Please note, this post is not recommending people do not seek proper medical advice, nor stop their medications without first consulting their supervising physician.
In many respects, mental illness can be overcome with a concerted effort that applies the mind to the task of creating change. The problem for most is they feel overwhelmed by and completely identify with whatever condition has been applied to their particular problem. Does this mean you’ve been diagnosed incorrectly? Not necessarily. It means you have more power over creating change than you might otherwise believe.
Bad things happen to people all the time. Sometimes, the effects are more traumatizing than other events, times, places, etc. Whatever the trigger, a cause and effect occurrence has resulted in a mental illness. Instead of simply treating the symptoms, anyone suffering also wants to treat the cause, to get to the root, to find the missing link, and solve the outcome of the current experience they are living. How is it possible?
The main thing to recognize is your experience of self. First, the mind and it’s thoughts – all that thinking. What’s going on with that and are you identifying yourself with those thoughts? I think most people are so naturally accustomed to the mind through years of schooling and so forth, that when the negative spark that triggers a direction down an unhealthy path, the creeping in of that negative experience and those thoughts goes unnoticed until it is too late to nip it in the bud. Now more intentional effort has to applied to overcome what has built up over a period of time.
The second thing is the emotions. We do feel things. Ironically, we rarely realize that emotions can be unreliable, even though they can be quite wonderful at times. These emotions often times are actually creations of the mind. Events happen that make us happy. Why do they make us happy? Usually, it relates to who we are, what we value, and what we believe to be true, not to mention that we’re so good at imagining positive outcomes that we desire in any moment that a wonderful emotion is triggered. Again, these emotions are most often triggered by the mind, and they also carry chemicals that create physical feelings that reinforce emotions which in turn reinforce thought.
Are you seeing the pattern?
Now I’ve mentioned the body too, and I’d say that is a third thing to be aware of too. As emotions are expressions of feeling, the body also carries feelings that actually have little to do with emotion. Discomfort, pain, and quite honestly, a whole plethora of physical sensations too numerous to mention and sift through. What is important to realize though, is that it is the physical body that can speak to you more frankly and honestly than both the mind and emotions. What needs to change? It is giving you clues all the time.
Now the secret ingredient. You – the real you. When suffering from anything – mental, physical, or emotional – we become absorbed by that state of being. However, the mind sometimes barks at the situation – all the self-talk we’re familiar with – expressing its frustration at this current reality. The mind remembers the good, the bad, and the ugly, but mostly compares. Why am I like this now, when I was amazing before? It knows, and shows, and the emotion kicks in as frustration begs for release and freedom from this painful reality.
So who is this Real You I speak of? When all the storms of your condition overwhelm you, have you ever noticed another aspect of yourself noticing? It just sits there, another voice, that speaks silently in awe, wonder, sadness, love, or curiosity, and surrenders to your choice. However, when we’re quiet with it, we recognize that it simply is Aware.
This is You – Awareness. This awareness recognizes what is happening with the body, emotions, and thoughts, but has to wait for you to connect to your awareness before it can start bringing about change. Awareness also knows it is a process, that it is in a physical world of natural law, and that nature’s laws have cause-and-effect creating courses in our lives, and it knows that with nature’s laws we are all subject to the processes of nature.
That includes how our bodies work, how they heal, and all the various obstacles that represent the blockage we must overcome to get our lives back on the right track. The closer you are to your Awareness, the better equipped you are to deal with what life throws at you. The more tightly connected your remain to your Awareness, the more able you are to weather those storms, whether it is anxiety, a phobia, depression, and a host of other mental and physical illnesses.
It isn’t always about getting it right again. Sometimes it is about becoming right in the cirumstances that have you. It’s all in the mental game and can only be won with exercising that muscle that brings Awareness into authority over the mind, body, and emotions.
All the best, it is a process, so stay at it. Falling is moving forward.
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