We create our own mental illness
A radical viewpoint? Definitely a bit controversial. I'm probably gonna be shot down in flames for suggesting this concept but I have my reasons for coming to these conclusions. From personal experience and from reading and researching this phenomenon as well as observing other people like myself who have these difficulties in their lives. It seems to me its not so much what happens to us in our lives but what we make of it in our minds and the negative untrue meanings we create in our own heads about these experiences, that makes the difference between mental wellness or mental illness. Unfortunately when bad things happen to us, especially when we are children, we tend to internalise it and believe its our own fault these bad things happen and they are not as a result of the perpetrators own mental illness. This false belief leads us to feel bad about it. When we feel bad about it, we as most of the rest of the human race, want to feel better. We do this by abdicating our own bad feelings and projecting them outwards. In this way we inadvertantly put the responsibility for our bad feelings back onto other people, particularly and maybe especially, the people who hurt us in the first place. Current psychological theory says we need to do this, put the blame for the things that lead us to feel so bad, back on the people who 'caused' these bad feelings in the first place. But are not our bad feelings our own? And is it not what happened to us, but how we view it and interpret it, and the feelings, our own responsibility? No we are absolutely not responsible for the abuse other people inflicted on us. I'm not saying that at all. It's what we MAKE of it in our own minds that is responsible for our suffering. Change how you interpret it and realise it was your abusers sickness and resulting actions, and how you blamed yourself for it wrongly, that is the problem. Stop blaming yourself, but take responsibility for your REACTION to it that has caused the pain and grief, not necessarily other people's abusive behaviour towards you initially. The word 'responsibility' actually means ' the ability to respond appropriately to any given person situation or action'. So many of us developed a maladaptive way of responding to other people's abuse of us. We thought that other people's abuse of us meant WE were bad people, not them, as it actually was. Change this perception to matching the reality, and guess what? Miracles of miracles, you will start FEELING better. And when you FEEL better, you start BEING and DOING better. Is this really a radical concept? Not really, from my recent experiences. And overall, I'm starting to see its just logical, and GOOD sense. Notice I say GOOD sense, not common sense. I know there are some amongst us who will say, how can you apply logic and reason to the realms of emotion and subjective experience? But for me, now at least, both thinking and believing, then emotions that result from what we think and believe, are inextricably linked. One cannot exist without the other. I suppose this is at the crux of the problem. I've been looking at Buddhism and what they teach about right thinking leading to right feeling leading to right behaviour. It makes an awful lot of sense to me. Maybe there are some amongst us that think this is too simplistic a view. 'But what I have been through is outside the realm of normal human experience and I'm in so much pain about it and my life will never be the same again because of it', say a lot of us here. The pain of what you have been through twists your ability to see things clearly as they really truly are. Like I said earlier thinking and feeling is inextricably linked. I have talked about how what you think twists your feelings. But equally, what you feel also twists how you think. They each have an equal and opposite reaction to each other. Just like Sir Isaac Newton talked about with regard to the apple falling off the tree about gravity. Try to look at this from a scientific and rational point of view. The science of the mind is no different to physics, when you get down to fundamentals. But so may many people get caught up in the emotions and then they can't think straight enough to think their way out of it. Hence mentally and emotional illnesses occur. It manifests in some people as obsessions (thinking) or neuroses and psychoses ( feelings). To achieve optimum mental and emotional health you need to find a balance between the two. This is what the Buddhists refer to, as the ' middle way'. Not going from one extreme to the other. Its only an ideal, something to aim for, not necessarily something us damaged human beings will ever achieve. A guide to life, not necessarily a doctrine or commandments as they teach in the Church. Now I'm getting onto religion. Did you know the word 'religion' comes from the Latin meaning ' to reconnect'. Just what are we ' reconnecting' to? Some people would interpret it as reconnecting with 'God' or 'Spirit'. I used to see it like that myself until very recently. Now I see it as reconnecting to a part of myself that is wise and knowledgeable and knows what is best for me. The ' Higher Self'. There is only one more letter in 'good' than there is in 'God'. Its just that people generally tend to externalise it and think its something outsides themselves that's going to 'fix' them. I now realise the only being or entity that will 'fix' me is ME. I think in order to get back to where we were before the traumatic experiences happened to us, we have to restore our faith in the basic 'goodness' of ourselves and other human beings. We are responsible for 'fixing' ourselves not a 'God' that may or may NOT exist. We can only do that when we change the way we think. No one else can change the way we think. Only ourselves. Radical? Woo-woo? Not really. Why spend hundreds and thousands of quid/dollars to pay someone to 'fix' us, when with the correct information, we can do it ourselves? We could probably put the whole psychiatry profession out of business with this realisation. Lol. Why should we let other people make money out of our self-created misery? Change your interpretation, lose your misery. Its really that simple.
Hope I haven't offended anyone with what I just talked about. My intention is to enlighten educate and heal. Never to hurt or frighten. Because I love you all. As I love myself now. Finally!!!
Blessings upon us all.
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