Copyright © 2015
Have you wondered about any benefits of what we might call 'mental illness'? Think of your physical body. When you're in pain, it's because something needs attention. It might be as simple as placing your foot in a different spot or seeking medical attention. This is how our physical body takes care of itself.
We also have a way for our mental or emotional 'body' to take care of itself. Depression, anxiety, remorse of conscience, etc., are healthy indicators of something being wrong, a system out of balance. I am not referring to brain abnormalities or physiological impairment or damage. In an individual without these defects, these indicators are inviting us to place ourselves in a different position. This often means a growth and change process which undoubtedly can be painful. The problem we have is we often want to avoid legitimate suffering. Some claim this is even the root of all mental illness (Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled). Change is a natural process of growth but we often fear leaving our comfort zones or taking responsibility.
So, how should we respond? We exercise faith and acceptance. This means we have the courage to ask tough questions like "What lie am I telling myself that maintains my suffering?" or "What truth am I rejecting" and "What causes me to reject this truth? What's my fear?"
If we do not act and refuse to change than those indicators worsen until they interfere with daily living and create a mental and spiritual atrophy and decay. This creates a numbing effect that takes over our attitude and well-being.
So welcome pain, as it teaches us and creates meaning in our lives. Let's have the courage to face these indicators and look inward to develop ourselves!
The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
― (Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled)