“Man’s yesterday may never be like his morrow; Nought may endure but Mutability.” ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, poet
Change is difficult for many of us. The lack of control we have over our symptoms at times, over other people, over situations and life in general often increases our anxiety and may exacerbate our more debilitating mental illness symptoms. What can we do to help ourselves if we have no control over the constant ebb and flow of life? We can examine the interrelationship among our attitudes, expectations, motives, and actions.
Could it be possible that resistance to change is in part due to those changes which do not meet our expectations of how people or life should be? Could it be that our actions are driven by a fear of life not going the way we expect it to? Could it be that this fear stems from our attitude that we think we know what is best for everyone and from the illusion that we have the power to orchestrate such scenarios?
Today, I can reflect on those areas of life that I can control and those areas that I cannot control. I can discuss these thoughts with a trusted friend or professional. If I do not know where to begin or if I get stuck, I can say the Serenity Prayer and I will know peace.
“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” ~ Albert Camus, writer
There are times when we may wonder what the point of life is. What is the meaning of our suffering and pain? During these times we may feel, at best, discouraged or frustrated and at worst, hopeless. Thus, we must be aware of our thoughts because our thoughts hold great power over our feelings and ultimately, our recovery.
What if we were to become humble enough to admit that maybe we do not have to understand the point of our suffering or the meaning of our pain? What if we were open to the possibility that every event, emotion, and moment in our lives was for a reason beyond our understanding? What if in some way our mental illness is what allows us to be of maximum service to God and others? What if?
Today, rather than spending mental energy on attempts to “understand” all of the unknowns, I will use it to connect with the light inside of me, who does know. I will ask God not for answers but for the acceptance of that which I do not understand and consequently, I will know peace.
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” ~ Kahlil Gibran, writer and poet
In the darkness of the night, when tears drown us, suffocate us, and all hope seems lost, we can turn to a power greater than ourselves: the power of nature, the universe, the light. You may call that power whatever you wish; God, Allah, Yahweh, Jesus, the Great Divine.
In our weakness and suffering, if we are willing, this power will transform our pain into something that will bring peace and light not only to us, but to those who are sent to us when they suffer. Sharing our experience, strength, and hope with others who are where we have been is part of the Divine plan. We are blessed to be included in this plan, if we so choose to see it in this light.
Today, I will accept pain and suffering as part of a greater plan in which I am needed. My trials will prepare me to be of service to those who still suffer. Of my own self I am nothing but in the power of the light, I am everything.