Unhappiness, Worry, Chronic Unhappiness, Work Related Stress - How a Complementary Meditation May Help
Despite all the emphasis of giving drugs to depressed people, many recover from depression with time on their own, while others receive help from a variety of sources, including therapy, family, and religion. Depression is a loss of hope. . . . The restoration of hope is key to overcoming depression and hope can come from many sources. The alternative to antidepressants is all of life: romantic love, family, friends, community, nature, and religion all help people overcome depression. Scientific studies show that everything from a new pet to an exercise program, as well as the passage of time, can relieve depression." Dr. Peter Breggin
Update Here is a two minute video by Dr. Peter Breggin MD that talks about adverse effects and the treatment of depression. Dr. Breggin has been called the conscience of psychiatry. He makes several excellent observations in this short talk.
Hello, I am a pastoral counselor and spiritual care giver. This is a lengthy article. So here is a summary. To find what you want, just scroll down.
Many people are out of control emotionally. This loss of self sovereignty results in anger and a sense of loss of dignity. Usually their life is also out of control, which then is made worse when a host of outside forces and events begin to be dominate them, increasing the sense of being controlled or out of control.
I do not buy into the chemical imbalance in the brain theory. As a pastor, I see that there is a spiritual component as well as a relational one to our life issues--often beginning with childhood traumas; poor communication with a father; then school, peer and other pressures, exacerbated by a variety of misunderstandings, miscommunications, and even misdiagnoses.
Then to make matters worse, most people become resentful toward others who caused their issues or failed to help them, and this resentment destabilizes them and renders them exquisitely sensitive to those very pressures.
Resentment and the traumas to which we have over-reacted cause us to lose the center--lose touch with our center of dignity and innocence, and fall away from our Creator (to Whom we were once close when very little children). Thus I see that learning to let go of resentment is an important component in repairing one's life and restoring emotional balance and control.
A complementary mindfulness meditation has been found by some people to be helpful in facilitating the restoration of balance, control and a sense of dignity. It helps them calm down without feeling numbed, disconnected or dazed. Some also say that it seems to assist in them in re-finding their spiritual roots, and once a connection is re-established, there appears to be a power that comes into play that assists in holding back the pressures from overwhelming them.
For example, many were Christians, but just not quite Christian enough. Somehow this meditation permits them to become unblocked and to get in touch with their Christian roots in a wholesome way, so that now they can better appreciate what their good pastor or the Bible is saying.
Reason returns, calmness enters, and now reality becomes a friend. Real positive options can be explored, and now the door opens to a chain of good things happening, and the door closes to the negative thoughts, emotions and the negative behaviors they were once compelled to exhibit. Click here to read more about meditation.
After introducing the meditation and why it can help, the author then refers to Mike's Story. Mike's Story is a success story of someone who overcame depression, OCD, bipolar, anxiety and substance abuse without drugs. Mike's Story is published in installments (and will soon be a book). Click Here to read Mike's Story now.
Finally additional resources are listed, both library resources and online free resources to read and watch. End of summary
this is Pastor Roland. Many people are concerned about negative emotions. They have them and are seeking to cope with them and solve them. So they are looking for educational resources and solution strategies. This article is divided into three sections.
First I talk about why we become upset in the first place (usually beginning in childhood) and how a proper meditation to learn how to calm down can help a person cope. I put this section first because I believe that finding the key to natural self control is the most important thing each of us can discover.
Many people are out of control, and regaining self sovereignty has so many benefits, among them a restored sense of dignity and self worth, living life on a more even keel, having more patience with others, and the restoration of hope when we discover that we really can cope with life's challenges and seek for the purpose of our life.
Next, I list some online resources for further reading and listening (starting with my own articles and blogs).
This post is a resource for you. It offers information and avenues for further exploration. Its purpose is to offer you some educational resources to help you in your search for answers. Obviously I do not know your individual circumstances, so I am just offering some general information.
Part One: Why We Became Negative and Emotional In the First Place and How to Regain Self Control
We suffer from a disconnect from our Creator. We cannot give ourselves patience, we cannot give ourselves love, we cannot give ourselves joy. We need our Creator's love and approval. The problem is that finding our Creator is interfered with by out of control emotions, but it is the calm Presence of our Creator and the surety of realizing His benevolence and providence that we need to restore composure.
Human beings have a soul. We thrive in an atmosphere of love.
Dr. Peter Breggin, M.D. wrote a book entitled Toxic Psychiatry: Why Therapy, Empathy and Love Must Replace the Drugs, Electroshock and Biochemical Theories of the New Psychiatry. I like his title and premise of his book. I do not believe in the biochemical theories, and I do not believe in the so called "chemical imbalance in the brain" theory.
