These days it seems we’re no longer capable of enjoying something for what it is.
Everything from baseball to ballet gets stripped down and analyzed. As columnist Jacob Rubin writes in Slate, the facts have become far more prevalent and important than the story.
In a broader sense, we’ve taken every aspect of life and thrown it onto the autopsy table for a careful, clinical dissection. From news commentators to market analysts, everyone trying to define everything for us.
Experiences are limited and confined before they’ve even begun. We’ve got everything neatly analyzed before we’re able to even live it. Love of life is dead. No wonder so many people need antidepressants.
“Americans have a greater diversion in what’s ‘behind the music’ than in the music itself,” Rubin writes. While there’s nothing wrong with learning the mechanics of playing the violin, we mustn’t forget that the only reason for analysis is to aid us in living freer, easier lives — not in subsuming all of our experiences.
Can’t we just enjoy an experience without naming it? I challenge you to try!
Even something as seemingly black-and-white as physical pain can be experience with more richness when the labeling aspect is removed.
What if, for just a moment, before you labeled it is pain, you just experienced the sensation without thought? I know from experience that it can be done because I live with a degree of pain every day.
There certainly is a physical reality to pain that is decidedly unpleasant, but the word “pain” itself lends far more power to your experience of it than you might realize.
This kind of awareness has helped me to live a happier, more peaceful existence, and I believe it can have the same power for you, too.