True change takes super patience and a long time at that super patience. It’s like a patience double whammy sandwich where you just have to keep eating and trusting that it’s providing you with nourishment. Probably at least 3 months of actually committing to something where you really draw intention to acting on what you want to change, really making an effort to be different regardless of consequences, and always returning to whatever it is you’re trying to do. Realistically, more like 6 to 9 months where true change starts to really feel felt. There is no quick anything and this is why a lot of people will never really transform because it’s A LOT of work. It’s like a grand shipping vessel changing directions in the middle of the ocean going at a max speed of 2 mph with no land reference to know that any route has ever changed. We spend our whole lives BECOMING the way we are, and only some of us build awareness for HOW we actually are, and an even smaller amount ACCEPT that fully and then grow in an empowered, positive direction from there. We spend a shit ton of time forever holding onto things and attach meaning to the mind for however we have been in our lives. Letting go is thus a herculean task. If we keep up with the practice, at some point we actually get to know who we are and can communicate, be honest, and confident about it. This true change comes from commitment to our mental health practice. We only have so much time in our lives and the level of time spent being patient and committed to this may seem daunting, but then again, we have so much time in the span of decades and our lives to eventually embrace healthily who we are and what we want to be.
My own process comes in the form of staying committed to a self-love practice and learning how to sit in stillness and let everything settle to the point where a certain ‘nothingness’ is achieved. A nothingness that brings about a certain observation of my life for taking steps to allow what I truly feel connected with to persist rather than listening to the noisy chamber of my mind blasting away at me in extremes and busyness at every moment. If I don’t commit to this with my time and patience, my life passively becomes overwhelmingly shrouded in anxiety, depression, addiction, trauma reactions, etc. In this way, everyone is different. We may look at people and judge and think they are living in really unhealthy ways, but those people are on their own path and you have no idea what they are going through. Maybe you’re right about what you think of them, maybe not. Either way, it doesn’t really matter because it’s not about you. What’s about you is the peace you have in your heart about who you are. Maybe the other is truly at peace and with how they are, no matter how ironic or unhealthy it may come across. There is no right or wrong in any of this and that is important to remember. It’s not about the other and getting lost in that is a recipe for disaster. Your inner peace and own energy trajectory and mental health are what’s important.
If what’s true for you is that you perceive others or the world to be fake, then that is your truth. That’s awareness and now you know how you want to be, who you want to be around, what you want to be around, etc. For example, social media can make this feeling go insanely haywire. It’s often a wormhole of mental instability every second testing you. There are phenomenal yoga sayings about letting go of ego with a picture of promoting absolute ego. But really, it shouldn’t matter. Nothing is right or wrong. Things don’t always have to be consistent and you never know who is at peace with themselves when it comes to what you perceive of them. Why can’t people post naked pictures of sexy yoga poses while making wonderful inspiring yoga phrases? Maybe in a utopian world something like this wouldn’t be noticed, but our culture (and perhaps a bit of our natural biology) has created this definition of irony. Is there a way to see beyond it? Yes, most definitely, however, living in either a toxic or “perceived” toxic environment is going to inevitably wear on oneself. It is impossible to think we will be immune from all of this unless we make a huge practice and effort to align our lives with everything that brings us health. It is awareness of environment, awareness of cultural norms, awareness of ourselves, and overall, awareness of how we want to be in the world and what creates positive mental health.
Modern culture in the form of tech and social media, as examples, can be incredibly toxic to mental health. These reflections are more about overcoming addiction. In these case, the norms of our culture and how the mind has learned to react. In the end, it is the internet and if we don’t have awareness of what that is then it is easy to become lost. Advertising and repetitious messaging works and it’s no different than the truth of a billboard or commercial, etc. There is not a lot of substance behind such messaging; behind solely seeing words and images on a screen. It means very little without trying out in action what those words or images mean. If anything, the internet and social media is like a massive collection of where to start from vs anything that’s meant to be focused on too intently. The maze, massiveness, and obsession need to be ignored as it is so easy to get stuck in the mud of it all. The opposite then becomes important in the implementation of ‘less is more’, and ‘doing’ over sitting in front of a screen. The latter gives the mind control and sends us down never-ending worm holes where we think we can live our lives by just thinking through it all and being in our heads as we watch tech live through us and for us. Mind, mind, mind, it will never stop, and with focusing on that our life practice of positive mental health will suffer.
