Our minds are beautiful, powerful, resourceful miracles of creation. More complex than any computer and capable of transforming anything that we can imagine into physical reality within our lives. They are not the evil enemies that many would have us believe. But they do need honouring, respecting and nurturing if we are to stop them repeatedly turning inward in an attempt to devour themselves.
They become troublesome and self-destructive when they’re under-utilised and bored, just like any highly intelligent and gifted child. And they come alive in their most creative and resourceful ways when they’re engaged in problem-solving and activity that speaks directly to our hearts. So, to truly honour, respect and nurture our minds we must create a positive environment where this mutually-respectful two-way dialogue, between our Mind and Heart, can be a regular occurrence or, at the very least, can begin.
Our hearts often speak to us through the experience of felt emotion, which is fine if we allow that natural process to occur, but troublesome if we equate the feeling of emotions with weakness, vulnerability and pain. If this is the case, it’s likely that we’ve tended to use suppression or numbing of feelings as a coping strategy in the past. And, if this suppression becomes an established part of our personality, then emotions strong enough to break through that suppression barrier will often cause ‘flooding’ of our thinking mind, and trigger impulsive, aggressive and/or self-harming action as a result.
Deprived of a healthy, regular, open and honest dialogue with the Heart, our Thinking Mind can soon become a highly critical, belittling and destructive judge; of other people, of ourselves and, in the most painful cases, of both. When this happens we become emotionally estranged from other people, distancing ourselves and often having no close relationships, and we become accustomed to feeling wretched about ourselves in our darker moments, beaten down by the constant barrage of self-critical thoughts.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. One of the best ways to open the communication channel is by showing your mind that it’s loved and one of the most effective ways of doing that is by making the effort to understand it.
The following resources have been helpful to me in understanding why I think, feel and act in the ways that I do, and in learning how to accept and value the positive aspects of my mind and personality, so that I can begin to proactively use them to live a more fulfilling and peaceful life.
Attachment vs Authenticity
This video simply and beautifully explains how many of our behaviour patterns in our relationships with others are formed during early childhood and why. It’s a compassionate and realistic explanation of how and why we lose touch with our intuition and inner voice and how our Thinking Mind stops listening to our Heart in an, ultimately detrimental, effort to protect us and to keep us safe.
The Quiet Power of Introverts
If you’re finding this website useful, there’s a good chance that you’re an Introvert. If you are, or if you’re an Extrovert who has trouble understanding Introverts and why they behave in the way that they do, then this video could be helpful to you:
Click on the following link below to play: https://www.bbc.co.uk/ideas/videos/the-quiet-power-of-introverts/p080fdnp
Finding Ways to Build Resilient Mental Health in a Challenging World
Despite all the progress that’s been made in recent years, in an attempt to remove the stigma of mental dis-ease and ill health, our Western society and its media messages, can still undermine the confidence of people who find themselves struggling in this area. Lack of information and understanding can lead to sufferers feeling isolated and powerless to deal with the things that ail them most, while ignorance on the part of friends and family can result in honest attempts by them to help sometimes making matters worse.
Knowledge and self-education in this area can be invaluable and I believe that the following, non-profit mental health website has the potential to be a wonderful resource in this respect. It offers information, explanation and suggested strategies for dealing with a wide range of common mental health issues, which often manifest themselves as symptoms in physical and relationship distress: https://www.helpguide.org/
Understanding Personality Types and their Individual ‘Quirks’
The following on-line assessment tool can be a useful aid to developing a better understanding of yourself and other people and may shed some light on the occasions when you feel seriously and painfully ‘different’ from those around you. But it comes with three very important and serious health warnings!
- It is a personality Type Indicator, which means that it will give you an indication of the ways in which you are likely to think, feel and act. It is not The Gospel Truth, despite the phrasing of the personality descriptions, which sound a little like the final word in defining who you are. Nor is it a crystal ball that predicts exactly how you, or anyone else, will react or behave in every situation or relationship.
- If you apply halo or horns thinking to this test (eg: you only focus on the positive or negative things it points to in yourself and others) it won’t be helpful to you in any way. The purpose of sharing the test is to encourage understanding and compassion for the things that may confuse or distress you about your current thinking and behaviour, to shed a little more light…no more.
- If someone shares their test results with you and, having read their personality descriptor, you then use the information to point out things they need to improve on or to try harder to change in themselves, you will have missed the total point of the exercise. This is not a self-improvement exercise! The point is ‘to learn a little more about your mind and yourself’ so that you can begin to feel more acceptance and compassion for yourself and others…as you are. Only then will your mind be able to access the true healing energy of your heart, which always manifests itself as compassion, respect and love.
Click on the following link below to access the Test: http://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test
Emotional Growing Pains
Sometimes we can feel intense mental and emotional distress when we experience a strong longing or desire to do something but, at the same time, feel intense fear or resistance to fulfilling our desire. This may be a suppressed part of our personality trying to make itself known or it may be the conflict of two of the strongest drives that we experience, as human beings, at war.
Understanding a little more about those drives and how balancing them is the path to emotional growth and maturity is explored in the following video: