The hidden benefits of misery


My mind is diligently curious, a part of me would like to settle into the cosy religion of comfort and follow the herd. I crave this ‘unquestioning normality’ at times, but I can’t help but pick holes in theories ideas and beliefs, not because I want to break down people’s comfort or dispute everything that presents as a possible navigational system, for life. My cynicism is driven by my desire to find a belief or system which offers insight into the purpose of existence, so I can put my feet up turn up some jazz, and smoke a cigar.

My hometown is Shamanism, whatever I’m exploring, Shamanism is my place of comfort. The shamanic worldview resonates with me and has done for well over 25years. My natural cynicism picks holes in the shamanic world this frustrates me, and a tedious thread of thought begins

“What is the point of life?
‘Why are we here?”

This line of thought never leads to joyful insights, it’s a direct flight to Nihilism.

Nihilism is the belief that there is no point or meaning to life.

When my inner nihilist takes the centre stage of my consciousness, this girl can wallow and bleat for hours on the subject of misery, hardship and the lack of meaning, interspersed with
‘end it, kill yourself, it’s all pointless, take an exit from this shit hole now girl’

This sounds distressing, it isn’t, I’m familiar with this landscape, my nihilist has been with me since the age of 9yrs. Fortunately, I’ve learnt to let her take the centre stage and rant. I sit back and listen with intrigue. The Nihilist is roused by a painful trigger in the outside world that unsettles my worldview.

A recent encounter (in my personal life) with a sadistic self-centred sociopath, propelled me into challenging the point of my existence. Their lack of compassion and apparent blatant pleasure gained when thrusting cruelty to others, crushed my now fragile belief that, ‘People are inherently good’

While this belief is under scrutiny, the nihilist presents thoughts such as, ‘why bother considering the well-being others, you are an oversensitive fool spending far too much time considering the impact of others? ’Why care for others?

Maybe I’m self-centred too, I do good things as I feel good, for doing so. During my trek into these dark dimensions of my consciousness, I fiercely question the few beliefs that anchor me, which are;
*Love is the ultimate achievement in life.
*We are all interconnected, so love thy neighbour
*Forgive the cruel and unkind, deep pain is fuelling their venomous actions.

These questions are diving boards, into the swamplands of Nihilistic misery. In the absence of fighting, this darker element of my psyche, the misery passes after a few weeks, if I’m lucky, within days.

If I shared my inner thoughts with a psychiatrist, I’ve no doubt I would be sectioned, locked up, with a chemical cosh stuck up my backside.

On a more cheerful note, the alchemist within me will not allow anyone to rob me of this fruitful human experience. I am an explorer, my inner nihilist takes me into regions of my consciousness where the light is dim, sometimes, there is not light at all.

I am not fearful of this mindset I’m curious, it fascinates me, every time I immerse myself into the dark caverns, I discover more about the foundations of my operating system, which, if remained unexplored may keep me trapped in existential fear.

So, after a while, I realise Miss Misery needs to leave the stage, I seduce her with a bit of Joseph Campbell wisdom.

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” Joseph Campbell

This quote sets up a new landscape to explore, ‘how can I create meaning?’

This leads me to Absurdism, which is a belief that ‘human beings exist in a purposeless, chaotic universe’ which is only a stepping stone from Nihilism, but absurdism invites a new character, The Sacred Clown.

The sacred Clown is the creative who loves the darker sides of life. As a sacred Clown, I have to adventure into the bleaker sides of life, in order to turn it all upside down to expose the paradoxes and utter madness of this world we exist.

The clown enables me to make sense of the adventure into Nihilism, the clown sits back, strokes her imaginary beard, pops on some jazz, lights a joint and laughs at it insanities of life.


“In a world of tension and breakdown, it is necessary for there to be those who seek to integrate their inner lives not by avoiding anguish and running away from problems, but by facing them in their naked reality and in their ordinariness.” Sacred clowns are the epitome of such integration.

Thomas Merton


Alexia Elliott
Hypnotherapist, Street Philosopher, Sacred Clown.

Leicester UK.

Skype sessions available


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