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The Museum of Vestigial Desire


Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes, 32 seconds

Maladjustment can be thought of as an attempt to adjust gone wrong. If there is no attempt, there is no maladjustment. I feel I am a misfit only when I try to fit and I fail. This failure is maladjustment. But what happens when I don’t adjust? What is maladjustment like? Maladjustment brings up two questions. Does the maladjusted individual want to be as they are? If so, why do they want to adjust? What is the incentive to fit in?

Inside us, we have numerous drives and desires. One of these desires is to be performing a meaningful social role. When such a role does not emerge naturally, the feelings of angst and rejection surface. When we don’t get what we want, one of the things our mind tells us to reduce the pain of not getting is that it is not worth it. Exclusion is the flip side of angst. One accompanies the other.

If we really have a way to survive that does not come from prescribing to a format that is out there, we should be happy with being on our own. We should not even attempt to fit in.

Life can be so beautiful if we just enjoy being as we are without any pressure to do something less enjoyable. If we do not experience being pushed and pulled in opposite directions, it can be much easier for us.

Maladjustment can be thought of as an attempt to adjust gone wrong. If there is no attempt, there is no maladjustment.

But if we discover that the opposite is true. That we do not have a way to survive without prescribing to a format that is out there. Then we ought to make peace with the realisation and not even attempt to break free. If we do attempt, again angst and rejection might surface. Nothing pleasant can come out of these unpleasant feelings.

Eventually it is wise if we can acknowledge the kind of material we are made of and only have aspirations which can take root naturally in it. Acknowledgement of the kind of material we are made of requires regular practice of some kind.

Which kind of practice is best suited to our temperament? That is something for us to figure out through a trial and error process.

As long as our aspirations are appropriate, there is not likely to be any conflict. If there is no conflict, we are not going to nurture any irrational aspirations that rescue us from the conflict. Often the pursuit of such irrational aspirations takes up so much energy that we find ourselves exhausted in a predicament. To pursue self-knowledge or to pursue irrational escape scenarios?

Whether we are adjusted or maladjusted will depend on the path that we take for our self-fulfilment. The straight (but initially painful) path or the twisted (and initially exciting) path.

All personality disorders emerge from this simple fact about the nature of our journey. We can avoid being stretched and twisted if we let ourselves unravel plainly.

tags: predicament

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