Philosopher Alan Watts refers to the “backwards law” as the idea that the more you strive towards feeling better, the worse you get.
In his own words, “When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink, you float. That insecurity is the result of trying to be secure.”
The desire for happiness and a set determination to achieve it only highlights your current lack of contentment, which in turn, pulls you further into your misery.
Alternatively, to be grateful is to be happy. Appreciation for what we already have is one of the greatest gifts, and yet it’s utilized by so little. If you are accepting and welcoming of what already is, there can be no simultaneous desire.
The act of wanting in it of itself comes from a place of negative emotions; of worry, of fear, and of dissatisfaction. Any action or reaction associated with that feeling can only bring you down. Gratefulness, however, comes from a place of warmth and joy. It finds happiness in everything.
Please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments! What do you think of the “backwards law” and do you apply it in your own life?
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