Everybody has one! Mine used to be so high that I am embarrassed to tell you! My day began with priorities set completely by someone else and generally ended the same way.
What is a Misery Index?
Your Misery Index is that percentage of minutes per diem that you are willing to spend feeling unhappy and suffering without taking an action to relieve the Misery.
If you are over 5% per diem you are probably running too high on the Misery Index!
Your Misery Index is that percentage of minutes per diem that you are willing to spend feeling unhappy and suffering without taking an action. What is yours? Is it 5% per day or maybe 15% or 30% or 50%? If you are over 5% per diem you are probably running too high.
As a younger person, I thought Misery was completely acceptable. After all no one encouraged me to get up and take a walk when I felt like it in the middle of any school day. Nobody encouraged me to stop studying and take a good long break when I needed one or to just drop a subject altogether when it was of no interest to me.
My school days had extra “Martyrdom Sauce” on them. In parochial school, we were encouraged to suffer and not “complain” about anything. Clearly the children who collected the most “suffering stamps” were teachers’ favorites and were held in the highest esteem. So who would want to stop that extra suffering? Nothing like a good old hard wooden seat to get your day started on the right “Martyrdom Sauce” track!
No one told me to be sure my emotional peace and inner well-being
was of the highest possible importance.
I hope you are chuckling a little! I am when I see how acceptable this Misery Index really can be! And for most of us, our Misery Index starts building long before that first day of school.
Your Misery Index begins to form when we are under the age of four. This is the time in human life when we are naturally collecting particles of experiences from the world around us. And if we are accumulating particles that add up to enough suffering and sacrificing enough of our own well-being for survival, a person can form a pretty high Misery Index as an acceptable way of life.
If parents are consistently unable to respond to children’s needs, the Misery Index grows through a process of accretion. Accretion is defined as “the process of growth or increase, typically by the gradual accumulation of additional layers of matter.”
We could think of accretion in reference to the formation of planets and other heavenly bodies or in financial terms as the amassing of a fortune. But here we are referring to accretion as the building up of a normal tolerance for Misery over a period of time that ultimately forms our Misery Index.
And the thing about this Misery Index is that it very quickly...I mean VERY quickly becomes automatic in nature. Most Misery is relatively unconscious because it is SO automatic. Sometimes it takes a little investigation to see what that Misery Index is all about.
The Misery Index is usually built into everyday routines so they become very automatic and very acceptable. Sometime interrupting those routines with something as simple as a vacation can help make those routines more evident, although many families have their vacation Misery Routines and Holiday Misery Routines that are just as acceptable and automatic as the everyday ones!
This Summer and Fall we will be talking more about this Misery Index and how to set YOURSELF FREE!. We believe that transformation is an ongoing life-long process of self-improvement. It is a process of continuously GOING UP. It is about staying in the river and continuously moving forward.
So let's do a little inventory of the percentage of each day you are willing to spend feeling miserable. Let's find that quotient! And let's look out and check the people we are spend our days with. How about the person next to you at work? How about the people you go home to at night?
Sometimes all it takes is a little awakening to feelings that we have accepted as "normal" to change the world... the journey from automatic to conscious is transformation itself.
Copyright 2017: Mary E. Miller. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: These Instruments are for experimental purposes only. The FDA has not approved or evaluated these tools, resources, recommendations and/or aids. These products, procedures and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, prevent, and/or cure any disease. None of the products, procedures and/or information replaces or substitutes for the advice of a practicing medical doctor or health care provider. See a qualified practicing doctor and/or health care provider for any disease or medical condition.
MARY MILLER MSW is an internationally known author and speaker and co-founder of I Ching Systems, LLC.