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SOS BOOK Chapter 18: Frustration causes unease, then disease!


Our fixed beliefs are often very stubborn. So, what happens if we still keep denying our heart-felt inner needs? What if we keep resisting that inner drive for self-expression? What if we keep on making excuses? What if we are too rigid and stay in denial?

The initial result of deferring our self-expression is a feeling of ‘un-ease’. This is a low grade feeling of discomfort that we might ignore. Or we might simply distract ourselves from that feeling. That’s what most people do! But it’s still a form of low-grade suffering. And this distress persists and accumulates! There are also long-term consequences!

We have all felt low grade dissatisfaction & frustration in everyday life. We might have even become used to it! But the effect of chronic low-grade suffering slowly builds. This is a stress that accumulates and has widespread systemic effects. If not recognized & resolved, our UN-ease will eventually progress to DIS-ease!


We should address our chronic low-grade suffering before damage begins! We could reconsider our situation early and make some major life changes. We could listen to our inner guidance and find a new way forward!

We should heed the early warning signals that indicate inner distress. But sadly, we often don’t attend to our real drives in the correct fashion. We don't address our inner need for joy and creative self-expression.

Usually, we defer tackling the underlying problem, or deny it entirely. By avoiding any meaningful change, our level of dissatisfaction keeps rising! We then try to contain and compartmentalize this suffering.

…Are you putting off dealing with the real problem?


How do we hold all this pressure back? In an attempt to protect ourselves from distress, we employ defensive mental strategies. We build a mental ‘wall’ to block-off and contain the problem. But behind that wall, our pain & suffering continues to build! So, we need an even higher wall. Eventually we need a huge dam to hold it all back!

It takes a lot of effort to maintain the mental dam that holds back our dissatisfaction. The suffering keeps accumulating and much maintenance work is required. The nature of this internal suffering is very corrosive! So figuratively, we need to make the dam walls very strong to resist this.

…Do you realize that this stop gap will not work long term?


We could address the underlying problem, but we don't yet understand what this really is. So, we implement more temporary or stop-gap measures. We keep patching up that dam! All this takes up time and consumes precious energy. This strains our finite physical resources and reduces our reserves.

We now risk an overload and even a systemic breakdown! This containment strategy depletes our vitality & resilience. Our daily life then lacks joy and becomes more difficult to sustain. Maintaining this mental dam will soon become impossible.

Life can feel a struggle just to ‘keep afloat’. It is hard to figuratively keep our head above water. It can feel like we’re trapped in the turbid & toxic waters of that dam. Meanwhile, the water-level keeps on rising, slowly but inevitably! At the same time, our deep inner needs & drives are also trying to break free!


Finally, the maintenance of our ‘mental dam’ becomes too much to bear. This containment strategy drains too much energy. Living this way finally becomes unsustainable!

We can no longer ‘dam up’ our dissatisfaction & suffering. And we can no longer hold back our inner drives & needs. The pressure just keeps building! Finally, a break or leak occurs in that dam. A breakdown occurs in our mental containment, and our pain & suffering starts pouring out.

…Do you feel like your mental dam is leaking or about to break?


A small leak might correspond to a small crisis. A larger crack in the wall corresponds to a bigger crisis. A major breakdown in the ‘dam wall’ is like a major life crisis. When that containment wall finally breaks, we experience a flood of painful emotions & symptoms.

…But remember all is not lost!

There is a positive aspect! The break-down of that dam can also be considered a break-through! We can have a major breakthrough in our awareness of the problem, and perhaps the underlying issue. It's now much harder to deny our true situation! The truth is finally getting our attention. Our inner needs are now also more apparent. They might finally get the attention they deserve!


But will we learn from a small crisis? Maybe not! Our conditioned mind can be rigid and very stubborn. It’s controlled by ego and by habit. We might still deny that we are personally responsible for our situation. We can still pretend it's all due to external factors or beyond our control. But if we continue with this strategy of denial, we risk becoming overwhelmed.

Our life situation and our body will indicate a breakdown has occurred. We have a life situation that cannot be denied or deferred! We may no longer function at an acceptable level. We might not be able to provide for ourselves!

Our avoidance strategies will eventually grind to a halt. We are then forced into some kind of realization! But the extent or depth of this realization can vary. Are we sufficiently sick of suffering?

…Will you choose to change yourselves?


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