“True acceptance…means you are willing to feel this emotion, this pain in your body, forever.”
He grew up in South Korea during the Korean War. I was hoping to hear his entire story. But I am left with bits and pieces.
“To be identified with a mental image of who you are is to be unconscious, to be unawakened spiritually. This unawakened state creates suffering, but suffering creates the possibility of awakening. When you no longer resist the diminishment of self that comes with suffering, all role-playing, which is normal in the unawakened state, comes to an end. You become humble, simple, real.”
“For many people, illness – loss of health – represents the crisis situation that triggers an awakening. With serious illness comes awareness of your own mortality, the greatest loss of all.”
“Who would you be without your suffering*?”
*suffering = anxious, sad, worried, angry, resentful…
“You are way off of baseline.”from Blade Runner
About this piece:
I watched the scene regarding baselines from “Blade Runner” the other day. I started thinking about society and laws and citizenship and what true self-determination might be. What is patriotism? Citizenship? What are our obligations and how does the individual contribute to the mass?
the riches we all strove for were the inner lights we could possess? What if we all wanted to be rich this way and helped each other attain this wealth?
The great news is that we have the option – the freedom – to choose what wealth is for ourselves. Possessing ambition is fine, but without inner peace, it means nothing.
Rich – adj., abounding in natural resources (Dictionary.com)
The idea for this blog was inspired by Light Watkin’s post on true wealth.
“Without suffering, there’s no happiness. So we shouldn’t discriminate against the mud. We have to learn how to embrace and cradle our own suffering and the suffering of the world, with a lot of tenderness.”
THICH NHAT HANH
Thich Nhat Hanh goes on to say that we are so afraid of facing our suffering (worrying, anger, despair, fears, loneliness) that we go look for something to eat, or drink or watch TV. And many people do all of those at the same time. Even if there is nothing interesting or satisfying to watch, we are afraid to turn the television off, because then we will be left to face our suffering.
But it is necessary to face it.
It makes you stronger.
It makes you lighter.
It leads to happiness and nothing else will.
When you’re a kid, you think everyone’s home and family is like yours. This changes when you “spend the night” at your friend’s house and realize that she doesn’t eat kimchi and rice. And her family goes bowling on weekends. And her parents don’t make her do extra math problems after completing her homework.
It took me a long time to discover that anxiety and depression are not normal – that, in fact – they are states of suffering. It took me a long time to learn this because there was so much disquietude and tension everywhere: in my house, in her house…
It is everywhere:
“Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness in the U.S. They affect over 40 million adults (18 and older) or nearly 20% of the entire population every year.”(ADAA)*
“Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.” (ADAA)*
I know that all kinds of people have all kinds of disorders and that medication might be the only solution for a small percentage of the population. But I also believe that far too many of us want a quick fix in the form of a pill.
Anti-anxiety drugs, or “anxiolytics,” are powerful central nervous system (CNS) depressants that can slow normal brain function. They are often prescribed to reduce feelings of tension and anxiety, and/or to bring about sleep. Anti-anxiety medications are among the most abused drugs in the United States, obtained both legally, via prescription, and illegally, through the black market. These drugs are also known as sedatives. (Mind Disorders)**
Before considering drugs, let us try all the other options:
- cognitive behavior therapy
- getting more sleep
- a better diet
…just to name a few natural alternatives!
*Anxiety and Depression Association of America (https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics)
“Your partner is your mirror…to think your partner is anything but a mirror of you is painful. When you see him flawed in any way, you can be sure that that’s where your own flaw is. The flaw has to be in your thinking, because you’re the one projecting it.”
Katie tells a story in A Thousand Names for Joy about the time she came home, excited to eat her snack which she carefully placed “on the top shelf, to the right” in her fridge. But it was gone! Her reaction: she chuckled. “If I had believed stressful thoughts such as he’s so inconsiderate! He knew it was mine…he ruined it all, then I would have been annoyed, resentful and even angry with him.” Instead, Katie laughed at her plan gone awry. She chose to not believe those destructive thoughts. “…It turns out, I bought it for him.”
My marriage is a very good one. My husband and I share plenty of laughs, but I can get into ruts where I am bothered by something he is doing (or not doing). We have four cars right now with only two drivers in the house (him and me). He can’t let go of his Alfa Romeo, which is beyond repair. I tried to think of what I could say to get him to get rid of it. I started to feel a bit resentful as I imagined an argument and then I stopped.
Just let it go. Do not fall for these thoughts! He’ll release it when he’s ready.
The thought continues to intrude…we have a car outside in the 114⁰F heat, because we have a three car garage and FOUR cars!
I decide to chuckle.
My husband is sentimental. He appreciates that car. He loves that car.
And I love him. I love this life.
Katie’s assertion that marriage is really your relationship with yourself is spot on.