Free Agency

The universe is infinite in both size and time. When compared to this incomprehensible immensity, we are beyond insignificant. It is rather like being a single cell within a human body. An essential working component to the whole, but inconceivably too small to ever be considered by that greater whole. So, whether or not the universe holds a consciousness has never seemed a relevant question to me. That is like asking if a human is paying attention to the individual cells making up their body. If the universe has a consciousness, it is unlikely that it would ever spend time in consideration of a single human individual given the context of the vastness of the universe as a whole. Especially when one considers the very real possibility of the multiverse.

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Shift the Focus

A year ago, a dear friend of mine lost his long battle with depression and died by suicide.

I always imagined that someone I loved committing suicide would make me angry. But of all the complex feelings that I have had, anger has never been amongst them. While I mourn and suffer because of his choice to end his life, I also understand why he chose to do so. His death is a testimony of our failure as a society. He spent most of his life dedicated to helping others with mental illness because he understood how deep those struggles effect you. Despite all his training and years of experience as a psychiatric nurse, he was not immune any more than anyone else.

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021314

I am floating out here.
I cannot hold on this for ever.  
There is this place inside of me
that I cannot take you.
A place that I cannot take anyone.
If you came here,
you would never come back to me.
So, let me go.
Let me go.
I have to move onto the next place
that I have never been
and maybe when I get there
I will find that something
that I have always been looking for.
Right now I feel like I am adrift
and that there is nothing to hold onto.
Without work, I am nothing.
I have nothing to do with these hands.
There is no one that needs me,
but I need them.
So, what now?
There is nothing to hold onto,
but you hold onto me.
Let me go.
Who knows?
There might be that something
that I am looking for in that place over there;
in that place that I have never been.
Let me go so that I can keep looking.
Looking for that something that I have never been.
So, maybe; just maybe
I can become something more then I am.

Self-Honesty

When you have chronic illness, it becomes important to carefully self-evaluate and self-regulate. No one else can tell you if you should be resting or if you should be moving. No one else can really know if you are offering up excuses or if you are really having a bad pain day. But the truth is that it can be hard to tell the difference for ourselves at times. Why is this so hard? The answer comes down to self-honesty. Most of us tell ourselves lies without realizing that’s what we’re doing. We buy into the stereotypes or the stigma or the story about ourselves that we grew up with. 

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Resilience

Ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like. -Dictionary.com

RESELIENCE

The elusive creature that every mental health provider tells their patient that they should strive to achieve. But what is it? Feels a little bit like a unicorn. Something of a myth that people imagine and hope could improve their lives but don’t ever seem to lay their hands upon. But here’s the thing, this is a unicorn that each of us already have within us. Because the truth is that it’s not a unicorn at all. It’s a tree. And like a tree, if you water it, give it light and take good care of it: it will grow. But how? Well, let’s consider this little sapling.

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No-Thing-ness

Being somebody or something is very important in our culture, some times to the point of being all consuming. It is a major paradigm. A person’s worth in society is determined by what they have accomplished. While there is value and joy that comes from accomplishment, I want to suggest a different paradigm for living. I advocate that we start out with the acknowledgement that at our core, we are no-thing. As Satre stated, “Existence precedes essence.” What this means is that the central focus of our lives is our existence. That as human beings, we exist. Everything else derives from this fact. Thus ultimately at my core, I am all process, I am a stream of consciousness, I am not a thing. From this place of no-thing-ness, I discover and define my unique existential identity. What is powerful about this paradigm is that I am the subject of my life. The internal, essential self is all that exists and thus is all that matters.

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The Narrative

Who we are is the story we tell ourselves. When we look back over our life events we paint those events into the context of the story we believe we are living and the character that we think we are. When a traumatic event happens to us, we can choose to recount those events within the context of the Story of the Survior or we can recount those same events within the context of the Story of the Victim. The events haven’t changed, but the story has and because that story has changed, the way that we view ourselves also changes.

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Personal Revolution

Many of say that we wish the world was a better place, that we were better people or that we had a better life. But the truth is that we have the power to do all of those things simply by choosing how we live our lives every day. By focusing on the choices we make, we take all the power into ourselves which unto itself is a radically different way to engage with the world. What holds us back is the sense of safety and security that “sameness” offers. But this is an illusion.

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