Love, empathy and understanding are indeed what we all need. Our fellow humans, if graced with understanding and patience, may at least do no harm, give us space to recover, or perhaps lend a helping hand when we are in a tough spot. However, I believe that the ultimate love, empathy and understanding that we need to solve our issues, restore self composure and a sense of well being come from our Creator within.
Trouble is--it was someone out in the world who started us reacting in the first place. We began to feel empty and out of control. So we made the mistake of looking to the world for love and for answers.
Whether you look to people, substances, experts, helpers, or organizations--you can't find what you lost out in the world. What you lost was rapport with your Creator, and the means of being calm, reasonable, and fulfilled without becoming dependent on someone or something on the outside.
At this point, I might take a moment to address my Christian brothers and sisters. It happens that a person can begin to feel overwhelmed and out of control through some childhood trauma or having a big reaction to some incident, because of a lack of guidance about how to control emotions, or because of the accumulation of many small emotional reactions. Another contributor to feeling overwhelmed is pressure and challenge (whether the pressures are religious, sports, academic, parental, or peer group).
I have to say that the patient and kind presence of someone with understanding, especially a calm and unperturbed parent, might have prevented the emotional build up. In this regard, there is nothing like the steady hand of a father. Father stands in for God in the eyes of the child. A father who is there for us and who is full of wisdom and grace is often all we need to get through life's vicissitudes unscathed.
But for whatever reason the negative emotions began, and once they take hold there is then a struggle with the symptoms, plus resentment toward others and impatience with their own self. Resentment leads to even more anxiety, guilt, unhappiness, and run away emotions.
That is why patience and understanding both with yourself and others is needed. I have a free Christian meditation which has helped a lot of people become centered and helped them refind their calm center of dignity.
We cannot give ourselves patience or understanding, but we can discover them within when we cease our struggle and, as the old expression goes, "let go and let God." The problem is that most of us don't know how to become centered. We are just too emotional, too lost in thinking and struggling.
The meditation is just a little tech support. God says in the Bible "Be still and know that I am God." The little meditation exercise assists a person in being still. That's all. God does the rest.
Once a person learns how to get centered and calm down, s/he is more receptive to reason and intuitive insight. The person can then calmly see, grasp, and most importantly apply the kind of sound advice you get in the Bible, for example, or from a good pastor. The assistance of my Christian meditation may be very well be helpful in restoring a person to a more even keel and calmness. Then s/he can successfully move forward with the Christian walk.
The Christian meditation is complementary to what you are doing now. I am not seeking to replace your present faith practices or your relationship with your pastor or spiritual caregiver.
The Christian stillness meditation is simply a tool to get centered and calm down. Then it will be easier to be a Christian and to apply to your life the beautiful Christian principles that you hear and read. It helps you to be a better Christian. When you are calmer and less upset, you will not be lost in worries. You will be able to focus better on the instruction of your good pastor or the Scripture.
The Christian will be edified to learn that it is in departing from patience and faith that we fall into emotions. The secret to regaining self composure is to return to and cling to an inner rapport with the Source of patience and faith. You have suffered from a disconnect from your Creator.
And as I have always said--conscience is your closest link to God. When I say conscience, I mean what you know in your heart is right (it is a quiet presence and a sense of well being, until you stray from it, then it feels like conscience when it seeks to make you aware that you have erred). All you need is to plug back in, begin again to trust in your intuition (your gut, your highest instincts) and great will be your joy and relief when you discover that patience and understanding will be imparted to you there.
I'm sure you've heard this before--what people need is finding and solving the cause of their issues; but what they get is mostly symptom removal. Taking away symptoms is what most of our worldly helpers, experts, entertainers and lovers are adept at. Trouble is their brand of symptom relief and symptom removal leads to more symptoms, unforeseen side effects, and more unawareness--leading to another round of error. Meanwhile the cause is still there.
This brings us to the subject of drugs.
Psychiatrist and expert in psychopharmacology, Dr. Peter Breggin, wrote a book entitled Your Drug May Be Your Problem: How and Why to Stop Taking Psychiatric Medication. He points out that in some cases the side effects of various psychotropic drugs include such things as restlessness, anxiety, mania, depression, hearing voices, thoughts of hurting self or others, and increased suicidality (that's why the FDA has required the drug manufacturers to put Black Box Warnings about increased suicidality on some meds, especially for children and adolescents).
