Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience that you need? Because this is the experience you are having at this moment.
A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle
It’s intriguing how for every book that we are drawn to; it speaks to a part of our lives that needs it the most at the time. It speaks to either our past, present or future. There is also some truth in that for every trait or lesson that we are supposed to learn, if we are keen enough to notice there is someone in our lives that will help us acquire it. That means that even if you don’t get to re-read the book to remind yourself of the principles, your interactions with the people in your life will make it easy to remember and practice what you have learnt.
A New Earth mostly talks about the ego which is living through our minds and emotions; how our thoughts are just illusions and for the most part how the ego is out to get us. The opposite of which is being present and aware. Eckhart points out how most people are identified with the voice in the head and their thoughts have completely taken over their lives. He also addresses the ego in different situations i.e. work, during an illness or suffering, as a parent e.t.c.
There is also mention of how thoughts and emotions work hand in hand. The voice in the head tells a story that the body believes in and reacts to and the reaction is what is referred to as emotions. It is crucial that we break away from our emotions or pain bodies as referred to in the book so as not to interfere with our present moment.
The book wouldn’t be complete without mention of how we can work on our egos and pain bodies. It is suggested that as opposed to fighting the negative thoughts we act as watchers. Also creating gaps in our thinking can act as remedy and this can be through breath or inner body awareness.
When broken down in three simple paragraphs it seems like something that’s easy to hack. It started with the headaches, being overly tired especially after waking up and feeling sleepy during the day, neck pains, back pains, chocking sensation and tightened throat just to name some of the things that I was feeling. It took me a month to figure out that they were all as a result on an anxiety attack. I am tempted to say that I have always empathized with people who suffer from mental illnesses but I will stick to sympathize after my experience.
I never really put a lot of thought into the word mental illness before but it’s understandable as it’s hard to do so towards that a concept that’s foreign. But if asked today I would define it as a battlefield in your mind and you keep losing the war. As mentioned earlier thoughts are illusions and during the war negative thoughts keep replaying over and over and over and your illusions seem real. The only time it stops is when you fall asleep and the cycle repeats itself once you wake up.
You wish that there was an off button that you could press to end the whole thing. It’s easier when you around people but when left alone the voice in your head get louder. If only there was a way for your soul to inhabit another body and escape your mind. The experience even brings you closer to God as you are constantly praying to be relieved from the torment.
I remember once finding it funny when someone referred to depression as a black puppy as I remained silent when I should have spoken up. My experience may have been short lived and I believe it’s purpose was to help me write this article. Going forward when I defend someone who has gone through a mental illness e.g. anxiety or depression I will not speak from a point of ignorance but rather from a point of experience. I no longer have the right of finishing my statement with “But I don’t know” because now I know.
I am not sure how I overcame it but A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson helped a bit as it was my current read. Not sure if it was a onetime occurrence or something that will happen again; what I am sure is that now I can speak from a point of empathy and not sure sympathy.
My advise would be be brave, don’t give up and show up for yourself everyday.