Existential Psychology

Surrender What Isn’t Serving You

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We live in a  consumer culture where the supposed route to happiness is through the accumulation of as many goods and services as possible so it’s not all that surprising that this mentality would bleed over into the more ephemeral aspects of our existence like personality traits and behaviors.

What we mean is that most of us believe that more equals better, regardless of whether this ‘more’ is a tangible desired object like a car or an intangible desired object like courage. We believe that it’s acquisition, that it’s adding to what we already have, that will lead to the desired outcome of feeling happy and fulfilled in our lives.

But the Eastern philosophical systems, specifically Yoga and Buddhism, known differently. They know that it’s just as important to shed those layers of our existence that are getting in the way of our happiness and self-actualization. We have to learn to not only seek out what we believe will serve us but also to surrender what isn’t serving us, to unburden ourselves of the various traits and behaviors that are, in one way or another, blocking our growth and self-actualization.

You can’t feel free and light when you’re weighed down by a bunch of things, tangible or intangible. You can’t feel free and light when you become addicted to this or that substance or sensation, when your behavior becomes compulsive. As far as the psyche is concerned less really is more. Less needs, less wants, less worries. The state of less is the psychic state that leads to more profound and fulfilling contact with people and the world.