As discussed in Dr. Breggin's book Medication Madness - the Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Suicide, Violence and Crime, if a person is experiencing negative thoughts and feelings as side effects, and does not realize that the drug is contributing to them, that person sometimes starts to blame himself or herself for what they are thinking or feeling.
This self doubt and self blame lead to more negativity. This unfortunate situation is solveable when the person is educated about the fact that it's not them it's the side effect.
Parents may wish to read Dr. Breggins's book and educate themselves about this issue. Dr. Breggin devotes a whole chapter to effects associated with stimulant drugs given to treat children. This book is available at many free public libraries.
While under the spellbinding influence of emotion or drug, people think, say or do things that they never would otherwise. For example, under the influence of anger, a person might say something hurtful they later are sorry for.
Without realizing that marijuana has caused their driving skills to deteriorate, a person might make a mistake while driving.
Dr. Hendrickson describes in her book about a lady who recounted that after taking meds she began hearing voices telling her that she was ugly and everyone hated her. I recently heard of people who take a med to help them sleep who get up and cook or drive their car in the middle of the night and don't even remember it the next day.
How do any of these negative effects help in the Christian walk? They obviously don't. They make the Christian walk harder.
Maybe you can also see that emotions, such as anger, are like drugs. Perhaps the worst "drug" of all is the emotion of resentment. The very Christian virtues of patience, love, and forgiveness are hard to apply when emotions are running high, especially resentment. Since emotions, especially resentment, interfere with the calm application of principles such as those taught by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount, it makes sense to first calm down.
But you need to calm down naturally and in God's way and with His approval and help. Any external artificial means will cause guilt. Peace of mind, self control, and a carefree spirit are an inside job--they cannot be slapped on like a coat of paint, or manipulated with chemicals.
Incidentally, I have devoted twenty years of study to resentment and the importance of letting it go. In fact, I have discovered the secret to forgiveness. Many people know they are supposed to forgive but find it hard and don't know how (the secret lies in dropping resentment). I have covered this topic extensively in my books and articles. See free self help resources.
I have already mentioned drugs. The problem with taking drugs to calm down is that taking drugs causes guilt. We ought not to need a drug to calm us down, a drink of alcohol to give us courage, or a comedian to make us happy.
Calmness, spontaneity, happiness, courage and a blythe care-free spirit are the natural state of the human being (such as you see in little children). These come forth from within, and are there for us when we look to our Creator instead of to external supports.
Many Christians who keep looking for external crutches are just not Christian enough. They may be Christian, but not Christian through and through. Some of them are glad to discover that all the external things they lean on are what is interfering with being the Christian they would like to be. The good life is an inside thing, not an outside thing. Something was always missing, but they couldn't figure out what it was. Perhaps the meditation can help you find the missing something that will restore a bounce in your step and make your Christianity come alive for you.
Your downfall began with something or someone on the outside that you reacted to with anger or resentment, instead of remaining patient by responding only to inner principle. As Christians we know we are supposed to be patient and not take umbrage.
But you did take umbrage.
Your love was tested and found wanting. Now, you are undoubtedly still resenting the fact that you failed, still trying to make good, and still struggling with the cascade of symptoms that are the sequelae of your initial reaction long ago.
Now you must pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and admit that you failed. Don't be too hard on yourself (it's just another way the ego tries to rise above the situation and save its pride). We have all sinned and fallen short, as Paul said.
But here is my point. If it was reacting to the outside that started your descent in the first place, then more of the same is not the answer. You cannot solve your issue by more reacting to the outside. The answer is not on the outside--whether responding to a drug, substance, promises, support, words, or music.
The answer is responding to Truth within and finding an inner rapport, so that when the next external appeal comes along, this time you can remain unmoved.
True self control is from within--not painful suppression and repression, but a natural effortless control. Peace of mind, virtue and joy are awaiting us when we look within instead of looking to the outside. We need to be restored to our calm center of dignity where we might commune with insight and patience coming from God.
When we are back in touch with our God-given intuition, we then live and move and have our being from an inner source of intuitive guidance. And from there we get our energy to move. Being moved by a love of principle, we move forward without guilt or anxiety. Being on the same page as our Creator, we have no more unrecognized conflict with Him.
By being patient with others instead of resentful, we are rewarded with God's love from within. No longer needing the motivation of emotions to get the energy to move, we calm down and we begin to affect the world instead of the world affecting us.
No longer needing external pressures and challenges to stimulate us, we look within to apply delicate principles. And because the wellspring of our life is now from our Creator, there is no more anxiety or guilt. Only a peace of mind and a quiet joy in living our life. We learn that we don't need drugs, emotions, resentment, excitement or other externally based stimulations to be reasonable happy most of the time.
We need more than symptom removal. And we need more than knowledge about our issues. How many people do you know who seem to know everything about their operation, their diagnosis, or their meds. They are very knowledgeable, but they lack understanding that would give them insight and patience with themselves and others.
We cannot find this precious understanding in books, on the internet, from a preacher, from a drug, a counselor, or in a classroom. The best anyone can do for you is speak in such a way as to awaken you to see for yourself, so that you might see solutions instead of problems and so that you might stand back and stop interfering with natural spiritual restorative processes.
Understanding is a gift from God to the person who sincerely wants to know the truth and is willing to set aside raw knowledge and the judgments of pride in order to know God instead of playing God. It comes from within as a wordless knowing to the humble soul.
You need to find the state of mind where we can access God's understanding from within. This state of mind is called objectivity.
As long as you remain lost in thoughts, emotions, and study, you cannot find God's Presence and realize His point of view. You remain subjective.
Everything that I am trying to do on my radio program and in my books and blogs is awaken you to see that you are currently too lost in thinking and emotions. .
If you can learn to take a step back, and look at your issues objectively, you will inherit objectivity and the power to observe them without over-reacting to what you see. You will realize patience--first with yourself, then with others. You will realize that you have been too lost in struggling with your own issues, trying to save yourself, and then dealing with symptoms. You will also inherit understanding about yourself and others.
Let's take a quick look at how most of our emotional issues began. if you are like most people, what undoubtedly happened is that when you were a child someone failed to have love and patience for you.
An impatient or bossy parent, or an absent, drunken, or violent dad who wasn't there for you are often the ones who failed to have the agape love that would have shielded you from the emotional teases of the world. A weak parent, or one who is overly permissive, is just the other side of the coin of the impatient parent--neither has the kind of agape, emotionless love that we all really need.
When dad wasn't there for you, you became subject to your mothers' tender mercies--and if she didn't spoil you or teach you to hate your father, then she was impatient or even cruel. Through father's failure, we became subject to the world.
Through father's failure, you became subject to your teasing naughty friends, the gang, the pressuring or doting teachers and coaches, the pharmaceuticals, the drug dealer, the music and the entertainment industry--all of which appealed to your ego and your need for love. They appeared to love you, from your egotistical perspective. You felt empty and needy, and they filled the need with false love.
Sometimes we all need a helping hand, and we need someone to take charge when we are out of control. Afterwards we may need some sort of support to help keep us from falling back into the old habit patterns and associations that got us in trouble in the first place.
I take my hat off to the many people in the helping professions and the administrative systems who genuinely want to alleviate suffering and help individuals and society. They have a tough job and limited resources. I am glad and grateful they are there to help.
But there is only so much they can do. And to use an analogy--though we sometimes need the help of the good doctors at a hospital to help us get through a crisis, we don't want to stay in the hospital forever. We want to quickly get better and then move forward to health.
Likewise, when it comes to mental, emotional and spiritual health, it is good when we get a helping hand to help us weather the storm.
But just as we don't want to remain in the hospital forever, likewise we should not have to remain in church forever, on meds forever, or remain dependent on the system forever.
We should gratefully accept the temporary help of the hospital, the helping professionals, our support system, or the generosity of the social welfare administration, and then get back on our feet, become self reliant, and move forward to recovery, well being and optimal living. We shouldn't have to remain in church forever or in the system forever.
That is why the meditation and the insights of objectivity can be helpful. Once people refind their own center of dignity and discover access there to a fount of intuitive insight, they can become self motivated and self correcting.
They are grateful for the helping hand other people extended, but then instead of becoming dependent, they become well, productive, self reliant and self correcting.
Can you see how important it is to refind your God given intuition? Through the inner light which we know as wordless intuition, we find a link to our Creator and the kind of inner motivation and just-in-time guidance that stabilizes and restores us to dignity, faith, and peace of mind.
We will then be able to see, in this Light, which way to go and what activities to pursue that are in line with our God given talents. And perhaps most importantly, we discover that God gives us His warm love from within. We discover that for people who are sorry for judgments and hatreds, and who are willing to give up resentments, He forgives them and they feel His love within. Then they find that they can have patience with others and patience with their own failings and symptoms.
Otherwise, we are relegated to keep hunting and pecking for love from the world. Some of us turn to food, alcohol, or drugs to fill the emptiness. These substances appear to love you, but later you find that they are also your betrayers. Food cannot save you and fulfill you. And the kind of salvation a person finds in drugs or alcohol is the kind of unawareness that makes them even more prone to negative thoughts and wrong behaviors.
