How We End Up In Misery

by Mark I Myhre on January 23, 2014


miseryAs part of your human make-up, you’re born with a digestive system, a nervous system, a circulatory system, and various other systems as well.

One of your systems, invisible to the naked eye, could be called your ‘feeling system’. Just as you were born with a digestive system, that allows you to eat food, so you were born with a system that allows you to process feelings.

But unlike your digestive system, your feeling system is wide open from day one. WIDE open. You feel everything with great intensity. Everything matters. Everything that happens to you has great impact.

In a perfect world; in a safe, loving, world; this works out great. You hit the ground running… on your way to an awesome, adventurous, life. You joyfully create and co-create in a playground of dominion.

But if you find yourself with this ‘wide-open feeling system’ in a world of domination instead of dominion… well, you can see for yourself what happens. You don’t need me to tell you what it’s like.

Think about it: from birth – if not before – you are taking in everything around you. Mostly, you’re feeling what mother feels. But there’s plenty of other stimuli too. You’re feeling more than you’re seeing and hearing. You feel everything. While you see and hear and smell and taste only a little bit of what’s there.

You feel everything. While, at the same time, your cognitive ability has yet to develop.

Can you see how this leads to enormous, life-altering problems? Even the slightest abuse cannot be consciously understood. At this point, it can only be internalized.

See, if you slap me today, as an adult, I can process what happened as, ‘you’ve got some serious issues, pal, and you need help’. But a small child can’t process what happens when he or she gets slapped. Or yelled at. Or jerked around. Or is accidently lost at the mall. Or any of a hundred other ‘minor’ incidents that a grown-up could easily deal with.

The small child must invent a story to explain what happens to them. They must invent a story. And you can bet it’s not going to be a story that speaks to the loftiness of mankind or the glory of God. Quite the contrary.

The second thing a small child must do is shut down some of that ‘feeling stuff’.

Part of the reason we start shutting down comes from the fact that we live in a world where almost every single member of society has shut down their feelings to some degree. And a hyper-sensitive child almost – if not literally – picks it up through osmosis.

“People block their feelings. I am a people. Therefore, I need to start blocking my feelings too.”

This happens long before conscious thought develops. It’s on a gut level. It’s intuitive. Plus, it’s constantly reinforced by society in general, and authority figures in particular.

“Big boys don’t cry.”

“Good little girls don’t get angry.”

Those are two milder examples. Often times, shutting down your feelings is practically necessary for your very survival.

And that’s the main reason we start shutting down: in response to painful stimuli. Something painful and/or unpleasant happens, maybe it even seems like our life is in jeopardy; maybe it really is in jeopardy… and we start clamping down on our feeling process.

However it happens, the end result is that we feel less. And when we feel less, we have less power. Or rather, we have less access to our power. We start to shut off from ourselves. We start to separate from ourselves. The separation creates pain. We think the pain comes from our feelings, so we shut off even more. It results in a vicious cycle, or a downward spiral.

And all the while, fresh ‘feeling energy’ constantly flows into us.

We can dam up the river, but we can’t stop the river itself from flowing. So, one problem is that we create painful separation. The other problem is that we’ve got a constant and continuous flow of new feeling energy coming into us all the time. And we’ve refused to be responsible for it. Almost because we’ve been forced to, by an errant childhood.

You see? It’s not because we’re bad and wrong and stupid and unevolved. No. We end up with emotional pain because we have to fit in with society. Plus, it may have been necessary for survival.

It’s not like everybody from day one told you to ‘feel more’ and ‘make sure you feel all your feelings’.

“Now little Johnny, you make sure you always feel your feelings.”

“Little Susie, make sure to respect whatever you’re feeling, because feelings are important just like you are important.”

It’s almost hilarious reading those words, so foreign are they compared to what really happens in our lives.

So here we are. Decades later. As a child we crimped that hose with so much power. So much intensity. So much intention. Whether to survive, or to fit in, or to assuage the pain, or for some other reason altogether… we crimped that hose.

So what happens when we attempt to block off a never-ending flow? Because, I’m here to tell you, it has its own ‘laws of physics’ to obey. Just because science has yet to discover it, doesn’t mean it’s not scientific in its own way. There are higher laws that exist beyond our ability to perceive them.

Two things happen.

Number one: Your ego or some other ‘lesser’ part of you starts lapping up that flow. Somebody will be the beneficiary of your power. Somebody inside you, that is. Some part of you that’s less than the adult you.

You could end up with your ego making the choices for you. Or, your inner child. Or some other part of you. Worst still, you can start functioning as one or more of these parts of you. Which means you end up feeling lost, out of control, and helpless… among other things.

