Unhappiness –negative emotions, if you will–are not inscrutable feelings, separate from what we do in our head. Usually, nobody ever says I am making myself unhappy but that is precisely what we do. Most people, at best, are only partially convinced because it doesn’t to be quite in accord with their experience. The reason for this is that normal human emotionality, as we have come to know it, was prefigured early on—at that moment in our self-reflective history when human beings first accepted that there was something about them that was less than desirable. So when the events come into play, the specific emotion appears to have been caused by them when, in fact, the emotion was only triggered by the preexisting belief that there is something wrong with us. Stop believing that and you will have changed your whole emotional life.
Serious books inevitably start with an instigating question, and the question that Explaining Unhappiness answers is this: What are you afraid would happen if you weren't unhappy? Why? Because this is the question that everybody asks all their lives, without ever fully realizing it. We are deeply engaged in the assumptions contained within it. What are we assuming when we ask that question? First, we're suggesting that it is possible to be happy regardless of the present circumstances in which we find ourselves-that unhappiness doesn't just happen, but that it may be self-imposed. Further, this chosen state may have less to do with what is happening in the present and more to do with warding off a fearfully anticipated future. Finally, we must also believe that, somehow, unhappiness pays off. We are forced to conclude, then, that we value unhappiness. Explaining Unhappiness was written for anyone who has come to realize that "realizing your potential" and "increasing your coping skills" have become old chestnuts that never really gave you what you really wanted-namely, a definitive answer as to why you need to believe that something is wrong with you.
Author: Peter Spinogatti
Published: November 2010
About The Author
Peter Spinogatti is a native of New York City where he was the Director of the Riverdale Consultation Center for thirty years and in that capacity worked as a marriage counselor and psychotherapist. He has also been a college instructor, and a corporate consultant. He has appeared on public television (WLIW21) both as a participant and advisor on cultural and mental health matters. Currently, Mr. Spinogatti is working as a Life Coach in Dix Hills, New York where his services include personal consultations, lectures, seminars and workshops.
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Explaining Unhappiness is available for purchase online from the publisher, Amazon.com, BN.com and other online retailers.
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