A year of hard therapy with lots of health improvements, but what to do now? How to go further? I’ve learned a lot by observing myself and others from a cognitive and metacognitive point of view. I’ve read a lot about PTSD, CPSTD, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and a lot of different health issues. But I’ve learned a lot more from people, from my group therapies and every brave hero that has shared their own experiences and is open about the importance of mental health. This ain’t easy, mental health is still a big taboo. Stigmatising has a lot of different faces. What I’ve learned from my own experiences is that a lot of people tend to think that hiding any kind of mental affliction will make it easier and happiness will invade their souls in a magical way. But it ain’t so strange when stigmatising comes creeping in so many different forms. One of the worst forms it takes is actually the helping form.
There are lots of gurus, spiritual leaders, pseudo doctors and other charlatans that make profit of others’ health. What they usually do is to create a magical feeling of power. But the power they have is the power of stigmatising, ridicule any point of view that is not theirs. Making people feel bad about their own emotions, if you’re not happy it’s your fault and it’s because you’re not good enough following their directions. I don’t find comfort in being told what to do. I actually feel deceived. I find more constructive to share and learn together with other people.
In my humble opinion, I don’t think wisdom is something that can be taught. Wisdom is something we have as a whole. We are wise as a whole. Everybody is wise, but nobody is wiser. As I see it, I am the wisest when it comes to me, but I ain’t wise when it comes to others. And so is everyone else.
All my alarms start going wild every time I hear somebody talk about how wise they are and start advising me about what I should be doing. Don’t get me wrong, I think advise can be wise if it is shared in equality, not from a superior point of view. I learn a lot from others’ advises, but maybe not what they’re trying to make me believe. I like to listen and understand every point of view, not to be brainwashed but to nourish my being. It’s not a secret that we tend to focus our attention into things that corroborate our believes. That’s a powerful tool for charlatans. People that believe in magic will listen about magic. People that believe in supremacy will only listen to supremacist speech. People who believe in some form of almighty being will find a messiah. We tend to refuse challenging thinking. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be very narrow minded. We like to think that we are open minded, but we use to befriend those who share the same believes or mindset we have. It gives us a feeling of belonging, an illusion of happiness based on other peoples’ perception of our environment. We feel like we are being ourselves when we surround ourselves with like minded people that corroborate our believes. But are those really our believes? Or are those constructed believes that actually nullify our real selves?
What about murderers, racists, religions, gurus and all those charlatans? Ain’t I contradicting myself when I listen to their stories? No. That’s why I have the ability to think. I have the ability to work in an abstract level so I can foresee the possible outcomes. That’s why thinking is so important for me. My thoughts are mine, my actions are the result of my thinking. Listening to other points of view doesn’t make me change my own, it allows me to be more aware of my environment. It nourishes me as long as I am active in the thinking process. Listening to other points of view allows me to get a much deeper understanding of myself and my environment. It nourishes my awareness.
I hear a lot of talking about the importance of listening to your guts, but I don’t see why it has to be separated from thinking. I don’t know how other people really perceive themselves, I can only know how I perceive myself and try to understand how others perceive themselves. I can understand why my own image of myself is like it is, I am able to be aware of who I am and discern the constructed I from the real I. I know that everyone who knows about my existence has a different perception of me. All those perceptions of me are part of my constructed I, but I am much more than that. I don’t learn only with my brain, my whole me learns all the time. Letting just a part of me decide an outcome without really processing it and thinking with my whole me ain’t going to be a choice made by me, but by a part of my constructed I. If I let my guts decide, I’m most provably letting some experience being the choice maker. In other words, I’m letting my PTSD decide an outcome, I’m not being aware. Awareness is a misused word, a concept abused by a lot of charlatans. Awareness ain’t easy, awareness ain’t happiness by itself. Awareness is a complex process of understanding, at least for me.
But why is it important for me to understand people who hurt other people? Because wether I like it or not, I am also part of it. Because by trying to understanding the reasons behind a horrible crime I can see the complex entanglement between us all. I am an idealist, it’s in my nature. And I idealise a better world. I don’t expect to experience that world, but I don’t like the systems we live in in this constructed timeline we share. In this timeline we share we accept murder. Every single act of killing is murder. But murder ain’t black or white neither. In this our shared timeline, we have systems with armies that kill children every single day but denies us our right of a dignified death. A system that kills people but punishes euthanasia. So awareness is really complex and it shouldn’t be taken superfluously.
Because of others manipulation, my thinking, awareness and meditative processes were not connected to those words. It felt wrong for me to use those words to describe my states. Because if used wrong, language can be stigmatising. There are hundreds of examples of it. One example, which I think is really easy to understand, is how the word book is being used instead of culture. I am sure that you have heard or read things like: “a room without books is like a body without soul”, “the person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid”, “never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them”, “you’re uncultured if you don’t read books” and hundreds of thousand more. Well, books are culture, but not THE culture. Books are extremely important, I won’t deny that. But all those quotes are language abuse and stigmatise. So a human being that can’t read is less worthy than other? So all those civilisations that have no books are less intelligent? So only by reading books are we going to be enlighted? Books, like every cultural aspect are important, but not the only way to pass on knowledge. Life is much more complex than ready made quotes. Awareness is very complex and even dangerous if not taken seriously.
But where am I going to? What do I want to do? What gives meaning to me? How am I going to use this hard therapy? I am obviously improving my health, that is more than enough. But I want to keep on learning and sharing. I have the need to exteriorise myself through art. And now more than ever I feel the need to fight back health related stigmas. Art, awareness and thinking are some of my best abilities. If I can help other people to get rid of at least one of their constructed selves layers I am helping them to improve their health. I ain’t going to say that I am a self taught therapist, but I can help people find what works best for them through my own experiences. I may be an idealist, but I am a realist one. I don’t feel comfort in being lied. I don’t like people being lied and manipulated. I am aware that I am part of all the problems we share in our shared timeline. So what gives meaning to me is to show my own perceptions so I can learn even more from others’. I have been able to get rid of my chronic pains and I know that there’s a lot of people with a painful outcome because of stigmatising. There’s where I am focusing my learnings.