Number two: You’re going to end up in some state of being that does not serve you. Such as, a state of pity. Or judgment. Or lost in rage. Or imaginary fears. Or the howls of loneliness and despair. Or righteous hurt, righteous anger, righteous indignation. Or pressed into the need to control. I must control to deal with all the other people who are trying to control me. Or trapped in obsessions or addictions. Or martyr. Or shame. Or anxiety. Or depression.

These are the types of things that happen when your feeling process has been shut down to whatever degree. The more you shut down, the more you’ll be imprisoned, or at least stuck, in one of these states. Or, it could be a combination of several of these states.

So, not only have I relinquished my power to a lesser part of me who has not my best interest at heart, but I’ve also ended up in a state where I’m even more powerless and separate from myself.

What really sucks in all this, is that there’s nothing to grab hold of. There’s no rope to climb out with. There’s no neck I can wring to achieve at least a modicum of satisfaction. I’m just plain stuck with no way out.

The forces of domination got me into this mess, but they can’t get me out. They can only get me stuck deeper. My world gets smaller. My options become more limited. I settle in to a particularly insidious kind of silent despair.

This is what can happen when you shut down your feeling process.

I’m not saying it has happened – but this is the danger. It’s the end result. It’s what can happen.

Getting out involves a combination of factors. It’s not necessarily simple. You’re a unique individual, and your situation is unique. Sure, there’s plenty of common denominators. Mainly, you’re going to have to re-engage your feeling process so you can start sucking up and clearing out this energy – not unlike a vacuum cleaner.

If you’d like some pointers on this, tailored to your unique situation, then just contact me and we’ll talk privately about it.

Or, if you’d rather not reach out, then stay tuned, because I’m sure I’ll be writing more on this topic.

In the meantime, would you mind clicking one of the buttons below and help spread this message? Because I really want as many people as possible to understand how they can end up in misery. Because the more you understand, the easier it will be to change it.



{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Gail Patterson January 23, 2014 at 4:33 pm

This is my life in a “nut shell”


Kip Deighan January 23, 2014 at 5:22 pm

Mark –

I’ve never read anything even close to this that hits (my) the nail on the head. This is exactly my life situation NOW.



Mark I Myhre January 24, 2014 at 3:28 am

Hey Kip,

I just sent you an email


Teresa dewberry turnipseed January 23, 2014 at 6:17 pm

This is where I’m at now. Sounds like my life. Thanks mark


Mark I Myhre January 24, 2014 at 3:29 am

always good to hear from you, Teresa

you got my number if you want to talk – send me a text message or just call


Penelope Kotsiakis January 23, 2014 at 7:20 pm

You’re hitting all the right buttons. I know of two people currently in this very state. I look forward to reading further particularly about the “getting out”! Thanks Mark!


Mark I Myhre January 24, 2014 at 3:30 am

sure thing!


sharon January 23, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Never quite sure about the “go ahead and feel all your feelings.” What if you’re a person who has an almost phobic fear of disasters happening to somebody you love, and feel fear every time they go out on the highway, then it’s right to feel that terror and fear that you have?


Mark I Myhre January 24, 2014 at 3:38 am

Hi Sharon,

it’s too much to get into all the details here, but basically, what you’re talking about here is not necessarily real fear.

I call it ‘imaginary fear’

the simple answer is that if you could separate the stories you’re telling yourself from the real fear that’s in there, and then feel that real fear – then yes, I would say ‘feel the fear’

the challenge is to separate the fear from the stories, and that takes work

but hey, if I can do it, anybody can do it!

I understand the problem, and I know how bad it feels to be eaten alive – swallowed whole – by my own fear stories that had turned into what seemed to be a monster

if you want to heal, you’re going to have to change your relationship with fear

sadly, most people DON’T want to heal…

just let me know if you want to talk about this privately


Janice January 23, 2014 at 11:51 pm

Hi Mark,

I was in this stage several years ago. Even now my emotion try to rise above me, however I am above it.

I pray for those who need serious help in this area of their lives seek help now!!!

Your continue success,


Mark I Myhre January 24, 2014 at 3:39 am

Hey Janice,

great to hear from you

hope everything’s going ok since the last time we talked


Stephen Urquhart January 26, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Thank you for your article. It has come just when it is needed, I have been feeling very disconnected with my life. This has certainly started ny thought and feeling process to change.


Mark I Myhre January 28, 2014 at 3:25 am

Change is good!


dale j July 9, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Hi mark, this describes my situation exactly. dale j.


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