Tuesday, 8 July 2008

How to create your own suffering

I made it, once again: I succeeded in creating some nice suffering for myself. But, well, it's been a while, so I guess, it was about time. If I wasn't to end up megalomanic.

How to do? Well, just take a minor misunderstanding about some weekends off, for instance, that presents you with an additional weekend on duty, instead of the weekend off, you have due, and then - of course without trying to do anything to clear up the misunderstanding! - rush to take on the role of the victim: "What did I say, you're not worth being shown consideration for!" the little voice in the head says. And since you got going this well, why not going all out, why settle for half-baked solutions: "You might as well vanish altogether. After all, there's no one who sees you, and thus would miss you." You just have to take on the role of the victim, whole-heartedly. The role, you maybe once found yourself in, in the dim and distant past, when you actually, and more or less consequently, were overlooked, but that you here and now only need to find yourself in to the extent you choose to ignore the present moment, and instead choose to identify with the dim and distant past. Just choose to identify with your own past, your story - as a victim. There you go.

The part of the ego, which Eckhart Tolle calls the "Pain Body", loooves this. If no one sees me, if I am that invisible, insignificant, that no one notices me, shows me consideration, if I, in the eyes of others, am nobody/nothing, I may as well resort to suffering as a last straw, and become (make myself) "the victim", right? An entire Saturday evening spent in wonderful ego-identification ("I am my story - as a victim, yep!"), and thus in tremendous suffering, and half the Sunday, too. Yeehahhh! I did great. "Voices", momentary "thought disorders", flashes of "delusions", and occasionally full stops. (While all this, and especially that which I call "full stop", prevented me from clearing up the misunderstanding, thus effectively providing the peace and calm necessary for me to be able to continue to suffer.) A little of everything. I wasn't out diving. I was about to drown. Myself in my self-created suffering.

I didn't drown, anyway, because I, deep inside, knew very well that I had hang the millstone, this great big NO! to the present moment, that dragged me deep into the suffering, around my neck myself. So, I could as well just take it off again. Since I'm sooo finished with drowning - myself in my self-created suffering. And that was what I did. At last, and not without also having tried to put an even greater NO! on top of the original one, first. Something that is suitable for applying a furthermore intensifying dimension to the suffering.

I tell this, because I often meet people who say, that all which the mental health system terms "symptoms" of an "illness", "just happens" to them, because of a quality without them, an "illness". That it is totally out of their control whether it happens, or to what extent. And, and this is the decisive factor, that control can't be achieved. Not within themselves, at least. Only and solely through means and measures without themselves, like chemistry or, in case, electricity.

Emotional suffering ("mental illness"), although most often caused by the world, is always created within and by oneself, or: within and by one's reactive (to the world reacting) ego. The end of this suffering thus only can come from within. With the insight: "Your past has no power over the present moment."
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Jane at Bipolar Recovery has an excellent post about meditation on her blog, that also somehow explains, why I nearly drowned this weekend, recently having started to practise meditation on a more regular basis as I have.

I don't expect it to get much worse though, since I've been there, facing my demons, most of them, going through fire and water, and drowning, time and again. Since I've had my "dark night of the soul". And since I've gained some swimming and diving skills in therapy ("meditation light"), too.

1 comment:

Jane said...

Emotional suffering ("mental illness"), although most often caused by the world, is always created within and by oneself, or: within and by one's reactive (to the world reacting) ego. The end of this suffering thus only can come from within. With the insight: "Your past has no power over the present moment."

Beautiful. You are going to be just fine Marian. I don't mean that in a 'pat on the hand' way.

I mean that in a more global, spiritual, long term sense.

No matter how many times you experience a destabilizing period, you will come back.

You will grow from the strength and clarity from destabilization itself. When it has gone, only you will remain.

Likely never to be effected by that particular manifestation again.