For a person who finds the term, “self-awareness” hard to understand, the phrase “one for the books” really brings to mind a book written by Robert Dallek. The book is called, “The Paradox of Choice” and is a very engaging read.
The paradox of choice is what Dallek calls, “a puzzle of the soul.” Think about it. Imagine a very complicated problem that you can’t solve. You can’t solve it until you make your first choice. It seems like a paradox because you can’t choose to solve it until you make your first choice. But you can choose to not solve it. And so you can choose to solve it and you can choose not to solve it.
You can also choose to solve it and not solve it. You can actually solve your problem, but you will not solve your problem. You are solving the problem, but you are not solving the problem. The paradox of choice is what Dallek refers to as, a paradox of the soul.
The problem is that we all know in our heart of hearts that we can choose to not fix our problems, but we never, ever feel free to actually do it. This is because once we’ve chosen a problem to solve, we automatically feel like our problem is solved. It’s only when we’re faced with a problem that we realize we’ve not actually solved the problem that we chose to solve.
The problem is that we don’t feel free to actually solve our problems. We can convince ourselves that we have a problem but are not actively trying to fix it, but the truth is, we feel completely stifled by the problem and its consequences.
Like most of us, I feel a little stifled by my problems, but more often than not I find that I feel stifled by my problems. I feel like Ive blocked myself from moving forward in life and Ive blocked myself from finding the life I want to be living. The problem is that Ive blocked myself from doing anything about the situation. Ive blocked myself from doing anything about my life. Ive blocked myself from feeling fulfilled.
It’s like a stifled cough. You feel completely stifled until you are able to cough it out. Like when you’re stifled by pain, you’ll cough it out and feel that relief. But if you’re stifled by a problem, you’ll feel completely stifled for days until you can overcome the pain.
People who aren’t blocked by their lives are usually those who are blocked by their thoughts. We often try to block our thoughts by saying that we don’t want to be this way, I don’t want to get married, I don’t want to have kids, I don’t really care if I’m happy or not. These thoughts are the most difficult thoughts to block because they are the thoughts that bring you to your knees.
I recently watched a video on TED Talks that showed the difference between people whose minds were filled with thoughts full of hate and who were filled with hate but who were not having any thoughts at all. The difference between the two is that the first one had a clear picture of what their problem was and was not even trying to work on it, and was going to take care of it. And the second one was not even aware that they were having a problem.
My point is that when we feel like we’re in a time loop then we’re not in a time loop, we’re not even having time at all. If our thoughts are filled with hate, we’re not even thinking about hate. We’re just having these thoughts (with no control and no understanding of what they mean) and we’re going to continue to have these feelings. Now our minds may be filled with hate, but we’re still not having any thoughts at all.