Perhaps now you can see the harm of the weak father. He may be decent, and he may even say the right things. But he says them weakly. He does not want to offend. He wants to be liked. He wants to be popular.
He turns you over the peer culture, the sports culture, the entertainment culture and the types of help that are available from external sources. In essence, he hands you over to others to have their way with you. He turns over responsibility to mom and puts her in charge. And she then turns the kids over to external authorities, to the peer group, and to the pop culture.
So now you know how it was that you were emotionalized, externalized and traumatized. It was not your fault. Now you see where the world's "love" has brought you. But this is not an excuse to resent or hate your parents, the schools, doctors, counselors, the clergy, the peer group, entertainers or anyone else. Sure they failed and may have betrayed you.
But surely you must also see that you used them. When you arrived at their doorstep begging for support, love and help--they did indeed try to help you. But you thereby gave them the power to play god over you.
Alas their help was human help. What you needed was God's love and help. But no one showed you how or where to find it. Your father was the one who should have been there with wisdom and understanding to stand patiently but steadfastly for what is right, to protect your innocence, and ever so gently guide you to find your Creator within.
But undoubtedly, no matter how decent he was, he was not stronger than the world. He too was a victim. No one had tutored him and shown him the way. So he never found it himself. When you see this, you will be able to forgive him for failing you.
Like I said, we all need to go to a doctor at times or get some help from someone. We must be grateful for their skill and their willingness to help. We must be grateful (and not feel humiliated) to need a little helping hand. But they are only human too. It is unfair to expect them to save you. You must graciously accept their help, but then seek to wean yourself from taking advantage of them.
I once heard Dr. Adrian Rogers say something interesting in this regard. He said that human goodness is not goodness if it leads you away from God. Just as some moms have done harm to their child by jealously claiming the child's love and coming between the child and his father, so likewise those we ask to help us may end up unknowingly keeping us from God if we put them on pedestals, use them to deny reality, or if we resent them when their help fails to save us.
When it comes to your unloved mom and your unaware weak dad, you must no longer resent them. They were victims too. Chances are that--whatever they did to you or allowed others to do to you--your parents didn't know any better or didn't know what was going on. Perhaps they were gullible and naive. Perhaps one or both were so angry and upset that they could not see through their emotions what your needs were. Perhaps they knew you were being harmed by them or others, but they were powerless to stop themselves or solve the situation.
The good news is that beginning right now you can start to solve your issues, regardless of what happened to you in the past. It begins with dropping your resentments against your parents (perhaps in the light of what you have just read). Then you will be able to extend that forgiveness to others too, especially to those who resemble the ones who hurt you when you were a child.
When you see that they too were victims, that they were claimed at an early age, and that no one had true agape love for them, it will be easier to forgive them.
The other thing is this--even if your parents had been perfect, because of your inherited pridefulness, you undoubtedly would have resented them anyway for not worshipping your or letting you have your way.
Remember the Garden of Eden story. Adam was in Paradise, but he was tempted to try to have his own way, and so he became ambitious. We all inherit his prideful nature, so we want to be admired and have our way. So like I said, even if your parents had been perfect, when they didn't worship you or let you have your way, you probably would have resented them, taken umbrage and looked to the world to admire and support your rebellion against your parents.
So now you know that others failed you--but you already know this. Now just realize that your mistake was resenting them and then chasing after them to get back what you lost.
Know now that you cannot get back what you lost from the world.
What you lost was a rapport with your inner ground of being that would have nourished your self. In order to regain your dignity, your self control, self worth, love and peace of mind, you must become still and stop your ever more frantic search for something out in the world.
You cannot find peace of mind in an alcohol bottle or a pill bottle. A renewed sense of purpose, joy and self control come from within.
You lost them by becoming resentful and then looking for external support and reassurance for your hateful and empty self.
If it was a failure of other people to love you properly--to be patient with you, to be there for you, and to gently correct your ego excessses-- that was the beginning of your downward slide, what is perpetuating it now is your failure to love.
And your failure to love is evident in your resentment and judgments toward others. The way to love others is to be patient with them. Learn to overlook offenses. Learn to see error without resenting the person for their error. Love by not hating. Love by not resenting. Love by being patient. You will then be able to be patient with yourself.
Just as permissiveness, drugs, perks and praise build up our ego and set us up for a fall; we then continue to deteriorate because of our resentment and hatred of those responsible. In other words, resentment, judgment and hatred feed your ego. Resentment and judgment are the booby prizes for the resentful loser.
