Why are we so afraid to peer into the dark corners of our minds? I remember asking my Grandparents what it was like to live through the Great Depression. Only to get shrugs or non-responses like we were so poor we didn’t know there was a depression. Many of us today still do the same thing when it comes to traumatic experiences. I suppose for me it was all the one-on-one and group therapy sessions I attended that finally got me to crack that shell.
For a really long time I played the game of “everything’s fine”. Or I would deny myself the right to grieve. Or better yet verbally abuse myself for ever having negative thought. I believe whole-heartedly that life is about balance. That life, bad or good shouldn’t override the other. Growing up in the charismatic evangelical faith, thinking such thoughts is blasphemy. But through my experience wishing or “praying away” mental illness is…well stupid.
Most of my mental health problems stem from verbal abuse. Another percentage stems from “faulty wiring”. So over the decades I’ve treated both with medication and cognitive therapy. Now I also use mediation and the principles of mindfulness to keep myself centered.
This means, I can’t deny the thoughts that travel through my mind, neither negative or positive. Through mindfulness and therapy I’ve learned listen to the fear and the pain, as well as, the positive. To deny one is to deny the other. So at the moment I’m listening to that frightened, angry little boy. Accepting what he has to say and loving him despite it all. Wishing and denial only work so much. But accepting, loving, and forgiving well… that lasts forever.
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FD Thornton, Jr
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