On Progress

In our modern world, we hyperfocus on productivity and progress to such a degree that we apply it to pretty much every area of our lives. Not just work or school, where you might expect this drive to reside, but healing and spiritual growth are expected to "show progress" at an unnatural pace as well.

While you might be able to create a journal and chart your progress toward a tangible goal, spiritual growth and healing are not a linear path with clearly defined steps. We sure try to make it that way, though!

I see people saying things like (and have felt myself sometimes), "I should be better by now," or "I should be over this by now" when it comes to psychological healing. Sometimes it's "I'm going to therapy and I feel worse??" or "Just when I think I've got a handle on things, some other trauma/psychological trigger comes to the surface and it feels like it will never end."

In spiritual circles, I see people talking about "steps" to "spiritually awaken," as if you can take your logical, "left brain," linear path-making skills and apply them to a process that is neither linear nor logical. Spiritual awakening, like psychological healing, has ups and downs, ecstatic moments and dark nights of the soul, and generally have more in common than you might think. I have stopped being surprised how many people in the spiritual community I come across who are just radiating unhealed trauma but are chalking it all up to spiritual events, because that's the lens that they have context for and feel equipped to work with.

In the same vein, I see people imagining that you can make a "plan" for psychological healthcare and once you follow the plan, well then, all done, you're better now (insurance companies, btw, are notorious for this, and subsequently it oozes out to the actual healthcare received). I hate to break it to you, Anthem, Blue Cross, Cigna, Kaiser, etc., but you can't decide that the treatment for depression is a half a dozen therapy sessions and some SSRIs as if it were the same as prescribing a round of antibiotics to treat an infection; that's not how it works (and even with that, sometimes the antibiotics don't work and you need to try something else).

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We can end up feeling worse because our society places so much emphasis on getting better in the sense that "you can go back to normal." But sometimes you are never going to be how you were before - and that's okay. Sometimes, it's even better, because how you functioned before wasn't good for you.

We also, as a society, set a timetable on healing as bad as the insurance companies. As the wisdom goes, if you get cancer, people will wear ribbons and drive you to appointments and help you clean house and other things to help you get through the treatment, but nobody brings you a casserole if you have depression. And eventually, people start getting tired of hearing you talk about it, though this goes for any chronic illness, not just mental. Again, if you get cancer and it takes over your life for a year, people will generally be there for you. But if you get mental illness, or Ehlers-Danlos, or COPD, or any other thing that doesn't have an expected "end point" (of course, cancer sometimes goes into remission and comes back, but people still perceive "end points" which you can tell by how they talk about it, whether that's until you get told you're in remission, you finish a round of treatment, etc.), people will start telling you things like "you just have to be positive" and "don't let this define you" and "you just want attention." You're "brave" and "an inspiration" if you fight a disease, but if you have one that can't be cured then it's seen as if you, personally gave up.

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Here's the thing, though: there is no two-week round of antibiotics for mental illness. There is no snazzy journaling method that will awaken your Kundalini. There is not a straight path from mental illness->treatment->getting better->back to normal just as there is not one for wake up call->ecstasy state->dark night of the soul->wisdom->enlightenment. Both of these paths are generally more like a winding mountain road; it doubles back on itself, ascends, descends, and you can't see around the next corner until you're right on top of it. It's messy, and it's frustrating, and it's all over the place.

I don't say this to discourage anyone from thinking that they might find healing - I too am struggling to find healing, and on those dark nights where I can't imagine it happening, it's very hard indeed. I just think that our unrealistic expectations set us up for more harm than good.

I can see that I have made progress in some ways even as I still struggle with others. I can see that I've gained insight in some places even as I feel completely blinded in other areas of spiritual work. It isn't like school, where you graduate from one grade level to the next. But it is like school in that I might be doing really well in reading but having a tough time in math. Life is like that. No one excels or fails at everything.

So if you're having a tough time right now, know that it isn't the end. I know that horrible place where you feel like there's no hope, but if you've been there and back before, you know that you can just as easily ascend as you can descend on that winding mental/spiritual road. It's hard. But you've made it this far! And that's awesome! For all any of us know, the next curve in the road will bring us into a gentle, peaceful valley or the peak of a great mountain summit. Hang onto the progress, the "wins," and the insights as your flashlight when you are in the dark place. I know you can do it. I believe in you. 💚

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PS:

Don't forget to enter my International Day of Happiness Challenge, where I am offering a Lotus Miner as the prize! It's easy peasy lemon squeezy to join in. Click on the link for details! :)

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 last month 

Thankyou beautiful. I find the same - no one wants to hear me talk about my anxiety as if it should be over by now. But it's ongoing. Plus, they say - I say - healing is a lifelong journey, not something that you do once. Ooh - interested in your challenge, let me promote it in Discord too!

