Thanks to everyone who reached out to me by email and on social media regarding my last post. I have been interested in trauma recovery for many years and, I believe, at the core of many mental health disorders, as well as many physical illnesses, is a history of trauma. Like so many of us in the mental health field, we are fighting this battle because we are looking for answers-either for ourselves or for someone we love. Thank you for being willing to open up a discussion with me. I appreciate it so much!
A Dedication to Reality
A dedication to reality at all costs means looking at ourselves, our whole selves, and really seeing what’s there.
Our beliefs, our behaviors. Our actions, our words. The thoughts that keep us up at night. The problems that we try to escape through work, or sex, or alcohol, or drugs.
Our compulsions, our avoidance, our judgement, our intolerance…
Being dedicated to reality means letting go of excuses.
The excuses we make to justify holding on to beliefs, behaviors, and ideas that no longer serve our highest good.
It means facing life as it unfolds, holding ourselves accountable, coming to terms with past experiences, making peace with transgressions- those committed to us, as well as through us-and accepting all as valuable lessons of our human experience.
Perfection Equals Shame
When we paint a picture of our “perfect” lives- families, jobs, homes, relationships-what we are really communicating is shame.
This human experience is far from perfect, and by pretending it is, we are only attempting to hide the messy truth of legitimate soul growth.
Somehow we believe that we are alone in our imperfect messiness; that others couldn’t possibly feel as broken as we do.
When the exact opposite is true. It is the imperfect messiness of our human experience that unites us all.
We lie in an attempt to avoid suffering.
We lie about our perceived faults to avoid the shame of appearing vulnerable. We tell each other fundamental lies like:
I never struggle.
I never have doubt.
I’m never afraid.
I’m always strong.
I never get it wrong.
I never make mistakes.
As we begin to believe our lies, our mental health waivers.
We develop anxiety, believing that the misrepresentations of perfection could possibly be true.
We become depressed, believing we will never measure up.
We develop obsessions and behave compulsively, chasing the lie of perfection.
We believe our photoshopped magazine covers. We absorb our curated newsfeeds. We compare ourselves to others, knowing that our own representation of perfection is false, yet somehow believing it true for everyone else.
Bring It On
Good mental health is the result of acceptance, truthfulness, strength, and transparency.
It comes from accepting the truth of who we are, and knowing we are enough just the way we are.
Releasing the false god of perfection. Accepting that soul growth requires some level of discomfort.
Staring reality square in the eye and, with open arms, declaring to the Universe, bring it on.
See all book club posts [here.]