It is only fair that we distinguish that, in fact, there is a difference between situational ideas and our life as we know it. It is clear that all things change and whether we like it or not, everything changes. The world keeps moving and whether we get along or not, life is taking place.
Even if we want life to pause or even if we want to take a break or catch our breath, life is still moving. So, it is only fair that we understand the difference between happenstance or chronic. We have experiences and influences. We have motivations and inspirations which are around us at all times.
Also, it is important to note that words like experience or influence, or motivation and inspiration are neither positive nor negative. These are not mutual or exclusive; but more, these are primary drives that lead us towards the way we respond.
It is important to recognize that symptoms are not the problem; but instead, our symptoms are a production of the problems. Therefore, treating symptoms can only alleviate us for the moment – but aspirins wear off and band aids can cover the wounds but they might not prevent the scars.
So . . .
When we talk about the ideas of depression or anxiety and when we think about the problems we face on a daily basis – or when we address the procrastination to face our tasks or to do our chores – or when we diagnose the reasons why we drag our feet or a symptom of something else, it is only fair that we draw a clear line to understand the reasons behind this.
We understand that sadness can be circumstantial. But depression is chemical. This is our chemistry. While some bouts with depression might be circumstantial or situational – the chronic form is our body revolting against our surroundings. This is our body saying, “I don’t want this!”
Our behavior is a response to our feelings. Often, we are responding to either an idea, belief, or assumption; therefore, our subconscious mind is calling out, saying, “I don’t want to do this anymore!”
“I don’t want to feel this way” or in translation, “I’m tired of not being able to control what’s going on around me.”
So, maybe we self-destruct. Maybe we implode and turn inwards. Or, maybe we paint ourselves in a corner. Maybe this is us because subconsciously, we’ve surrendered to the notions in our mind that we believe to be true.
“We don’t want this,” or “We don’t like this!” – so, we revolt.
We control our predictions through sabotage or we procrastinate.
Maybe we quit. Maybe we look for an excuse or we start an argument to fit our predictions. Maybe we cut off our nose to spite our own face. But either way, anything we do is a result of a thought, a want, an idea or feeling.
We all know that situations change. However, symptoms are not the same as problems and problems that go unaddressed will not change for the better. Remaining problems will always produce symptoms. Therefore, heal the problem and cure the symptoms.
When we talk about our sadness – or when we talk about our discontent and when we feel as if “We don’t want this anymore” yet, we still have to go through another day because we still have to deal with life – or, when we still have to deal with our thoughts moving too quickly or tragically; beyond the concern of what’s happening, now is the worrisome idea that there is no relief.
This is where the clock starts to tick. This is where anxiety starts to develop fear because in our efforts to protect ourselves, the mind is connecting the need to feel better – and it must be bad, right?
There has to be something dangerous going on. Otherwise, why would we have the need to protect ourselves? Why else would we “try not to think about something” and no matter how hard we try, we’re stuck in our thoughts. This is like telling someone, “Don’t look now,” because our reflex is to look and when we do, we can’t shake what’s happening.
It seems that we are all looking to be relevant. We want to be accepted and valid. We want to be recognized and understood yet there is a concern that we have which is connected to a polar opposite. There are worries that we have which are connected to everyone else in the outside world. Meanwhile, there is an internal world that we have led astray. There is an internal idea that suggests we need to “BE” someone or that we need to “BE” something else.
There is this dance that we do. There’s a walk and a pose or a posture that we seek. For some, this is something like a James Dean approach or the need to “Be cool.” For others, it is the hope to be seen as elegant and beautiful like Marilyn Monroe or Rita Hayworth.
There is a masquerade which we’ve all been part of. We’ve all volunteered for this project and we’ve all played our games of charades and show and tell. But why? Where does this come from? Not to mention, where is the personal freedom with this?
We’ve all been looking to find “something” that will improve the concepts of self, when in fact, self is the only perfect thing we have.
It is only fair that if we are looking to find happiness or if we are looking to define our freedom, we have to understand our freedom. We have to define our happiness.
We have to define the life we want. We have to see this as clearly as we see anything in front of us. We have to design this and allow for changes because as we grow and our influences change, our views will change.
To personalize this:
When I was young, I thought the way a young boy thought.
When I was a teen, I thought as a teen. I acted as a teen.
When I was hurt, I thought the way a person in pain would think and when I was lonely, I spoke like a lonely person. I lived like a lonely person.
When I was anxious, I responded anxiously and believed in the worries of my anticipation.
When I was depressed or when I wanted to revolt or get away from myself – I acted desperately. Or better yet, I performed desperately.
When I saw no point or no reward, I acted on this behalf; in which case, I had to give myself something to hope for. Otherwise, what’s the point?
I had to allow myself the chance to unmask and undo all the fake decorations and the plastic grins. I had to find comfort in the uncomfortable moments when I had no other choice but to reveal what was true.
The more I tried to control, the less controllable I became. I was like a locomotive, churning and charging down a track that no matter how I tried, I couldn’t stop it.
I had to ride this until the end. Or until it crashed. Or until my heart gave out or whichever came first.
When we give way to our facts and recognize the internal motives, we can begin to address each item that produces the most challenge. Below is a simple item chart. These are things that relate to me. However, this is only a sample.
I can connect these to my thinking and if I choose, I can diagram these items to connect with my relationships with people, places and things.
If I choose, I can look to understand where these challenges originate. But more, I can learn to separate myself from old influences and question my assumptions instead of letting them grow out of control.
- Included and invited
I can pin these items and learn how I seek to have them met. Then I can question if my efforts are productive or not.
How do I go about having these met? Are my efforts helpful or do my actions degrade my needs and push them into a settlement; in which case, I get less than what I deserve because I bargained myself to “feel” something instead of “nothing.”
I can use these aspects to understand and improve my personal awareness. This way I can improve my thinking to achieve optimal levels and reach my best potential.
I offer this as something that relates to me. However, this is not defined as a means to relate to everyone. Instead, this can be adapted and suited to a personal diagram to understand why we think the way we do. Essentially, this allows us a way to understand what we think and why we respond the way we do.
Improve the honesty in our approach and rather than dress the part – be the part – be ourselves – find our roots and differentiate the weeds of our doubts from the seeds of our passion – and suddenly, we’ve found a way to grow.
One day at a time.