I believe in a holistic view of my body, mind and spirit. My mind needs healing. Maybe yours does too. Sometimes an infected mind is more difficult to diagnose. It all comes down to perspective. It comes down to how our mind was trained to see the world. You at the center of the universe and everything acting around you. In order to heal we have to become the doctors of our own minds. People can tell us all day long that we need to change and that our thoughts and our actions are harming others. But until we see it for ourselves, the motivation to change won’t come. It’s too hard. We have to confront and pass through too much raw pain and emotion to have the determination to walk through the wilderness of our hurtful memories.
Sometimes we compare our hurt to others and we think that our hurt is less or more. It wasn’t as deep and it wasn’t as hurtful as what others have gone through. Or we think that we are a lost cause because we have done something so heavy and wrong. Comparison is a thief to progression. Other people’s progress doesn’t stunt our growth. Other people’s pain doesn’t silence ours. Your pain and your experience is valid, it is important, it is real. If you want to grow, you must let go of comparisons and look internally without judgement. You must see the pain and the illness before you can take measures to impact it. We are all broken and incomplete wherever we are in life. That has become the most exciting and the most daunting part for me. Growth is ever present and available. You can continue to climb the mountain of knowledge and intelligence forever.
Developing your inner voice
The greatest lesson for me in my experience was dissecting my behavior. What emotions was I feeling when I acted out. I learned that our thoughts and cognitive thinking generate a biological physical response. My feelings were fabricated by my thoughts. If I was allowing negative narratives to run in my mind, my feelings were negative. Tony Robbins talks a lot about the connection between our brain and our feelings. Tony explains it this way:
“We’ve all heard the term “state of mind,” but have you ever put much thought into what it really means? Before you can answer the question, “How do I change my state of mind?” you first have to know what it is. “State of mind” is defined as the quality of one’s consciousness as it relates to the outside world, as well as the perception of their inner thoughts and emotions. When you’re in control of your state of mind, you’re the master of your emotions and you understand that life is happening for you, not to you.”
When I dissected the emotions I was feeling when I was viewing pornography and acting out, I learned that there were narratives running in my mind. Some of those narratives were true and some of them were false. I had to become more self-aware of what thoughts I was allowing to have a place in my mind. You must learn how to become the gatekeeper to your own mind. Sometimes negative thoughts enter your mind, but you just need to recognize this and discard those thoughts as soon as possible. Journaling and talking about my feelings became an exorcism exercise for me.
I quickly learned that my emotional maturity had been stifled the majority of my life because I never paid much attention to the negative feelings I was feeling. I would just use pornography to silence them and to brush them away. I didn’t understand some of the more complex negative feelings because I didn’t even take the time to understand the basic everyday negative feelings. You have to learn to create environments where you can process your feelings in a healthy way. If you do look at pornography don’t use it as a replacement behavior to avoid addressing difficult conversations. Pornography will make you feel good in the moment but it will never solve the conundrum that you are avoiding.
When you don’t express your feelings they become a ball of energy that has to be released. Energy can’t be destroyed, it has to be transferred. Pornography would only delay the release of the emotions. My feelings would be stacked and packed for so long that they would be stockpiled for an outburst. My outbursts would be by acting out irrationally by saying something really insulting and hurtful. Or one time I kicked a hole in a door in an argument with my parents. Or another time, I broke my hand by punching my brother because he took a bite of my sandwich.
The negative narratives in my mind were poison to my system. I wish I had the tools as a kid that I have learned over the last few years of my life to control my “state” or my consciousness and awareness. Your energy creates your reality.
Ridding yourself of things that aren’t you.
Growing up I hated onions. I hated them so bad that I would gag the moment they hit my tongue. The problem was that my Mother put onions in everything. Not just some onions, a lot of onions. I still give her a hard time about it today. So before taking my first bite I had to dig through the food and break it up to find all of the onions. My road to recovery was a lot like this. I had to break down all of my assessments and opinions of things to deconstruct the lies. You know the things that you are so sure about and you physically get ill when others disagree with you on. Break that down to the simplest parts. Because the thing that I learned is that beliefs and theologies are not that far apart. The Curan and the Bible have a lot of the same history, at least from the old testament. They just both branched off to different stories, different paths, and different prophets. The more I was absolutely and positively certain about something, the more I had to dig into it and re-check the structure of the thinking. Remove your ego and allow yourself to be humble enough to learn something. My experiences in life have shown me that the more certain people are about something, the more insecure they are about their beliefs. When they puff up and attack you for your beliefs it is because they feel like their beliefs need to be guarded and protected. Don’t be so egocentric to think that you have all of the answers, and you know all of the truth, that is just another path down into a dark mind trap.
You also have to start setting your intentions for the day
While working through my recovery I had to start mapping out how I wanted to feel that day.
One Thanksgiving I was feeling the weight of my past sins weigh down on me. I was about to head to my parents for Thanksgiving and I felt the urge to numb out. I wanted to forget the negative thoughts and emotions that I had felt around them.
You see, after everything had been revealed, my family felt a lot of embarrassment and they let me know it. They shared their disgust and their hurt that they had to face the consequences of my decisions. So whenever I was around them for long periods of time that shame would carry me to the emotional minefield of remembering their feelings of shame. I felt disowned and like an embarrassment to my family. Being reminded of the hurt that you have caused others can be triggering. It can lead you to a dark place where you begin to think that you are hopeless and you are evil. Evil thoughts like: “I will never be able to change. This hurt will never go away so they will never be able to see me any differently.” Please know that that thought is a big disgusting lie.
I had to quickly manage these emotions and know that this was my Ego running with this negative narrative. Has my family really disowned me? Were they really embarrassed and ashamed of me? If you have to ask them, ask them. But wait until you are in a place where you can talk about your emotions calmly. If you find yourself raising your voice and getting emotionally heated. It is not time to address the conflict and the insecurities. It took me years to be able to approach my family with those questions in a mature manner.
You also have to remember that people are entitled to their emotions. If you have betrayed someone, they have the right to be angry. If you have hurt someone’s feelings, they have the right to be upset and offended. You have to give them time and space to feel those emotions.
I will tell you that it is extremely vital to spend your time with people that are uplifting and make you a better person. Cut people out that are draining on your outlook and your growth even if they are family.
I think the most disheartening times for me have been seeing the wreckage that I have caused to the people I love the most and not being able to help them heal. The healing comes from first focusing on bettering yourself and then helping others. Also, when people see how hard that you are working on growing and bettering yourself, the more empathetic and compassionate they will feel to what you have gone through.
One of my most favorite songs of all time is Man In the Mirror By Michael Jackson:
Help yourself to be a better person, then help others.
After that you can start by helping strangers that are victims of other people’s wreckage. We must do the emotional and spiritual work to take back the futures of our ancestors. Our kids don’t have to live with our trauma. We can convert the pain into positive energy, we can convert the addiction into healing.
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