Something I have discovered recently through meditation is that my mental illness has more to do with my false truths than my level of happiness. I’m sure there is a neurological imbalance Western medicine tells me is the real issue, but quite frankly I am the one who lives with it. It inhabits my human experience. Who would really know better about what is going on in my head?
What I mean by my sense of meaning is all my depressive or anxious thoughts and emotions stem from feelings. Feelings I don’t yet understand.
I have already accepted that feeling is the union of thought and emotion. Thought is the interpretation of experience while emotion is the reaction to said experience.
For example I experience my dog missing. My thought is my dog ran away, was hit by a car, and I will never see her again. My emotion is sadness because I created a scenario in my head I believe to be true whether it is valid or not. I continue my day in a depressive state missing my dog re-living memories of happy times because my thoughts provided a plausible scenario based upon my state of mind at the time (sadness and fear for my missing dog.) Later that day my dog shows up a bit dirty, but fine. My emotion changes from sadness because my dog is no longer missing. My thought process which led me to believe my dog was dead was incorrect, however that no longer matters because my new experience of my dog no longer missing is my new experience. It is that reality my mind needs to focus my thoughts and emotions on.
It gets more complicated when my mind decides to start worrying about what would happen if my dog runs away again? She ran away once before so who is to say she won’t do it again? I enjoy walking my dog every morning. What would I do if I can’t walk my dog in the morning? After I walk my dog I sit on the back deck and drink coffee. It brings me joy to walk my dog and drink coffee on the deck before I start my day. Without my dog I can’t do that therefore I can never be happy.
Now I dwell on the overwhelming feeling of sadness of my routine changing due to the possibility of my dog running away. Keep in mind, my dog has safely returned home after having been missing for a couple of hours. The only change is that it introduced the possibility of my dog missing again and my skewed mental state began to run through countless scenarios if the experience were to occur again.
Now these hypothetical scenarios have become my new perspective, and every decision or reaction I make is based upon what could happen rather than what is actually occurring. Essentially I am reacting to a reality that only exists in my own mind.
Because reality is experience and experience is perspective, this false interpretation becomes the foundation beliefs based upon inaccurate feelings. With belief being the acknowledgement of existence, belief essentially becomes our individual truth. Skewed beliefs become skewed truths, and when that occurs, its hard to “change your mind.”
Now play a similar scenario to every possible thought process.
Welcome to the mental state I am trying to break free from!