question could be answered a number of ways. If you're in denial, you have no fault, and wouldn't ask this question in the first place. If you're a victim, perhaps you blame it on your upbringing, on the people that are causing you stress. But our problems are often created from circumstances we brought upon ourselves through our life choices. Yes, perhaps there is validity in saying that I'm passive-aggressive because my mother was- a learned habit- but it wasn't really her fault. She was doing the best she could.
I can change this part of me.
What would help ease my frustrations?
A difference in mindset.
It's the difference between "my son's screaming just to scream" to "what is my son trying to tell me? What is it that I'm not understanding?"
Looking at a problem as a solvable issue- and as Manson agitates, one you don't deny or blame others for- where you face it head-on and resolve it, will further your understanding of how best to deal with similar instances in the future.
Your problems and frustrations will become manageable. And really, what more can we ask for- when the truth of the matter is that there will always be problems to solve?