Audiences love a good Versus; don’t they? Let’s take some hit movies from yester-year and check out the conflict:
Skywalker vs Skywalker – Jones vs Nazis – McFly vs Tannen – Eastwood vs Bad Guys
Equally we’ve had movies with Versus in the title, like Cowboys vs Aliens. Also a comic strip, Spy vs Spy and a book written by me, Pirates vs Fairies.
There you go, conclusive proof that audiences love a good Versus. (really!)
Yet there is one Versus some of us choose to ignore, or deny or entertain; that is
You vs You
We have a war inside of us, the light versus the dark, the good vs the bad. It’s part of being human, it’s not bad that you have bad thoughts sometimes. Equally I bet few of you dance with joy when you have a happy thought. Yet we place so much more weight on bad thoughts that it would make perfect sense to jump with glee if you remarked how wonderful bread smelled, for instance. It really is about understanding thoughts are thoughts whether you perceive them as good or bad is your own judgement. Suicidal thoughts, and I speak from personal experience, are really no more than thoughts given extra strength because we know it is bad to think about killing, ourself or anyone else. Society tells us that, so it must be true. However, society also tells us that eggs are bad, and then good, and then bad for pregnant women, and then healthy; so why do we place so much faith in what society tells us?
Suicidal thoughts are thoughts, only that. If you choose to not take action they remain thoughts and thoughts are not really that scary. We make them scary, and we create the monsters.
This is the internal war! It’s like that scene from the end of Avengers: Endgame, where 2 factions collide for rule. We’ve all got to fight, right?
A war is only won when a truce is declared; you will never be rid of the dark and that belief, that we should remove the darkness from our minds, is what causes the pain. Depression is a struggle internally and the only true cure is acceptance of your emotions, not denial. If you feel a need to hurt then you must deal with that emotion and choose to act or not to act. The fact that you are free to choose begins to erode the power of the emotion. It when you know it is wrong and that you try to push it away that it gains strength, and then becomes a real force that is difficult to live with. If you have no one to talk to, talk to you. The light and the dark must learn to reside together in your world. The black emotion can be our strength as much as we insist the light is.
This is the idea I am projecting out to the wider world, that it is okay to not feel okay and that it is natural for us to feel bad as much as to feel good. Everyone goes angry, gets frustrated or loses control. The problem is that once the anger emotion has subsided we are engulfed with guilt, and that emotion can strangle people who are particularly sensitive to emotions.
Sensitive emotional people are those who have depression, anxiety, eating disorders or even bi-polar. It is an extreme sense of emotion, of feeling; note that people with bi-polar have extreme measures of happy and sad. Yes, we can pop pills and try to drug our brains into a sort of induced balance, but I think it a far better long term solution to balance ourselves within ourselves; no need for pills.
Eastern cultures offer meditation, and this is a very effective technique to find balance within you. The problem with drugs is that it does not make the darkness a part of you, it tries to make it disappear. As long as there is light there will always be darkness, so what is the point long term?
Find balance within yourself, accept you for who you are and what you do. When you get mad, acknowledge your behaviour and actually take responsibility, that is a way to learn not to do that again.
We are in control of our emotions; no one makes you feel happy or sad or angry or jealous, you do. You are responsible for the emotions you feel and using mindful artistic techniques to form a personal meditation within you can aid you to achieve control over who you are, that way you can let yourself free.
We have been conditioned to think that depression is a weakness, in fact it is a strength.
If we see it as a condition whereby you are deeply connected to your emotions and to the world around you then you can come to a realisation that what you have is not wrong. We suffer the illness because we are told it is wrong to feel like that. It is not, we need to reclaim the idea that we are spiritually and emotionally connected to each other and to the natural world around us. Depression is not wrong, our learning about it is wrong.
Let me know what you think. I come from a mindful background, an artistic background, and a lifetime of coping with my own emotional health which has led me to some dark places.
Be safe, be well, and look after yourself.