You are not who you think you are
You are that which remains when you cease thinking
Redefining Mental Suffering
When most people think about mental illness, they look directly to the area of the brain. While this may be intuitive, the problem is that the brain is only the tip of the iceberg of where the mental suffering is coming from. Treating only the mind is analogous to only attending to the smoke without putting out the fire. The brain alone is not where the core etiology of mental suffering is located.
The reality is that over one’s lifetime, the mind builds up so many subconscious defense mechanisms that it becomes difficult to go beyond the mind and into the being (body) of the person where the true healing begins.
Let’s take heartbreak for example. Everyone has had their heart broken before and the sensations that one experiences throughout the area of the heart may be perceived as unpleasant. In order to avoid this unfamiliar sensation again, the mind devises a thinking strategy that may go something like “I will remain strong and never experience this feeling again.” While this may appear to work in the short term, in the long run, it ends up not working because although the person may be able to carry on with many additional relationships, the ability to feel begins to diminish. The mind is now locked in a thinking pattern that instructs us to never feel that heartbreak again.
So how do we begin to heal the problem? It is all too easy to attribute these problems to genetics or chemical imbalance or diet problems. While it is true that modifying the chemicals in our brain will have a physiologic effect, the root of the problem is never addressed and that is the fear of feeling. While the fear of feeling heartache may have been conscious the first time to occurs, it has now become complete subconscious. The healing can only begin when the person begins to allow themselves to feel once again. The benefits are two-fold. The first is that by bringing awareness back to the region of the heart, the subconscious fear of feeling again begins to mitigate. The second benefit is that it begins to break the lifetime buildup of cyclical thought processes that instruct us not to feel again.
Another example is holding on to thoughts of anger or guilt. Our body cannot tell the difference between a real external threat versus an internal thought based threat unless we are conscious of the difference. If a person goes to war and witnesses and experiences atrocities, it is true that there are real external threats present at the time of the war. However, it is when the person returns home that the war is stored as thoughts in the mind and even in a quiet room, the person remains in a state of a threat as if they were still in battle. They have carried the war home in their mind.
The body begins to react to these persistent thoughts also known as flashbacks, which keeps the body in a state of known as fight or flight. The entire body is under a state of alert with heightened adrenaline and sympathetic overload. This is both a hormonal and nervous system response to a true emergency.
Again, the only way to truly begin to heal is to not treat the mind with chemical pills, but rather to allow the person to begin to let go of these thoughts. This can be accomplished only after the person becomes conscious that holding onto and reacting to thoughts of anger will only bring about their own further suffering. Each time a disturbing thought of war arises, again they may begin to bring attention to the area of their body that is reacting to this thought thereby removing the subconscious fear of feeling again and breaking the repetitive thinking process that the body is continuing to react to as if there was a real threat.
As one can see, mental suffering is not just of the mind. For true healing to occur, the subconscious fears must be brought to light and the person must allow themselves to bring awareness to the body once again.
“Feeling is healing”
Before you get out of bed in the morning, start your day with a 10-minute session of awareness. The general idea is to take inventory of yourself. Are there places within your body that are under tension? Do you feel stimulated.? Does your head hurt? Are you hungry? Are you aware of any particular thoughts that are causing tension in your body? Is your body reacting to the thoughts in your mind as if a real external threat were present?
Each area of the body that seems to be in need of attention, is where we bring our attention and mindfully experience the sensations involved where the body stress may be accumulating. As our attention is guided toward each of these places, we direct nice deep healing breaths to each one of these places.
If we continue to ignore our body’s natural intelligence, slowly but surely tension is held within these places of the body that may eventually evolve to give us physical health problems such as hypertension, heart disease, GI problems, stroke, autoimmune disease to name a few.
In order to heal ourselves, we must go beyond our thinking mind and into our being.
With an approach that addresses both the mind and the being, true long lasting healing begins to occur.
You may think you know who you are, but that would be a thought of yourself.
You may think you know your universe, but that would be a thought of your universe.
You and your universe, as well as thoughts of yourself and your universe, are all waves of the same ocean.
Fully realize that your thinking mind cannot know either yourself or your universe.
Become aware without knowing and realize you were never separate from your universe.
This separation was only in your mind.
It is when we come close to the end of our own lives, or we see the life of someone else get taken that we realize how precious life is.
We see how trivial some of our day to day problems are.
We see how close we are to one another.
We see why there is no reason to hate one another.
There is only a need to have love and compassion.
We must first have love and compassion for ourselves.
We must take care of ourselves, honor ourselves
We cannot rely on others to fill us with love that resides within.
We cannot expect someone else to gives us love since they may be looking to us to fill the same void.
When we love ourselves, we love another
When we are kind to ourselves, we are kind to others.
We do not have to wait for a near death experience to come to this realization.
We can do this now.
Now is the time to love.
Where is love?
You search, and yet you do not find
You check online
You check outside
You ask around
But you do not know
You think to yourself, where is love
You read books
You watch films
But still, you cannot find
But then you look in the one place that was always right under your breast
You listen and discover
All along it was inside of you
You were always the love you were looking for
Do you know who you are?
It’s not who you think you are.
You are not composed of thoughts.
Thoughts do not contain you.
You were taught those words by others who think they are their thoughts.
Others who think they are the acquired collection of words stored in their minds’.
So who are you?
There are no words to describe you.
There are no boundaries to contain you.
You are before all words.
You are beyond all boundaries.
You are eternal.
You are whole
You are not separate from all you see, feel, hear, touch, taste and smell
You are not separate from what is inside and outside of you
All separations are an illusion of your mind
Your mind that thinks it is a “self” separate from its “universe”
There is no self
There is no universe
Nothing that can be named
For naming simply separates what can never be separated
You are simply this eternal present moment that nothing is separate from.
No one can teach us who we are
We ask why we exist, yet we are the very existence that asks.