Happy Friday, everyone! A new issue of Turtle Way was just published. Read it here, and have a beautiful weekend.
When I am feeling sad or depressed, or anxious and afraid, my first instinct is to get rid of these emotions either by doing something unhealthy like smoking or overeating, or something productive like cleaning the house or exercising. The goal in both cases is to block out the emotion; to ignore it; to purge it from my system; to eradicate it.
What if rather than trying to kill the emotion, I sat with it; let it flow through and around me, believing all the while I am safe, because it is my actions, not my emotions, that have the potential to harm me.
I find that when I do this, the emotion tends to dissipate on its own. It’s as if giving it recognition somehow facilitates its disappearance.
Today, I will acknowledge the emotions within me. I will validate their existence, keeping in mind that feelings are not facts. They cannot harm me. Like a river they will flow towards me, through me and then out of me, and I will know peace.
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A single conversation with a wise man is worth a month’s study of books. ~ Chinese Proverb
Today, we may keep our thoughts and worries to ourselves. We may search for explanations within the craziness of our minds. We may consult books and the internet to find answers for why we feel anxious, depressed, and hopeless, and how to fix it. We may suffer alone in the madness, telling ourselves that no one understands how we feel, that we are unique in the torture we suffer.
Or we can be open-minded to the possibility that like us there are others who experience the pains of mental illness. We can seek out those who have been where we are; ask them about their experiences and how they cope. We can lean on others for strength.
Sometimes the problem is not that we don’t have the answers but that we aren’t willing to discuss the questions with another human being. We often and unknowingly perpetuate our symptoms by searching for peace on our own.
It is in reaching out, asking for assistance, and making ourselves vulnerable, if only by talking to an understanding and trustworthy person about our thoughts and feelings, that we find peace. If I surround myself with others who understand and support me, I will survive. Afterall, we certainly won’t be crazy at the same time! I will lean on others when I need to and they will lean on me in turn.
Today, I will talk to someone about what is going on inside of my head instead of isolating, and I will know peace.
Need someone to talk to? Need someone to listen who understands? I get it. Leave a comment and let’s share about it.
I am productive in small ways, but more depressed than usual. It is cold here, and grey and blustery.
It is normal, to slow down in the winter, to want to sleep more, do less, or nothing at all like a bear in hibernation.
I wonder if the doctor would prescribe her antidepressants, too…
Some things are just a part of our nature. It is the fight against them that, although very common, is oh so unnatural.