Not all frustration is equal. Once we get a handle on frustation, we can ease our feelings about what is not working for us.
Different Kinds Of Frustration
Let’s talk about different kinds of frustration:
- learning. There is a normal frustration that comes from learning something new, whether learning how to walk, learning how to use social media, or learning something more demanding like calculus or a foreign language. Frustration will be a normal part of the process. We begin with baby steps, start with the basics, and gradually learn more complicated ideas and actions. As we master the topic or skill, it becomes second nature. A great example is learning to drive a car. At some point, we do so almost automatically and can zone out when driving, which is not so good but natural for a skill that is second nature.
- social frustration Socially, most of us experience at least a little frustration. We are all different, although human, and it can be hard to connect with others. One of the reasons connection is challenging is that we all have an energetic center of gravity that develops in our early years. Let’s say I grow up in a family where everyone is a jock, and so I have to be an athlete too. Because it is expected, my family enrolls me in athletic training classes. So, I learned to develop and express athleticism and suppress those aspects of myself that are different. The approval, disapproval, inclusion, and love I get for being the way I am expected to be and the feeling of belonging when I do has become a center of gravity for my energy or life force. You will notice when you leave home as an adult and later return, an energy arises inside, which you recognize as that energy that feels like home. It is there even if you have changed since leaving home. In essence, to be accepted and belong, you had to frustrate parts of yourself that were not aligned with what your family is about. So, over time, I would acclimate to athletics as a foundation for my life. Being with those who are different and non-athletic, would make connecting difficult, as a result.
The same is true for people who heal after growing up in a depressed environment. Healing changes your center of gravity and your energy, and after doing a lot of healing work, you may become more engaged and joyful and may find that your energetic center of gravity does not match that of your family anymore. Center of gravity differences can be innocent. Living in different geographic areas, with different languages and customs, can make a huge difference. in one’s energetic makeup. People who are acclimated to warm climates have a different energetic approach to life than those who live in cold climates out of necessity. There can be many different reasons for differences and, therefore, many reasons why connecting with others can be challenging.
- culturally created frustration. The third and possibly the most important source of frustration comes from culture. There are many reasons why culture creates frustration, and we will go through a few so you have some perspective. The reason you want to get clear about the role of culture in creating frustration is so you can be kind to yourself and not blame yourself for problems not of your making. So let’s look at a few:
- Cultures have a life cycle and are not good at knowing when it is time to change. As a result, aversion to change is a big deal and immensely frustrating for those who recognize when change is necessary.
- Cultures are essential a project; they do not do everything for us. Most people do not know that cultures are generally communal or individualistic, which affects the possibilities available and what will be a useful investment of your time and talents. It may suit your gifts or may not, and it can be frustrating trying to find a place in a cultural world that does not match what you are about.
- Cultures generally exist for a long time before they change, so whatever is not working in a culture may be there and not something you can change easily. Therefore, you may have limits on your opportunities. Marginalized people know about limitations on their opportunities and the frustration that creates.
- Cultural narratives, including narratives that create systems of prejudice, can be a great source of frustration because the system itself is designed to support the accepted narrative, which was probably developed a long time ago and inherited.
Those are general sources of cultural frustration. There are many more. In our capitalistic culture, speed is so prized that it creates frustration because speed does not let us process our feelings, thoughts, and experiences so that we can be grounded and keep our energy clear and productive. The complexity in our system requires that we pay more attention to all sorts of details while operating at full speed, which means it is easier to make mistakes. A slower speed would make it easier for us to work constructively and thoroughly.
There are many sources of frustration built into life; some of them are natural, like learning, and others are created to maintain social hierarchies and constructs. The beautiful thing about a joy practice is that it naturally makes the best of things, so creating frustration is not on its agenda. It helps you develop a natural process of moving forward so that you do not frustrate yourself going too fast or too slow. One of the big keys to reducing frustration is to get control over your pacing.
How A Joy Practice Reduces Frustration
Ayurveda, the wonderful health-creating system, will tell you that bliss is your natural state. That means that when your energy is flowing freely and in harmony with your being and the world, bliss, which is low on frustration, of course, is your natural feeling. I know this to be true from my own experience.
A joy practice does something unique and critical: it eliminates the frustration you do not have to have (like always trying to be something you are not) and gives you the frustration you need: to grow and develop in a healthy way at a healthy pace.
A joy practice naturally minimizes frustration because it focuses on the present and the reality in front of us and makes the best of any challenges that occur. It works in flow and with a natural pace in life. It, therefore, creates a low frustration way of working. It is not escapist or impatient, so we can experience life being easy for us by being good for ourselves, each other, the world, and nature. You won’t be focused on past frustrations or a fear of future frustrations. You are always focused on the present, being constructive, caring, and serving the common good, which is a way to make life enjoyable, fruitful, and filled with ease and grace. Because a joy practice creates so much ease, it reduces and even eliminates a lot of conflict. Whatever we can do to naturally reduce unnecessary problems and conflict in our lives serves us. I hope you consider it for yourself.