The secret to your recovery lies in learning to give up resentment, and in refinding the objective state of mind you had long ago before your fall began.
You have probably heard the famous saying "let go and let God." For a person with a sincere attitude, our meditation (free to listen to and download) is the simple technology that teaches you how to refind objectivity. Now let me elaborate a bit on the topic of forgiveness
A willingness to forgive opens the door to emotional and spiritual recovery. Right now, your biggest problem is resentment. Resenting others and resenting yourself. Most of your negative emotions and the symptoms that are contributed to by negative emotions have their root in resentment.
We spend so much time as individuals and as a society dealing with symptoms. Millions and billions of hours and dollars are spent dealing with symptoms of people's failing to love and have understanding for each other. All the drug abuse, violence, divorce, broken homes, depression and suffering have their roots in a failure to find love and understanding. First when we resent those who didn't have patience and understanding for us when we were kids. Then we resent others, and then we resent ourselves. So now we come to the second half of the recovery equation: giving up resentment.
It would be nice if we had had parents who were filled with wisdom and grace in the first place. And it would have been nice if other people had understanding. If our parents or other authorities had had real love and patience, they might have gently corrected our ego needs and greeds. They would not have teased and challenged us to be ambitious. They would have protected our innocence, and given us space to grow to whom the Good Lord intended us to be. But alas, most of our parents and other authorities, though they may have done the best they could, did not have love and understanding themselves. They could not give what they did not have. When you realize this, it will help you forgive them for having failed you.
If your mom and dad were (or are) good people, then that is very good. If you nevertheless feel empty or unloved, it could be that you are resenting them for something. It is important to not resent your parents. Even if they made some mistakes, just don't resent them for it. Any feeling of emptiness is usually connected with resentment of someone. And the most important people not to resent are our parents.
Others failed us and we hated them for it. Then feeling empty and unloved because of our secret hostility and resentment, we looked for something to fill the emptiness. We looked to social approval, boyfriends, food, drugs, alcohol or marijuana to fill the emptiness. But others used us, the drugs betrayed us, and through getting the wrong kind of "love" were corrupted. So what is the answer?
It does not matter what others did to you, nor does it matter in what particular ways you failed in the past. What is important now is that you find objectivity--the ability to stand back and look at thoughts, emotions, and circumstances and see them objectively in the Light of Truth. Right now you are too caught up in struggling with your own problems and lost in emotions. You need objectivity.
Things are not as hopeless as they seem, but in order to realize the solution, you need the ability to stand back from the issue, the symptoms, and the struggle.
In brief, you need to get out of your emotions.
We all have access to the inner light. This inner Light is how we realize things without words. We call it intuition, common sense, or a gut level knowing. When we have such an insight, it is wordless. We just know or sense something. But what we don't realize is that the way we know is that we are seeing in the inner Light.
This inner Light is a wonderful thing, actually our most precious possession. It is not some far out mysterious thing. It is how we have common sense and intuition. It is how we realize. An animal cannot REALIZE but people can. We were all close to the light when we were little children. We knew things wordlessly. We loved and responded to what we saw was good and true, and when we saw injustice, we knew it without words. No one had to teach us, we just saw it. We were close to innocence and close to God.
But we fell away from what we wordlessly knew in our hearts when we became emotional and our ego began to look to the world to fulfill it. We doubted what we knew in our hearts, and we believed and followed others instead. They promised to fulfil our ego desires.
You see, not only is the Inner Light (what we know in our heart is right) the source of intuition and protection, but it is also the Source of all true creativity, fulfilment, inspiration, revelation, and love.
Now, the solution to all your problems lies in finding your way back to this inner Light and learning to relate to it properly.
Once you become friends with this wordless intuition (which now feels like conscience), you will have peace with God and the light will be a lamp unto your feet, providing private counsel and just in time guidance for the rest of your life.
Fortunately it is not difficult to find and relate to what we know in our hearts again. All that is needed is the right intent, coupled with and a little technical support on how to find and relate to intuition. The intent needed is a burning desire to know the truth and a willingness to admit our wrong when the truth reveals it.
The tech support we need is the proper meditation, such as the one we offer as a free download at the Center for Common Sense Counseling, which shows a person how to become still and observe thoughts and emotions without being caught up in them. It also shows you how to extend contact with intuition to the body, so that you inherit self control. Now, when you practice the simple meditation with the right intent you will calm down and become less reactive.