Learning to take back and be in charge of my own mental health has seen me striving for self-love and aligning my life for needing to reach out less to my addictions and distractions. I notice I give in to these behaviors more when I let the mind take over and don’t have confidence or self-love, or when I feel like something outside of myself needs to make up for my internal lack of it. I have awareness for paying special attention to what situations in life give me that graspy feeling where I’m outside of my body allowing what’s around me to dictate what I’m thinking, feeling, doing. When do I become desirous and obsessed with an idea and am no longer present? When do I find myself out of control with my intentions and prayers in life? How do I cater to being in a connection mindset with myself, others, and life vs just wanting something for the ‘hit’ of whatever it is? When I feel such things, pulling away is the obvious solution. This information that flows through me is the intelligence of my body, the universe, life talking to me. How do I respond to this information vs react? I want to feel my energy growing and expanding in situations in life vs getting narrowly focused. I need to be able to pull away at any second and be content with perhaps not getting my dopamine hit (the real drug we’re all addicted to). When I listen to myself, usually better situations and people arise that embody a connection felt where a lightness is present and an equal exchange of giving and receiving happens. Feelings of empowerment and respect for self and others arise. Unconditional love grows and that giving and receiving feel somehow the same as life is being lived through you vs you attempting to have any control over it. It just is happening.
Taking on such practices is a fucking doozy. It commonly will change everything about your whole life and sense of being in the universe and who and what you spend your time around. It is a scary process where you’ll truly feel vulnerable and naked where everything you ever thought about yourself is throw into question and re-birthing yourself turns into a cyclical theme in your life (it does get easier!). But, fuck, what else is life for? I mean, obviously, there’s other ways to live and I am just coming from my own process but the positives of taking this on are immeasurable in terms of growing to authentic places and feeling at peace with yourself, the world, the universe.
The external self and world should be a far second of influence compared to one’s inner strength and awareness. The world is going to do its thing, others will do their thing, everybody has a right to do their thing. One’s emotional health and happiness will probably largely be dependent on how capable you are at drawing influence, admiration, love from within yourself, and doing your thing confidently vs anything outside of you that brings upon insecurities, ill will, judgement, comparison, sense of right/wrong, etc. One can be sane in a perceived insane world as long as they continually make efforts to feed their soul and connect to the communal spirit. It doesn’t really matter if all of the “others” are demons or capitalistic personalities or whatever. Labels don’t really matter vs what is happening and processing inside of you. What happens when one stops trying so hard at trying to organize, label, control, worry, be overwhelmed about the external world so much, and rather, bring that energy in?
Change comes with patience, kindness, compassion. One will slip for sure, act stupid, hurt others, etc. It’s all ok. Become your demons and ask what they want and care for them and strive for awareness even within them. Sit with it all. Be open with your process and how you’re trying your best to change for the better. The universe will accept you once you allow it to live through you. Trust your gut and heart absolutely and be aware of the mind but don’t give it control. This is how one listens to the universal energy flowing through your body speaking to you. What happens when you listen to it? Most of the angst I ever had about anything was from me not listening to my own intelligence coming to me in this way. I commonly stayed in my mind, hid behind my insecurities and addictions, and was not true to myself.
Today I trust in patience. I trust in the obviousness of what keeps speaking to me and if it is expansive and connective in nature or narrow and depletive. It’s easy to feel when I’m in my mind now and going crazy. If this is the case, I’ve learned to just let go of whatever it is, drop it all. I will no longer fight myself, fight my mind.
We are all doing the best we can. You can’t worry about if something isn’t good for you to pursue. We need to experience and be honest and trial and error with things really helps us grow. No right or wrong for the most part. Radical acceptance of who you are. What would that look and feel like? When u have a true connection you really know it and it blasts you in the face. How can you be an ethical person but do exactly what you need and want? It is very possible. Life can look and be and feel dramatically different than you ever imagined.