The Dark Side; How I Defeated My Demons

 The Dark Side; How I Defeated My Demons


Have you ever experienced a time in your life when everything seemed to be a burden? A time when the happiness and joy you once felt was slipping away to become nothing more than a distant memory?

Psychologically and emotionally we can suffer in many ways, and medication is sometimes necessary, but the good news is that there are ways to identify and correct the patterns of thoughts and feelings that keep us spinning around and feeling trapped.

By Tomas Castelazo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0) or GFDL (http-::www.gnu.org:copyleft:fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Tomas Castelazo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-//creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http-//www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

I have experienced that downward spiral and it marks some of the most difficult times in my life. We live in a society where at the slightest mention of anxiety or fear, pain or suffering, or discomfort of any kind really, we are told that we must be medicated to correct the imbalance. We are prescribed a quick fix that will mask the symptoms as long as it courses through our veins. We go to the Doctor because we  have no other course of action.

By Elph (Own work) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Elph (Own work) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I know from personal experience how quickly Doctors will prescribe. Simply because that is what they have been taught to do. They are not qualified to quantify the source of your discomfort, no one is except you. We are the only ones that know the entire picture and who experience every cause and effect in real time. Therefore the Doctor does the best they can with limited information and gives you a prescription. It can take years and years of therapy to identify and expose the source of a problem, and years still to develop and implement the steps to overcome them. 

By Chicago - National Prtg. & Engr. Co. Modifications by Papa Lima Whiskey [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0) or GFDL (http-::www.gnu.org:copyleft:fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Chicago – National Prtg. & Engr. Co. Modifications by Papa Lima Whiskey [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0) or GFDL (http-::www.gnu.org:copyleft:fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

 Life is a beautiful and precious gift that is often overlooked for many reasons. These reasons are endless, but they all stem from one simple action; where we chose to place our focus. When we focus on the negative, we stagnate in a place that is toxic to our true nature. Conversely we shine brightly and thrive if our focus remains on the positive. This pure and simple truth about the human experience should be taught to every child so that as they grow they will posses an innate understanding of the feedback system that exists between us and the world at large.

Christopher Michel [GFDL (http-//www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-//creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or CC BY 2.0 (http-//creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Christopher Michel [GFDL (http-//www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http-//creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or CC BY 2.0 (http-//creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Our focus reinforces our thoughts and feelings in ways that reflect that focus. If we focus on money we will start to act and think in a materialistic fashion. If we focus on empathy then compassion and service will become our legacy. We can have full control of how we experience this life. Whether or not your focus is in alignment with your true nature you can either suffer enormously or be at peace.

By Mbdortmund (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (http-::www.gnu.org:licenses:old-licenses:fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Mbdortmund (Own work) [GFDL 1.2 (http-::www.gnu.org:licenses:old-licenses:fdl-1.2.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

The
whole human experience, whether physical, emotional, psychological or spiritual can be enriched by one simple and powerful technique; a willingness to seek out what is nourishing for the mind, body, soul and spirit.
In time the suffering and pain falls away as each piece of the ‘baggage’ is replaced with a calm and peaceful sense of being. It also takes a willingness to walk away from the things that are toxic to our well being.  This can be difficult, ties must be severed and, sometimes, we must go it alone. 

Senden, Dortmund-Ems-Kanal

 I want everyone to be at peace. Life is beautiful. You are beautiful. We can (and will!) turn this world into paradise. Today, all over the world, pain and suffering is being caused by men and women who do not know any better. Once you know it becomes a matter of being mindful and learning to keep your focus in a place that nourishes and enriches your experience. It gets easier every day. I am one of the lucky ones who broke the chain reaction. The negative environments that led to negative thoughts that finally settled into negative emotions are gone.  It was a grueling journey, but today I cannot complain. Life lived and lessons learned. Join me in practicing the mindfulness needed in creating a healthy and nurturing environment for yourself as well as those around you. 

