Another week has ended in this wonderful world of ours, Hurrah! (no sarcasm intended). One of the reasons I continue to trudge on with life especially when times get tough, is because I love learning about people, cultures, customs etc that connect our universal experience and give our individual lives depth and meaning.
It’s an odd inclination (or vibe you can say) since as a teen for people to share their life experiences with me. Coming from a very hush-hush family, it was frowned upon to open up to strangers (especially in the workplace).
Often enough the workplace is where lots of bonds are formed. I was never the religious (or groupie) type, so I was never part of those groups people join to make friends and such. I found however that when you did not open up (especially after sharing a workspace with people for more than 8 hours) you were bound to attract some sort of attention which was not always the positive kind.
Scrolling through my social media platforms over the years to do my “branding” and marketing bit, either on my way in or out 3 out of 4 times, I’d come across some post about mental health. Always a fascinating topic for me, I guess because of the work I was naturally drawn to and found myself in (which all seemed to intersect eventually).
I loved writing, advertising, drama and music and took to them from elementary school all the way to the wire (not literally of course). I did psychology, business and human resources too, but somehow I was always intrigued by the workings of the mind.
No less, it’s the glue that holds our physical bodies together though a difficult concept to get a handle on. Our minds controls everything from eating habits, sexual behaviour, professional excellence, work ethic, human relationships and communication. It cannot be said enough: Our.mind.controls.everything.
When I started working from a late teen, I remember people telling me that I overthink things (usually guys) and I was a cynic! I did not know this was such an issue back then until I realized the brain chemistry and emotions of the two sexes are totally at odds with each other. It’s no wonder we go through life playing musical chairs and trying to find the best fit for us at any point in time (as if life wasn’t hard enough already!).
Back to the debate about mental health. I dabbled in the subject of psychology over the years, so I’m far from an expert (just thought I’d put that disclaimer out there). Of course everybody’s interpretation of any concept is skewed towards their personal experiences and how they were socialized to think and behave. You can say upbringing is the base for our future realities. Genetics has a bit to do with it I reckon.
I decided to blog about this today because it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a minute, since it’s been a taboo subject for decades and everyone is trying to find an elixir and root cause to explain why someone may exhibit eccentric behaviours (or presumably be deemed to be heading over the deep end of the pool without a life jacket).
To say that there is ONE single (one-off) factor that causes a person to “act out” (or trip for want of a better word) will be a myopic judgement on any of our parts. Especially if we don’t make the time to find out what are the factors “at play” or understand how the mind works. We can say it’s in the genes, but any infirmity of the mind or body is a matter of knowledge, control, choices and our environment.
It has little to do with what other people think ‘sickness’ is, what they think the surrounding or prevailing factors are and how they would personally cope in the exact situation, since everyone’s interpretation of reality and their coping skills are different.
Two people can read the same book, watch the same movie or news report, go to the same school/listen to the same teacher, attend the same religious institution, read the directions on the same pill box and walk away with totally different experiences and results based on where they are coming from and the lens thru which they look.
The question that follows is what is the difference between us & the next person?
- Our tenacity to quiet the internal & external noise and filter what we consume.
- The frequency within which we do this (and where we do it).
- The people we hang with, LISTEN to and our courage to disconnect when necessary.
- Our MIND holds the answers to every single decision we must make to move on from every dilemma, every challenge and every issue that life brings our way.
It’s not always possible to slow alll the way down at different points along our life’s journey, or make the best decisions due to our exposure at various points. But with time, it’s like a muscle that gets stronger if we consistently work it.
If we shut our minds down and block out the natural ability to build that muscle and willpower guess what happens?
We become depressed. Our body fails us. Our lids grow heavy. We made rash choices – some we may never be able to reverse or recover from.
If we can all take our own advice at all times, I guess we’d have a perfect world (which we don’t). But we can consciously choose the messages we consume. The places we frequent and the people we choose to include in our INNER circle. Everyone that crosses our path has a message for us.
We may not realize its importance right away, but when life forces us to slowww down and we allow our mind to regress and train it to return to reality, we’d find that the solutions lie in the messages and experiences that people have shared along the way.
Light + Life,