Inquiry: It’s wrong to live an unhappy life

It’s wrong to live an unhappy life. 

(Brought to the surface by Chicken with Plums by Marjane Satrapi.)

Is it true?


What happens, how do you react, when you have that belief?

I feel it’s wrong when I tell myself someone lives an unhappy life.

I feel life is wrong, the universe is wrong. It’s set up wrong. **

I am distressed, tense.

I want to avoid this story that triggers this belief in me. I avoid hearing/reading about unhappy lives.

I feel at odds with life. There is a sense of separation. Isolation. I feel a bit lost.

I don’t feel at home in life.

Who would you be without that thought?

I experience connection – with him, myself, life.

I notice my love for him, myself, anyone else who experiences lack of happiness.

There is a sense of receptivity, curiosity, interest.


1. It’s not wrong to live an unhappy life. 

People do. Life allows it.

People can feel unhappy and still live a life that’s meaningful, that others find inspiring/helpful, that they feel is rewarding.

Right and wrong are just ideas, and what I apply them to is arbitrary (determined by culture, personal experiences/views). Life itself is free from right/wrong.

2. It’s right to live an unhappy life. 

If that’s what happens.

If he believes life should be a certain way, and it’s not, then unhappiness is a natural result. It’s how life is set up.

Unhappiness is – for me – an invitation to inquiry. (So it’s in a very real sense a form of love.)


What is strongest for me here is that right/wrong is not inherent in life, and that unhappiness is invitation for inquiry (so it’s not wrong, it’s a form of love).

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Additional beliefs

Life is wrong, the universe is wrong. It’s set up wrong.

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