You will also discover a new patience with others and with yourself. As you calm down and become less reactive, the first things you will see in the Light of intuition is the truth about your wrongs. You will see your errors, and seeing them in the Light you are sorry. You experience a quiet sadness about what you see. You may have tears rolling down your cheeks. This is called repentance. You experience a sad glad.
You are sad about what you see, but you are glad to come clean. You are being repented in the Light. Seeing and mourning your wrongs, you stress the compassion of the spirit. And God extends His forgiveness.
After the brief pain, you feel shriven and clean. Joy returns and a quiet peace of mind. This process repeats itself many times over the days and weeks. Each time the pain is less, but the error being observed is more subtle. The turmoil and the writhing you are now currently experiencing in your being is because you are undoubtedly still trying to save yourself. You have been resenting what your conscience keeps trying to make you aware of. So you have conflict with conscience, and tension and writhing because you resent the Light for making you aware of your own wrong.
All you need do is stop trying to resist the Light. Instead let it rub your nose in your wrongs. Sure, it is a bit painful, but only briefly. Soon the sad refines into glad, and joy returns. Now, having experienced the touch of God and experiencing forgiveness, you can also forgive others. You see that they are just as lost as you have been. You see that they are victims too. When they were little no one had the right kind of love for them. No one was there to guide them properly.
You see that your parents were doing to you what was done to them. They could not help themselves any more than you have been able to stop yourself from hurting others. Your new found understanding makes it easy to have compassion and forgive. And when you forgive others, God extends His forgiveness to you. It was a lack of the right kind of love from others that you reacted to and which sent you on an erring course. It was your resentment of others that separated you from God's love from within. Now you will have have come full circle. You will have discovered God's love because of your willingness to know the truth and to forgive others.
Now you will be able to go out into the world, and instead of being a victim, you become a survivor and more than just in recovery. You become an overcomer. You become a child of God, and you extend a little light into an otherwise dark world. "Resist not evil. Overcome evil with good."
Additional Online and Library Educational Resources
We offer an outstanding array of free educational resources: articles, free audio, eBooks, and the meditation.
The most important resource that we have is the meditation, perhaps the only one a person may need to regain self control and become centered. Click on the Self Help Resources Tab at the top of the blog for links to the meditation and our other resources.
The second most important resource we have are my radio lectures and sermons. There is nothing like the spoken voice to convey meaning. I highly recommend you listen to some of the 30 minute recordings first. You can listen while you are looking over the written resources, or you can download them to listen to while you are driving, working around home or whatever.
Now, I am always somewhat hesitant to list other sites, books or blogs because I prefer you spend your time looking over my audio, books and articles. But, on the other hand, if I don't mention at least a few, you may not know where to look, especially if you are busy. Of course I have to say that whatever you hear or read at some other site or resource is the opinion of that author and not necessarily my own.
Secondly, you may be surprised to see that most of the resources I mention below are not Christian or religious. Mostly they are regular people who don't mention their religious beliefs or disbeliefs. They are psychiatric survivors, consumer advocates, and enlightened psychologists, writers, and psychiatrists.
Frankly, I have to say that when it comes to the mental health issues that many people are dealing with today, I have found the writings and audio of my fellow clergy or Christian counselors not terribly helpful. I'm not saying that helpful information is not there. I'm just saying that I haven't found it. And what I found was weak or confusing. What I found were chapter and verses and psychological jargon, usually with weak reassurances and obeisance to the chemical imbalance theory.
Don't get me wrong. I love the Scriptures and I believe that Christianity really does have the answers, but when I listen to or read the Christian speakers and writers, there is some sort of disconnect between their words and implementation. What they say sounds good and sounds scriptural, but the listeners and readers have a hard time applying what they hear to such real time issues as depression, anxiety disorder, ADHD, the issues of psychiatric meds, side effects, dependency, discontinuation syndrome, PTSD and various mental health diagnoses--issues that people are dealing with in the real world. So I had to look to others for down to earth practical information.
I only found one really helpful book from a Christian doctor, but it is a good one.
Will Medicine Stop the Pain? Finding God's Healing for depression, anxiety and other troubling emotions by Dr. Laura Hendrickson and Else Fitzpatrick.
It is a very good read for anyone, but Dr. Hendrickson devotes herself to addressing women's issues. She describes real live cases of women who had issues, began taking antidepressants, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, tranquilizers, and what the results were. You get a Christian doctor's take on it all. It can be found at Amazon.com and you can preview many pages there for free. I found pages 205 and 206 to be an excellent description of side effects some people have described that it would be nice to avoid.
