Where the mind is without fear, fallacy, and falsity….
Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about mental health – overall, as well as my own. How easy it is to take it for granted, to not check in on it, to not realize that it too, needs attention, care.
Somehow, we are so quick to assume that those who seek this care, especially if it outside of their own circle, are mentally ill – an automatic negative connotation. What we forget is that just as you have to take care of yourself (whether you have a cold or cancer), consult the doctor, take medication, get good rest, be around people who care for you – it is the same when it comes to the many shades of mental illness. Being mentally exhausted or emotionally drained, is also very much a form of mental illness, however temporary. In fact, most often, that is the most dangerous kind as it goes on by undetected, shaken off as a phase, ridiculed as being dramatic, and so on.
I first met Michael 2 years ago, when I was going through a very rough patch for reasons more than one. What made me decide to take this step was actually a very simple reason – I wanted some clarity, an unbiased conversation with a stranger, so I could gain some perspective on my life. Little did I know that my entire life was about to change after those first 60 minutes.
Today, Michael is hardly my therapist, but he is my life coach, my mentor, my best friend actually! Our conversations have evolved from talking about the past to working out a better future. I’ve started paying more attention to having the right mindset, not just about life, but about myself. I discuss my dreams and goals with him, and he guides me me to act on them. In fact, my relationship with my one true passion – writing – has taken on a whole new form, simply because talking to him about it, about me, made me realize how much I wanted to do this – write. And he said to me, “You know what writers do? They write!”
So simple, so truthful, yet such a profound impact.
In our every conversation I have these aha! moments, moments of distinct clarity and perspective, that have enabled me to grow, take decisions, make choices, and in the end of it all, become more and more self aware.
I no longer feel the need to go running to talk to him every time I’m in a rough situation, or have a surge of emotions, or need to make a tough call. I now take my time to absorb it all, think over it calmly and act on it. And then I have a real discussion with Michael about how I dealt with it and ask him for his input on the what it means going forward.
I didn’t simply get to this point in my life – it was only through many conversations over these years, that I enabled myself to gain stability in mind, to actually lead my life. I feel grateful for the time that I decided to pay attention to my mental health and do something about it – it is because of that decision, that I am able to take many more with such ease and positivity today.
If you’ve been reading my blogs you’ll know, I recently went through quite an upheaval in my life, and I’m amazed at how positive I was able to remain through it all, to come through it with an even more positive mindset.
I’ve opened up to life, I’ve opened up my mind, to get over insecurities and fears, to embrace life as it is. Yes I still feel burnt out, frustrated, insecure on so many occasions. But today my self-awareness and my positive frame of mind have made me adept to deal with it all – problems, emotions, life – in a better way. There are times when I feel drained, and I know I’m not at a 100%. I try consciously to be mindful of it, of signals that alert me to check in with my self, my mind, and what’s going on within it.
You have to cater to your mind’s needs, because it definitely has real ones.
I have to say I’ve probably failed more times than I’ve succeeded, yet at this point what is important is the attempt.
Each step of the way counts, each little sign of care matters. Just as each time you hear someone tell you that your mental health is important, that matters too. I’ve seen myself come a long way just by paying more attention to it, by investing time and care towards it. It has definitely made me more compassionate, but more importantly it has made me realize the importance of it, for me, and for everyone alike, for people all around the world.
It has also planted a seed in my mind, a dream: To build a community of conversations, where people feel free and enabled to talk and connect – over hopes, aspirations, fears and all such experiences that help us all relate, to each other – a place where the mind is without fear, fallacy, and falsity; a place where the mind simply is.