Neurosis cripples joy. It’s felt as the urge to control, get tight, squeeze the life out of things so that everything works as we want it to. We end up having everything just so, then it busts loose. That’s how neurosis works. It’s about too much control.


Depth psychologist, Michael Eigen, wrote, “To serve jouissance is to break free, for no two moments ask the same thing. Where jouissance is concerned, there is only learning on the job, the surprise of jouissancewhere one least expects it.”


A person related a dream in which their head split apart “in a million pieces.” Too much control sent their mind whirling. They fractured inwardly and felt terribly depressed and lost perspective on life. After some time settling, they remarked, “Control has been an affliction. I do it too much. It turns things rancid. My head fractures from the pain of it.”


When real joy happens, there’s no controlling it, only going with it, riding it, flowing with the stream of it. It can be nurtured as we let go a little more, trust ourselves to lean into life’s surprises and be all right. After all, we may come to learn, it’s all about moving past neurosis and living out the joy.

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