Joseph’s Understanding of Mental Health

Health is a side effect of spirituality. If you are complete within yourself, being healthy is natural. – Sadhguru

Mental Health issues have walked my path along side me since I can remember. I have lived half my life in deep in addiction, wondered through Depression, experienced all forms of Anxieties and lived with a continuous undertone of Stress, as a result, my outlook and perception upon Mental Illness has changed and continues to do so.

Any form of illness or dis harmony is frustrating, painful and life impeding. This I imagine would ring true for all who have lived with or continue to live with any form of dis-ease. However, I thoroughly believe that we are given what we are given by something far bigger than us. This may seem unfair to some and they may question the purpose or reasoning behind this, but from every situation, internal or external, there is a lesson to be learnt or growth to be found.

When I was battling Addiction and suffering Depression, that statement would have caused me a great deal of anger hearing someone attach any form of positivity to my dire circumstances, but having been in that place, it is quite clear looking back that we have two choices, to be a pupil in the lesson of life or be a victim of its cruelty – they are the only two options. I fell to my knees and surrendered to my difficulties and I relinquished all control. From that point I gave myself a break from the constant tension which I endured by trying to tame my mind, change my feelings and control the whole world around me.

We control nothing but the choice that we have in this very moment now. We do not control what is thrown at us, but we can control how to react to it. The outcome and result of any choice is out of our control. As is the beating of our hearts, the air in our lungs, the sun rising and setting, peoples opinions, the source of our thoughts and the continuation of life in the cosmos, the list goes on and encompasses all, because I truly believe that we control ZERO. How could this perception on life help? I found that with trying to control the uncontrollable, I created nothing but friction and resistance leading to extreme Anxiety. Once I surrendered to life, to my thoughts and my external circumstances, I found that things began to flow a lot better and a lot more naturally. Accompanied by my new understandings that what will happen will happen, there is a lesson to be learnt and growth to be found, and that I cannot stop the thoughts, but I do not have to attach to them, my life began to change in every way possible.

I truly believe that surrender is the most difficult and bravest thing to do. Once we are able to do this, life happens to us, instead of our bad decisions getting in the way. Over a five year period, step by step and lesson by lesson, I have begun to sit with my worries, observe my fears and stay present through intense emotions, rather than fighting them or escaping with substances. By me once labelling my thoughts and circumstances either good or bad, I found that I was creating the perfect environment for more misery to arise. A thought is just a thought, neither good or bad, in fact the thought is not real, unless I allow it to be (We do have control over that). This type of living and higher perspective could never have been possible without getting spiritually well first. We have to awaken to the fact that we are not our thoughts (The primary source of all Mental Illness) and to the understanding that 99% of our actions and behaviours happen unconsciously without any input from us (in the conscious sense). We don’t even have control over that.

In our life, we usually try to fix the physical and mental problems that we deal with but neglect the true source of the problems, our neglected spirit. Once we get right spiritually, then in almost every case, the mental, emotional and physical aspects of ourselves have no other way to operate but in a balanced way. I can notice these days when I begin to lack spiritually because I get a return of powerful obsessive thinking and unwanted emotions. My thoughts create the emotions, which then as a result create physical pain, which then creates dis harmony in my external environment and in my life – and so the spiral begins. Once this happens for a period of time, I would again enter a cycle where all aspects of my life and health begin to crumble.

We should get right spiritually, and the universe and our deep unconscious minds will do the rest. All we need to do is make the best decision we can in this moment and then let go……… control is an illusion. Our conscious minds control nothing but one thing – “How will I decide to deal with this thing in this moment which has been thrown at me?”. Whether it be a thought, memory, life crisis or perceived failure, and once we decide, we take action and let go and let life or the universe do the rest.

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