Weltschmerz is a German word that loosely translates to "world-pain" in English; it's used to describe the kind of feeling experienced by someone who believes that physical reality can never satisfy the demands of the mind. It attempts to explain a feeling of melancholy and world-weariness.
The Butterfly Effect is the name for the phenomenon whereby a tiny localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, somewhere down the line.
I’m always preaching mindfulness and reflection as a means to further one’s understanding of Self. The idea is that being self-aware and conscious of everything that we are, will consistently help us evolve and become more constructive, creative, and “happy” beings throughout our lives. Which in turn, means that we can do the most amount of good for ourselves and other people in the short time we all have.
In a nutshell, that’s basically the whole point of this blog. To, through my own experiences, just try and evoke thought in others to get them thinking about their own lives and why they are the way they are. My belief is that when people are transparent with themselves and the world, life starts to become something that isn’t done to you, but rather happens for you, and with you. Once you know yourself, you and Life can start working together to make some pretty amazing things.
But lately, I find I’ve been really struggling to find balance. I wonder if anybody else struggles with the special kind of balance I’m talking about. Sometimes I get so caught up in trying to understand and find meaning in my past, that I wind up more confused and anxious than if I’d just tried my hardest to let it be. I obsess over what my future might look like at every possible twist and turn, so that I can be as sure as possible that I’m consistently taking all the “right steps” to make sure I stay on the "right" path.
Lately, something that scares me, is that I’ve found I might quite literally be losing hold of what it means to live in the present. I’ve been completely losing sight of the importance of the organic nature of the here and now, because I’m just so paralyzed by what the outcome of each prospective decision could be. Essentially, I’m existing passively, living everything and everyday as if it were already a memory, or just a thought on the horizon, so that I can evaluate it either as its happening or before it even does.
Of course I do normal things everyday too; I go to school (I am in graduate school after all), I socialize, I run my errands, I keep up with friends and family back home overseas, I spend time on social media, I read the news, I (try to) exercise, I work on personal projects, and I indulge in some laziness. But I feel like I do it all on autopilot.
And this isn’t the kind of autopilot that comes from a lifetime of suppressing thoughts and feelings, but rather the kind that comes from continuously feeling the gravity of things to the extent that they begin to numb you.
It’s an overload in the processing of information and energy that simply overwhelms the being beyond the point of even overthinking anymore. It’s like paralysis brought on by reflection and over analyzing everything and everyone in the world all the time.
I don’t know what this is called, but I think I’d call it a wicked combination of Weltschmerz and paralysis brought on by the fear of the Butterfly Effect. Wanting to do everything, and therefore doing nothing, all at the same time. Being unable to make any decision at all for the fear of not knowing if you’re making the right one. Loving people to the extent that you can no longer understand the role they play in your life or yours in theirs. Letting things happen without assertion because you cannot possibly know what the outcome will be, and what you can and cannot live with or without. Letting life be something that is done to you, and watching helplessly as it happens.
I still have a lot of work to do in terms of actually reaching a whole and mindful state. Peaceful and total mindfulness is what I strive for and long for, and it’s in moments like these that I realize I’m still a ways away.
I have no idea if this melancholic concept of Weltschmerz that weighs on me so heavily comes from being an artist, or if that’s what makes people artists in the first place. Maybe every artist actually shares this sentiment and that’s what makes art what it is. Maybe people who aren’t artists share it as well. I would really be curious to find out.
Someone I hold very dear to me wrote a piece about me once, and called it “She Is a Feeler”. I think that might be the best description anyone has ever given of me, and I just wish I knew what that meant going forward. I don’t feel that this restless state of mind should be sustainable, but then I’ve been feeling everything so deeply and gravely for so long that I can’t imagine feeling differently. Maybe Weltschmerz really is a state of being that people actually learn to live with throughout their whole lives?
I just wish I knew how many others feel it too.