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Who Receives Forgiveness; The one Who Forgives

Who Receives Forgiveness? The One Who Forgives.


 Today I want to talk about forgiveness. It is such an important part of the human experience. We will all get hurt from time to time. We will all feel betrayed sooner or later. We cannot expect everyone in the world to do exactly what we expect them to do at all times. Sometimes they miss the mark so dramatically it leaves us feeling hurt in some way. We suffer inside with that agonizing feeling that we just don’t matter to them as much as we’d thought. Every time we are hurt by someone it is because we care about them, and we feel that care has not been returned.  I believe this is even true between complete strangers.  The care that we all extend toward each other, and expect returned, is called ‘common courtesy’ or ‘respect’.

By scem.info [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:2.0) or CC BY-SA 2.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By scem.info [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:2.0) or CC BY-SA 2.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Sometimes we overstep our bounds with people. Selfishly acting with little regard for their feelings,  and running a good risk of hurting them along the way. This is why, as human beings, we should always consider the feelings of our family, our friends, and our neighbors. We are, after all, in this thing together.

By Ines Zgonc (User-Amazone7) [GFDL (http-::www.gnu.org:copyleft:fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0:) or CC BY 2.5 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by:2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Ines Zgonc (User-Amazone7) [GFDL (http-::www.gnu.org:copyleft:fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by-sa:3.0:) or CC BY 2.5 (http-::creativecommons.org:licenses:by:2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Understanding how people come to get hurt is only the first step in unraveling the art of forgiveness. We must also consider how we cause hurt as well. No matter how conscientious we are around someone there will come a time when we either overlook or are not informed about the feelings and thoughts of that person.  Inevitably we will all hurt someone, and be hurt by someone as well. No matter how considerate we are- no matter how observant we try to be, we can never be sure we can keep from hurting someone or being hurt ourselves.

© Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com : Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons
© Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com : Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons

The inner life we live takes place on a vibrant and dynamic landscape where no one else has ever been,  not exactly at least. The memories and experiences of our lives form the peaks and valleys,  the barren deserts and lush plains, the dark forests and mountain plateaus that we meander through in our minds eye. This internal landscape is unbeknownst to our fellow man. Our moods will change and our sensitivity along with it. Our attitudes are affected by this inner life. Everything we think and feel, or say and do, can be altered by what is going on inside of us. No one can see what that is. We will hurt each other from time to time. It is unavoidable.

Senden, Dortmund-Ems-Kanal
© Dietmar Rabich, rabich.de [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0), CC BY-SA 3.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en) or CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia
Each person also moves through the world largely on their own. We spend each day in our own routine, with the same faces coming and going as the day unravels. We see different people for an hour here or a few hours there, only to move on to our next scheduled task. Your friends and family, your coworkers and acquaintances, all have a different understanding of who you are and what matters to you. It is easy to be hurt if you expect others to be more considerate of your feelings than the information they have about you allows. Our expectations play a large part in our suffering.

By Dmitry A. Mottl (Self-photographed) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Dmitry A. Mottl (Self-photographed) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Some people can be downright nasty, running about intentionally acting selfish without being considerate of others. Some people try their best and fall short. Usually though, they do not set out to intentionally hurt you- and this is the key to forgiveness. That person who runs around acting inconsiderate is not thinking about hurting you, they’re not thinking about anyone but themselves.  The insult, disrespect, inconsiderate actions of those around us are quite often the result of a selfish focus that excludes us.  

By D. F. Barry (1854-1934) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By D. F. Barry (1854-1934) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I have learned to simply forgive. I cannot expect everyone to be considerate toward me at all times, but when they are  I recognize it for what it is; a heart that reflects the empathy and compassion that this world needs more of. I hold them closer than before and in time I find myself surrounded by a wonderful network of supportive and caring friends.  Forgive freely and let go.  You deserve it.  Stop carrying around the negativity that holds your focus hostage.  Instead focus on those who shine the light of compassion and love on you.   

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