My good friend, I'm grateful to have you here today to discuss a little philosophy, and a potential psychological construct, that I believe has the ability to shift your perspective, and engage this life in a more courageous, optimistic, and purposeful way.
I've been a therapist for over 20 years and met with thousands upon thousands of people from every possible walk of life. People are always talking about discovering their purpose, being authentic, living their truth, or finding themselves.
Now I realize that i'm stepping into some deep water here. There is no shortage of ideas, philosophies, opinions, and theories about who we are. Regardless of whether you're looking through a spiritual or metaphysical lens, or a more organic and biological lens, we eventually ask the same questions and are faced to either believe in, or decide who we are, and perhaps more importantly, who we will become.
Let me suggest a simple truth that seems to run across all beliefs, and that answers the question of “who you are”, and the answer to that question is... You are evolving! You are literally evolution in process.
You are constantly growing, and if you happen to possess a gentle and optimistic, and effective philosophy, that growth will promote peace, joy, love, compassion, and a mature responsibility to contribute. Physically, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, we are made to evolve, and most often do without any effort on our part.
And yet, unconscious growth is a bit random for my taste, and at some point, and I'm sure you've arrived at this point as well... you would like to be an agent in your own life... You want to act, instead of being acted upon by events, history, circumstances, trauma, and certainly the opinions and wills of others.
It's absolutely true that our environment, family of origin, and history will impose upon us a heavy weight of influence. For all of us, as we live our lives, we will often find that some of our ideas, belief systems, rules, and philosophies are not that great... In fact some of them are downright corrosive and will sabotage our efforts over and over again.
My job... your job as a patient and humble scientist is to uncover these ideas that harm your relationships, that sabotage your efforts, that fill you with fear and anxiety, that keep you depressed longer, that feed your pessimism, and your feelings of helplessness and powerlessness.
As you stay open, look inside, and do the work, you will begin to make those adjustments, and as a result begin to adopt new ideas and belief systems that will literally liberate you, and help you to recover more quickly from your depressive moods, your worries, your anxieties, and even find power in your trauma and history.
This is you are... you are evolution in process. Always growing, always shifting, with some things always growing and others atrophying. Let's take control of this process as much as possible, instead of leaving to chance, or what our pasts and histories say we are going to become.
As you begin to view who you are, and as you recognize yourself as a being in the midst of evolution, then everything becomes part of that growth. Your failures, misfortunes, successes, and other experiences all begin to carry within them the seeds of wisdom, redemption, depth, strength, and power.
Imbued with this enlightened understanding, will allow you to be more accepting of where you are. You will find purpose in what once seemed meaningless, unjust, unfair, tragic, and traumatizing. What once irritated you, can now become the classroom. What you once took offense to and resisted, now becomes a potential source of light and truth.
The great fear that paralyzes us becomes overwhelmed by the self-evident hope that resides just beyond it. Pain itself transforms when we inject our minds and hearts with the understanding that within tragedy, grief, suffering, and trauma, is a great depth, a deeper understanding of the human condition.
Within our great suffering, is understanding, compassion, wisdom, and an increased ability to reach others and contribute with power and experience. I'm not suggesting that this is an easy process, or even one that happens quickly, all that I'm suggesting is that once you adopt a higher, more powerful, and to be very honest, and truer perspective, then we are able to recover better, healthier, and stronger.
The data has shown it over and over again.
People are depressed for shorter periods of time, they bounce back quicker from grief and loss, they are able to stay grounded and balance even during periods of great stress and anxiety, they have better health, sleep better, and are better able to move forward. See yourself as a being, a soul, a body and mind in the midst of evolution...
Everything is growth.
Everything contributes to a fullness of experience, an increase in understanding, which always leads to greater compassion when it is not stifled by our resistance, denial, and anger. Resisting what is, keeps you stuck, victimized, helplessly waiting for others and circumstances to change, so that you can take a step forward... we cannot live in this place, you must resist it with everything you have.
As unbearable as physical, emotional, and mental pain can be, resisting it, avoiding it, being ashamed by it, only seem to magnify it and to keep us mired in it.
Acceptance of things as they are, at the least, allow us to begin to move, to gather our resources, and go... but if all we are doing is resisting, we will never leave that place.
Our search for starlight in the midst of the darkest night, may yet be the greatest of man's achievements. As a result of this change in philosophy, depression and anxiety become messages to us, telling us to stop and take a closer look.
Something is not right; something needs to be attended to and resolved.
As we stop avoiding and begin sitting with those difficult emotions, we will find that entwined in them are the erroneous ideologies that must be transformed if peace is to ensue.
Let the evolution begin!
Thank you, and settle this in your mind today