When our minds are fearful we tend to have ourselves on about a lot of things. The ability to call a spade a spade (which is fleeting at the best of times) eludes us. Especially when we need to take a good look at ourselves. Fear buckles our thinking in such a way that it tells us that we dare not look at anything that is uncomfortable and that might cost us any effort to remedy or challenge. We have become mentally weakened to dangerous levels. Love and faith pointed in fruitful directions are powerful restoratives.
Sometimes, and especially with things of the heart and mind, it is very difficult to dig myself out of a sticky situation. Whether it be ‘thinking stuff’ problems or recurring trauma it is too difficult alone to make any headway. And the more we try to dig ourselves out the worse it seems to get.
A broken mind cannot think itself straight. It need healing from within, but help from without. This is our dilemma! Where are we to look for such help?
I know where I look and how fruitful my life has become. Do you know where you are looking?
Looking after my mental and spiritual health sometimes seems like walking a fine line. Of course even putting it like that adds to the problem but I am making a point. What I am trying to say is that in what I do, say and believe lean me toward emotional health issues or away from them. M Scott Peck in his book ‘The Road Less Travelled’ lays down a few simple suggestions for keeping mental health issues at bay, or reducing the possibility of them rearing their head. In my own life I will summarise a few like this: Don’t do anything that I might regret/keep a clean conscience/keep regular contact with sane and caring people/give freely in whatever means I have available/seek some kind of prayer life and productive expression of my thoughts and energies.
Not an exhaustive list perhaps but if YOU can find some kind of ‘code’ for living them you will be helping yourself out more than you know. I am grateful for my life and everything in it.
A US college study has suggested links between internet usage and depression. The study suggests that people with some symptoms of depression tend to spend more time in internet chat rooms and the like. What the real links are in this case I don’t know. What is clear to me is that using a computer at night for several hours or more tends to make me a little jittery. What the neurological mechanics are is beyond me. But it is clear that being isolated and having a restricted social life inevitable steers some people to longer time on the net. I suggest that this behaviour – at least in my case – is a symptom rather than a cause.
Maybe I should write the blog during the day and not at night! Who knows. The study can be seen through this link to the psych central website where a whole host of other stuff can also be found.
Depersonalisation is a term frequently used in anxiety circles. It is a distancing from one’s own self and a feeling of dreamlike unreality. Part of this is the physiological symptom of shallow and tired breathing and the rest is in the mind or spirit. Paul David on his site www.nomorepanic.co.uk has a page dedicated to this subject. It is an interesting read whether I agree with it or not. I will have to get around to buying his book one day, just to have a nosey.
Keeping it real can be a very difficult thing to do when there is fear in the heart about not fitting in, coupled with a lot of outside pressure to conform to a certain way of being. Being one’s self and trying to live an authentic existence with kindness and charity in mind, is a heady mix worth aspiring toward. To keep it real is not to let the emotional nature get wrapped up and buried by trying to be something I’m not or thinking that others will judge me pejoratively if I am my self.
Anxiety and belief are linked. Conflicting thoughts about self can cause anxiety. Being happy with who I am is a blessing. I see this through God, this is keeping it real. Speaking about stuff with an undisclosed agenda or with fear about feedback is keeping it unreal.
It is no coincidence that the biggest interest group at the Royal College of Psychiatrists is the one concerning spirituality and mental health. ‘Science’ although chiefly secularised in its assertions, can no longer stand outside of the religion debate in mental health. The increasing failure of mental asylums and the poor care therein mean that the ‘system’ has lost the plot. Secular staff only have medication to rely on. Science and Psychology cannot heal a broken heart. A broken heart need love. Love comes from the spirit and so mental health issues stemming from emotional conflict need an emotional/spiritual remedy. What is that you might ask? Well to begin with it would be in using the language of the heart instead of the language of psychology, which although having its place, does not tell the whole story.
Arrogance and grandiosity can be destructive to people around us, especially if they are vulnerable and looking for help. When I have been in a position of influence and used this badly I have inevitably caused needless problems from those who might have been spared from pain. Sometimes when people are looking toward us for help we give them the wrong impression of how they should proceed because our arrogance doesn’t allow us to see ourselves properly. If this is so we cannot see them or their needs either. Being blind I then scatter words around like confetti, with little thought to where they land and what effect they will have.
But these character traits are even more destructive to me as an individual. At least someone near to me can leave! While I have to live with myself. Arrogance is ‘the pride that blinds’ a person to themselves. Arrogance closes the ears until I can no longer see or hear myself. This world of darkness eventually drives a person mad. I can attest to this!
The healing opposite of these troublesome things is humility. Humility is seeing myself as I am. Humility is being in touch with reality, limitation, empathy and the knowledge that I am always learning and never finished. If this is so I cannot make heady pronouncements about life and God. In seeing myself as flawed and in need of help I see the need for a greater power than myself by which to live. If this is so how I am set free from knowing everything and making statements about everything. Who am I to think that people need to know what I think I know? Arrogance and humility rarely go together if at all.
It’s good to have friends and it’s good to have sane supportive friends even better. In alcoholics anonymous they say ‘keep sober company’. Our mothers’ told us (or perhaps not) not to keep bad company or we would get in trouble. There is truth in these things
Did you ever go into someones house and there was a barking dog and unruly children with the parent/s shouting endlessly to keep order? How did you feel? Anxious perhaps?
The same thing happens to us when we hang around with people who cannot manage their emotional life’s. It tends to rub off on us and we on them. It is sometimes difficult to find stable and calm friends, especially when we are used to chaos and noise. Many recovering people of all types tend to think that silence is an angry and disapproving atmosphere. This is what we have been used to. With less erratic people though silence or thereabouts is more refreshing. I try my best to keep sane and stable company and leave those alone who lurch from one crisis to the next. This is not disparaging about them. I can be of no use when I too am running around like a headless chicken. Many thanks.