Mental Illness: But I Digress [poem]

It travels with us all, to death from birth

in ponderously slow progress

Unless light skin protects your worth,

a worth universal – but I digress.

 

And so, we carry truth silently

Spines charged 1-million volt

For value is in the visual –

to be Fine is to appropriate the Folk.

 

Based on relative importance

the rules we live by morph

rationalizing violence and

Dissonance in due course.

 

And off of progress we’re often thrown

by family, those close to us,

often with a groan

— and, again, we regress.

 

Mental illness is a shared thang

Capitalism certainly takes the blame*

I try changing for the better

but it’ll never help if we all stay the same**

 

 

 

*I’m pretty sure our economy needs to be more holistic/sustainable – avoiding that social, environmental and economic collapse, yo.

(I’m right there with you. I’m certainly not doing the greatest job of contributing to meaningful/sustainable change in the current economy either – well, maybe you live a 100% sustainable lifestyle, but for the vast majority relying on current economic infrastructure, larger change – on the federal level perhaps? – needs to be made before the Earth will start healing…

 

**Your silence will not protect you – Audre Lorde

(we need to change verbal/linguistic tools [words!] we ALL work with before we’ll see any real change – words got so much harder for me after the injury, but here’s to constant growth!)

 

 

WORKS REFERENCED

     Melamed, Jodi. Represent and destroy: rationalizing violence in the new racial capitalism, Difference Incorporated/University of Minnesota Press, 2011.

     Leguizamo, John. Latin History for Morons, Netflix, 2018, https://www.netflix.com/title/80225421

     “The Gang Turns Black.” It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. January 4 2017. 3 Arts Entertainment. Amazon Prime.

     Kroesbergen, Hermen. (2014) Ecology: its relative importance and absolute irrelevance for a Christian: A Kierkegaardian transversal space for the controversy on eco-theology. HTS Theological Studies, 70(1), 01-08.

 

{EDIT 11/19 – this post was edited to include works referenced}

Bhutan Creates Gross National Happiness Metrics to Gauge a Nation’s Well Being

Hey y’all! I took a hiatus from posting here due to new beginnings elsewhere, but I’m back!

I began writing for the Soul Doctors blog, Ctenidium (‘ti-NID-ee-um’), about a year after my release from the hospital, and it’s been an amazing experience for my personal and business growth. I love writing for Ctenidium and hope people enjoy the blog’s focus on Psychology, mental health, and health in general. I wrote about Bhutan’s unique standards for measuring Gross National Happiness (as opposed to GDP), and you can see the article here.

Bhutan Creates GNH Metrics to Gauge the Nation's Well BeingThis article was originally published on Ctenidium.

A bit about Souldoctors.com (launching in July 2016)

Are you interested in a sophisticated directory of health specialists that seek to improve and enrich the lives of others? Have you been looking for a practical and effective way to find new clients and manage the ones you already have? 

Souldoctors.com is the answer you’re looking for! The health directory launches in July 2016 (that’s next month!!) so sign up early and be first in line for listings or info.

 

Mary, Mary, quite contrary – how does your compassion grow?

“In our societies and in our hearts, we are still willing to use force — to bomb people into peace — thus empowering our government to do so. This, we must transform ourselves to no longer be able to bear.”

-angel Kyodo williams, excerpt from essay doing darkness: change vs. transformation

Drop compassion, not bombs!

At heart, I’m an indecisive, introspective escapist. I also work with bodily complications which impair my concentration. After I experienced severe migraines and a bout of work burnout, I didn’t think I wanted anything from life besides freedom from the pain. I left the position because I knew I could work in a needlessly complicated environment just with my own voice as company – and I have indeed been struggling. Making changes in an effort to transform into an agent of justice takes time, and I ultimately owe my lack of focus to withheld pain and misdirected anger. I have used aggression where I should have used compassion, and it must become unbearable for me to behold.

For unbiased guidance of my efforts, I look to a series of principles rooted in the universal experiences humans share: Buddhist philosophy. Now a multifaceted religion, Buddhism began as a series of experiential observations that is universal and, at its core, meant to unite the likes of all people through accepting and living up to what is good for all (as opposed to a select few – Kant’s categorical imperative deals with that idea too). In alarmingly concise terms:

We all suffer

We all want to end our suffering, which only makes it worse

We can train ourselves to end collective suffering

Basically, I want to do more that is conducive to the good of all. Obviously MUCH easier said than done. And I wouldn’t call myself a Buddhist by even a long shot. But I certainly appreciate the practice in support of social justice implemented at the Center for Transformative Change. You’ve heard the saying “Air so thick with tension you can cut it with a knife”? Well, the air at that place is so thick and rich with clear intention you want to eat it with a scoop of vanilla. Now, this is not the path everyone takes to promote the good of all and justice in the world, which is just fine. Every path is paved with obstacles and imperfections. But, all denominations aside, we must practice compassion and good will not only with our families, but toward all that we rely on. In an attempt to practice indiscriminate compassion, I quietly look inward to see where my actions promote unnecessary tension or delay peaceful interaction. Sitting in acceptance of my missteps makes the truths that define them as ‘missteps’ much more obvious. This helps me see situations with clarity, informing my practice of accepting my most well-intentioned self, and others, with a level mind and compassionate heart.

We can’t erase history. Can’t erase those dreams we wish our past selves had understood were nightmares. But I am realizing how pain can breed compassion (thanks, body, for releasing the same hormones whether I’m having sex or a baby! Blessing or curse???). I now see clearly what some call the ‘thin line between love and hate’ so clearly in my passion and aggression over the years, and it is incredibly difficult not to react aggressively (whether passive or direct) when something in you just screams you deserve better. I must create space in my intentions to take action towards finding that common ground, no matter the difficulty. Which has required a hell of a lot of effort and research so far, and will ultimately take a lifetime of it.

But I know I’m not alone in my bouts of suffering. I won’t force anyone to see the benefits of transformation, but I can be an example (shy as I may currently be about it). Let the training continue and the compassion grow.