I feel you. I still struggle to talk about my true feelings and even mention the word depression to my own twin sister or mom. Being able to talk about it here, makes a huge difference.

Much love!


Posted on NaturalMedicine.io

 last month 

Hive really gives us an outlet in many ways. It's kinda OKAY to be down, here - we've all lived it, right? And if we haven't, wecan just scroll on by.. or offer sympathy and a kind ear. xx Vive la hive

Thanks! I am almost never on Discord. I only really sign in if I have to, lol.

 last month 

Come onto the LOTUS chat once in a while, do your bit for Hive marketing :P xxx

https://naturalmedicine.app/

There! I'm in! LOL

 last month 

Thank you for these words and sharing this, I see that I am not the he only one, although I already knew it. I love this kind of article because of the psychological theme and you inspire me a lot.

I know I speak as a robot or as the typical HIVE person who comments ''good publication'', and that's it. But no, it's real, I admire the courage you have to share something of yours, I still find it very difficult to do so. It's things like this that affect me, the fear, the insecurity, being so introverted and feeling invisible is the worst thing I can have at this time in my life... I mention it because we talk about depression and stuff. Although I said something I haven't meant to say, well, let's just say I had the courage to say it in a comment on a post in HIVE. It's better this way, nobody sees me. lol

Hugs from afar.


Posted on NaturalMedicine.io

well, let's just say I had the courage to say it in a comment on a post in HIVE. It's better this way, nobody sees me. lol

I saw this ;<)

You'll get there. Paso a paso.

Un abrazo.


Posted on NaturalMedicine.io

 last month 

Thank you for those words, I have faith that it will be like that, I keep trying.

Un día a la vez. :D

I see you, and I appreciate you saying it! 💛 I was raised very much in that "we don't talk about that kind of thing" mindset, where you are supposed to pretend like everything is fine when it isn't. It took a LOT of work for me to be able to say things out loud. So I see and honor your courage! Hugs back to you. :)

Sorry for hijacking your feed but this

I was raised very much in that "we don't talk about that kind of thing" mindset, where you are supposed to pretend like everything is fine when it isn't. It took a LOT of work for me to be able to say things out loud.rings so true with me.

Having a dad who has been depressed since I was in my early teens ( a quarter of a century ago ) and who had a psychosis in 2009, didn't help with this. He never expressed himself, emotionally, and talking about depression, or later my fathers 'craziness' / psychosis ( which was the effect of too much morphine after open-heart surgery ) did not happen in my parents' household. And believe me when I say they can talk.

This is one of my favorite phrases:

"depression is the opposite of expression".

Let's not stop to express ourselves ( in words and or creativity )


Posted on NaturalMedicine.io

That's a great saying - depression is the opposite of expression. I'm going to have to chew on that. It is helpful to express ourselves and let the toxic thoughts escape our minds! Sometimes you can be ruminating on something very negative and don't realize just how unhealthy it is until you say it out loud, and have to try and explain it to someone else. Then sometimes you realize - okay, I'm being really hard on myself, aren't I? ...or whatever the case may be.

Sometimes you can be ruminating on something very negative and don't realize just how unhealthy it is until you say it out loud, and have to try and explain it to someone else. Then sometimes you realize - okay, I'm being really hard on myself, aren't I? ...or whatever the case may be.

Very true :<)


Posted on NaturalMedicine.io

Wow! This is so beautiful and sounds and feels so true. I can 100% percent relate to this and know of many others - also in this community - who would agree with me. Aside from that, you write like a pro ( I guess you are ) and I like your humor. I'm not necessarily a cat person but your cat jokes crack me up haha!

Thank you for sharing this with us. It was just what I needed to read :<)

Big hug,

Vincent


Posted on NaturalMedicine.io

Aw, thanks! I can't take credit for creating those cat memes, I just tried to find ones that fit the topic, lol. Sometimes it's hard to find fitting images to go with not-really-visual topics. ;)

 last month 

So, so accurate. Gosh, they even medicate in the hopes to getting out of the depression, but end up back at square one coming off them or permanently on them.

These things are managed, not cured. Life is such that you'll always get new things thrown at you, even if you've gotten a better handle on past things. Then there are those times when you think you've gotten your past behind you and it creeps up to bite you in the ass and you have to go through it all again. Not that these things don't need going through again, sometimes, particularly when you realise you've just buried them and not worked through them.

particularly when you realise you've just buried them and not worked through them.

Yeah, we do that a lot, especially when we're still in the bad situation (like, not processing abuse while we're still in an abusive relationship).

Thank you @phoenixwren, for using the CO2 Compensation Coin (COCO / SWAP.COCO) on Steem-Engine or on Hive-Engine to reduce your CO2 footprint. You want to join? Buy some COCO / SWAP.COCO and transfer them to CO2Fund's account @co2fund.