Here are some more relevant educational resources I have found
On Youtube, Dr. John Breeding PhD and psychologist. He has over 90 videos about mental health issues. No matter what your mental health issue or emotional issue is, Dr. Breeding will have a thoughtful and compassionate little video about it. His videos are very informative and he talks about good books to read too. Just enter John Bredding in the search box at Youtube.
Here for example is a two part video on depression
Here's a video of Dr. John Breeding talking to Anna Miller about bipolar
Here's a video of John Breeding talking about suicide, medication and PTSD in the news
These are just three examples of Dr. Breeding's videos. He has also written a couple books.
Dr. Peter Breggin has been writing about mental health issues and about psychiatric meds for many years. He is a psychiatrist and he has an informative website. He has written several books, such as Your Drug May Be Your Problem and his recent book Medication Madness - The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime. His books are available at Amazon.com and at most public libraries to check out for free.
Writer and researcher Robert Whitaker has written two books about the history of the treatment of psychiatric patients in America. His latest book is The Antidepressant Epidemic. Both of his books are excellent and are available at public libraries. He has also been interviewed extensively on the radio. His website is http://www.madinamerica.com/
A nice lady named Gianna Kali has an outstanding site called Beyond Meds. Her story and her dedication to helping others by sharing her story about her life on meds and her efforts to come off of meds is inspirational. Her site is continually updated with the latest news about drugs, meds, treatments, side effects, and so on. She also provides a huge number of links to other valuable resources. This is a good starting point for her references for alternatives to psychiatric meds.
Just recently Karel on KGO Radio in San Francisco had a guest on who talked about www.pointofreturn.org where she says there is a staff of doctors and other professional help with some resources and information about drug dependency.
From time to time I have seen references to Seroxat Secrets, where people share their personal experiences. Might be somehelpful support here for folks in Europe and Australia.
Ann Blake Tracey is with the International Coalition for Drug Awareness and has lots of information and resources.
For college students, Dr. Joseph Glenmullen MD talks about his experiences treating college students for depression, anxiety and other symptoms. Dr. Glenmullen is Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. His first book is Prozac Backlash, and his second book is The Antidepressant Solution: A step by step guide to safely overcoming antidepressant withdrawal, dependence, and addiction. His books are available at public libraries.
Below are Dr. John Breeding's 2 short videos about depression. Please, take a few moments to watch them. I like his compassion and common sense, and he is also very knowledgeable. This is an excellent introduction to the topic.
I hope that you will find some useful information and some avenues for further exploration, and hopefully some answers to your question in the information above. Incidentally, if you enjoyed Dr. John Breeding's videos, here is a link to his playlist on YouTube.
The information is not meant to be exhaustive. Nor can I vouch for anything you read in the resource material. I put them here as useful avenues for exploration and to become informed. Just some things that I have found interesting, helpful and useful. I believe that the online resources provide a baseline for anyone who wants to become more informed and educate themselves. It is also nice to know that there are compassionate, educated and enlightened people out there.
But once you get an idea of what the playing field is, I then want to state that I believe that the missing element in so much of today's "help" is God.
I believe that the answer is not Freud but Christ, not chemistry but spirituality.However, just talking about God or Christ or just studying religion, or even acting the role of a good person is not enough. Too much talk, study and acting can (and often does) interfere with the real thing by the guilt they cause. They cause guilt before conscience when they interfere with or substitute for a real encounter with the God of conscience.
It is said that religion is the last refuge of the scoundrel. I'm sure you know people who use relgion as a cover for their pride. But there are also many decent people who honestly want to live the good life and who unwittingly throw themselves into religious study and activity only to feel anxious or guilty. And they don't know where it is coming from.
Similarly, one man, for example, kept reaffirming that he was saved, but he didn't feel saved. He got so guilty for feeling like a fraud that he threw in the towel. I was able to show him that the words he said in a moment of emotion years ago were just that: youthful words in a moment of emotion.
It was a great relief to him to realize that he never really fell away because he hadn't really found it in the first place. Now he could set aside the artificial guilt (for thinking he had fallen away) and was free to earnestly seek to find what he had always yearned for.
The real thing begins with seeing for yourself what is true, re-trusting what you know in your heart, and then living from what you realize and know in your heart.
I would like to humbly but boldly suggest that the little meditation we have just might be the way to refind your spiritual roots and discover a natural self control that is not dependent on drugs or manipulating conditions. It's not for everyone, but for some it is a God-sent.
Celebrate life! Leave behind the baggage of the past, consisting of unforgiveness, hurt feelings and anger. Start anew and find joy and a life of purpose. Perhaps our meditation and some insights can help. .