My relationship with the world and the relationship I have with myself are interdependent.
For, one fuels the other. We spend the better part of our lives trying to understand how the world works: its machinations, plans and mysteries. Only the wise seek to understand themselves with equal zest. Most of the answers lie within.
Firstly, what or who am I?
Okay, a body ruled by an independent mind and intellect. Right? Partly so. We are a bundle of the three: mind, body and spirit. The spirit or souls or consciousness is the ‘life element’ or indestructible and immortal ‘Aatma’ as referred to in Hindu mythology. Other ideologies recognise it in different ways.
I too swam along on surface. It was only when I lost my mind that I realised that the mind was all that mattered. Then I took a deep dive to unravel the truth.
It was when Bipolar struck in 2003 that I realised that the World did not have answers for my torment. The truth was hidden somewhere within me. My spiritual quest led to fulfillment which only self awareness and the truth can bring. This remains one of the most rewarding phases of life which ended up transforming me.
And what I learnt..
The soul is the divine life element in me, seated within me but detached from my circumstances, and my emotions. It is an oasis of perpetual bliss, deriving power from God who is the ultimate Super Soul. The soul does not vary its nature and isn’t fickle minded.
As for wavering, leave that to the mind.
The ever wavering element that is our ego, identity and source of our power as well as all our troubles. And how’s my relationship with my mind? When I’m in the driver’s seat, it is immensely empowering. If I allow it to fly on autopilot, it can crash-land all my plans. We Bipolar Disorder afflicted have experienced the brighter and darker sides of the mind only too well. Shades so vivid that they distort reality beyond recognition. Ask a depressed person if she would like to feel upbeat or see the world in a better light..Or, ask a manic if he would want to take a brief respite from his frenzied ride and make sense of what’s going on.. In both cases the outer world is the same but their inner worlds are in torment and distort their understanding of it.
Of the body
Some say that the sole purpose of the body is to be a vehicle for the soul. Aha, our minds will have none of that! The ego downplays the subtle spirit and emphasises on the outwardly, material ‘self’ that body is. Nevertheless, one must keep the body as fit as can be. ‘Healthy mind in healthy body’ and vice versa. That link once again!
How many of us even understand and acknowledge this?
Many illnesses and diseases are psychosomatic~ where the mind influences the body negatively. This is true for many troublesome chronic conditions such as asthma, arthritis, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes. What about the reverse? If I am drained physically, have little energy left in my body, is it easy to be upbeat or positive?
The path I have taken
The element that is most obvious, most easily controlled is the body. So, looking after it and monitoring its well-being is fairly easy provided one is committed to it: that I passionately am!
In fact, my wife and I have begun training vigorously at the Gym since 4 months~ are we enjoying it! And the benefits are measurable. I’m more energetic and for the first time in 13 years, I am off anti-depressants~ the serotonin release from the workouts is the best natural upper that I could get!
The mind is the trickier friend!
One can claim to have mastered it completely but few do so. What I can say though is that at least I understand my emotions better and from there, how to deal with them. There’s also the calmness of mind that has set in. Meditation has been the magic balm for rejuvenating my mind everyday. Writing also allows me to act as a vent for my creative energy. In that sense, it is a great release. All this has meant that I am surer of myself and more positive of attitude.
I was cynical. I now trust in goodness.
Now to the soul.
My relationship with my soul? Hey, wait a minute!
I am my soul!
(This article is part of the series on Relationships, which is the theme of MHAW16 Mental Health Awareness Week 2016).