Marion Schneider

Health and Happiness

Culture prepares women to be mothers and wives, men to be gainers and winners. Even if a mother does not want to model her children according to the ruling principles in this mental, emotional, spiritual and real world, they will be influenced by them. We may just have to accept the existence of this dominant culture of male and female worlds. In order not to be subjected to it, we have to fully understand it.

The role of wife and mother makes women more oriented towards people rather than matter. Woman’s attention is captured by the individual being, its needs and demands. By assuming this role and responsibility, her male partner or husband can focus on matter, the things, on power to rule and to protect, to gain and to win.

If women and men decide to fully or partly live both the male role and the female role, then they will experience conflicts between the person-oriented, emphatic side and the matter-oriented, dominant side of their personality. However, if they accept their given gender role they will also experience conflicts, even if they accept it completely, as it will make them dependent on the other gender. So, whichever way one decides, conflicts will arise.

If we do not want to suffer so much as a result of such conflicts, we need to focus on what we want and need more than on the obstacles or things that disturb us. The more we focus on our desires and needs and how to realistically achieve them in our lives, the more chance we have of becoming happy and healthy because it enhances our chance of reaching the goals we set for ourselves.

To criticise what we do not like in life can be of help, but only with regard to finding out what we like. Just as focussing on things we do not like will make us feel unhappy, focussing on things we do like will make us feel happy. Happiness in this respect is mainly a question of our own perspective and/or choice.

Why, you could ask, do we then concentrate more often on the negative than on the positive aspects? It is a consequence of a submissive feeling of being subjected to outside forces rather than being an active individual. This is mainly a consequence of our education and personal tradition. So, another consequence of deciding to be happy is to decide to consider one’s own life as a matter of our own deciding and not to accept it as the object of external forces. A realistic world view is thus a very necessary aspect of personal health and happiness. We need to fully comprehend our given powers and limits.

Another cause of suffering, especially with women, is the notion that sharing one’s life with one’s beloved is a form of dependency and interdependency – our own happiness is dependent on the actions of the other. It is natural for people to refer to one another in order to ascertain their interests with a view to coordinating two wills. In our relations with other people, we can refer to other people more or less often. The more often we refer to others, the more often they feel obliged to refer to us and have to adjust their own decision making process. For some people this is acceptable, for others it is not. We cannot expect others, not even our loved ones, to accept or like this concept. We do not have the right to demand it of them. So, when we meet people who would rather run their own lives without considering others, then we must also accept it as a way in which we can live with them.
Of course, the more opportunity you have to coordinate your wills, the more chance you have of living in happiness together. A person who is unwilling to coordinate wills very often is most probably more interested in their own personal happiness, and less interested in achieving mutual happiness. As you may not be able to change this person, acceptance of the other person’s way of doing things is important for your own personal happiness.