acceptance

Acceptance – Tree of Life

Acceptance

acceptance

Acceptance is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. It’s what closed my gate to hell and reopened my heart. Resurrecting my passions and dreams pointing me in the direction of the incredible. The root has the ability to awaken our eyes to see the world for what it is. To let go and allow others in. To take off the boards on our windows and unlock our doors. It is a root that may be summed up with: “I am this, I have that, I don’t need you to love me, I love myself.”

Acceptance is a fascinating root, one that develops slowly. As we accept our circumstance we will shift out and back into denial. Back and forth we will go into anger, sadness and other uncomfortable emotions. This is the process of coming to terms with something and ultimately accept it.

A part of me wants to say I found the roots of acceptance when I saw the damage denial was causing. That I knew there was a fire but wasn’t able to see the source. I want to say that it took the loss of a lover and an attempted suicide to discover a laser that was destroying my life.

That’s not reality, there were times when I believed it to be true. Exploring my thoughts and writing out my feelings let me to see what was and what wasn’t. The relationship was important, but it wasn’t the catalyst, nor was the attempted suicide, it was a whole shit ton of crap smashed together into one really gross wad of bad stuff.

Life happens on a series of moments, we experience change from second to second, not all of it feels good or is good. We can do our best to make the best of it.  In the moments I thought I was spiraling, I wasn’t, there was no slide toward hell, instead I was climbing a staircase to enlightenment and peace.

Ultimately the greatest damage to my life came from denial.

When my lung was removed I convinced myself I was no longer bipolar. This idea dismantled my internal support systems and critical awareness.  I no longer looked for those inward parts of myself, because I wasn’t looking, I couldn’t see them.

Once I accepted my illness, I was able to find ways to deflect the laser. The light beam was going to do its thing, but if I could redirect it, my life wouldn’t be set on fire, I wouldn’t have to be destroyed.

With acceptance you can redirect the laser of your life, you can choose what it burns and when.

Links

Denial – Reflections

 

accountability

Accountability – Tree of Life

accountability

Accountability

Accountability is one of the seven positive roots of the Tree of Life. This root may sometimes invite pressure and stress, but if these levels remain healthy we are embracing positive elements. Often we find acceptance before we become accountable, but this is not always the case. An example of accountability may be described with: “I respect you, I respect myself, I fulfill my obligations.”

Accountability is a root that is built over time.

We can transform a part of our root structure into accountability, but this “instant” transformation isn’t so instantaneous. It takes times and effort, actions that repeat over and over like a snow ball rolling across the ground. If the snow ball stops rolling its stops growing. We have to keep things rolling if we want to grow the roots of acceptance.

This root is built from our social contracts. These agreements are established between at least two people. They are informal (spoken or otherwise) contracts that define a relationship. The more we honor and obey these social contracts the stronger our accountability becomes. Following the social contracts is not enough though. If you feel shame when not honoring the contract then you have wrapped yourself up in arrangements you’re currently not healthy enough to honor. Unless you can quickly develop coping skills these relationships will fail.

Recently I had the opportunity to share and receive wisdom from another soul surfing the seas of sorrow. It was from them I gained an insightful look into shame and how it affects us. I learned that its presence is magnified the smaller our communities become. That our actions reverberate with stronger force because there is no anonymity.

I spent a bit of time contemplating this thought and I discovered there were two roots that exist within these communities. The first was shame, the second was accountability. In the instances that we feel crippled by the opinions of others we are embracing the negative roots of the Tree of Life. This causes us to water our soil with the stress water from our Tolerance Barrel.

When we are motivated to do what we feel is right and good and take care of our fellow man, we embrace the positive. Participating in activities that promote the community and maintain order that falls within the realm of accountability. Acting responsibly is a positive quality.

Links

Shame – Reflections

Guilt

Guilt – Tree of Life

Guilt

Guilt

Guilt is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life. It is an experience that we manufacture, no one can give it to us. It is an internalization of mental and emotional pain as the result of a trauma real or imagined. On the short term guilt can be beneficial, but if we carry it with us for longer than is needed it becomes unhealthy and it feeds into all of our actions and sabotages us.

When I checked myself into Center Point I was filled with a lot of guilt. I believed I had created catastrophic damage to the lives of those around me and to myself. My suicide attempt wasn’t simply guilt, it was a collage of complicated and simple emotional responses over a long period of time.

My time within the hospital allowed me the opportunity to slow down and analyze my existence. Through introspection I released my guilt and transformed it into the root of forgiveness. We must all learn to forgive ourselves, with that root energy we can then truly begin to rid ourselves of our emotional diseases and heal.

Links

Forgiveness – Tree of Life

 

False Validation

False Validation – Tree of Life

False Validation

False Validation

False Validation is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life. It is when  our thoughts, opinions and perceptions are traded for someone else’s.   Typically the person transforming us isn’t aware of the influence their words have. They simply answer our question we ask them to the best of their ability at that moment. It isn’t their answer that affects us, instead its our lack of confidence that allows us to be affected. We are the poorly anchored boat being blown by the wind. The wind is doing as nature has requested, it we who failed to keep ourselves true.

If we anchor ourselves, take claim and responsibility over our lives we can pull the negative aspect from this root and transform it into the root of empowerment.

Links

Empowerment – Tree of Life

 

malfunction

Malfunction – Tree of Life

malfunction

Malfunction

Malfunction is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life. Its the verb of irrationality, the moment when our dark spots push our buttons and insanity fills our hearts. This root fuels many of the actions that destroy the relationships closest to us and the one we have with ourselves.  Malfunction says: “I want to hurt; I want to cheat, I want to lie, I want to hurt someone.”

Malfunction manifests in all sorts of ways.  Some lie, some cheat, some people even get into fights, my malfunction doesn’t manifest in those ways. Instead mine manifests through the desire of being hurt. I don’t particularly enjoy pain, truly pleasure is preferable in my book.  But when my mind is malfunctioning, I look for ways to be hurt. This shows itself in a number of ways, one that is easy to see is through the act of cutting. I haven’t done this for a number of years, but there was a time when I sliced into my flesh with razors.

What do I get out of it you ask? The real answer is simple: nothing.

We can rationalize this irrational behavior all we want, but ultimately it does nothing for us. For years I said that it helped wake me, it pulled me from the numbness caused by the ever present scream.  For a moment I could feel something. If this were true then we would stop with the first cut, we wouldn’t slice into our flesh over and over.

I have overcome the desire to cut, but I still yearn to be hurt. This is the next path I seek to solve, to transform my irrational desire into the positive root of Rationality. We are emotional creatures that do things that make little to no sense to our minds. My desire to be hurt will one day be transformed from the negative root of malfunction into the positive root of Rationality.

Links

Rationality – Tree of Life

 

Regret

Regret – Tree of Life

Regret

Regret

Regret is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life. If I were sum up the experience with one word I’d describe it as terrible.  Nothing compares to the anguish of Regret, nothing. Regret can be summed up with the sentence: “I wish I could go back in time and do it differently.”

We can’t go back, nothing can be changed. I want to tell you to stop thinking about it, but that doesn’t work. We could use mind over matter as a method but that doesn’t work either. In my experience there are only two methods: a proactive prevention of regret, and by succumbing to it.

The philosophy I call a Proactive Prevention of Regret is to make decisions so you don’t experience it. This works until it doesn’t, as is the rule with anything.

The other method is to succumb to the experience. Things happen and it may be terrible, I’m not saying get over it, instead explore what happened and learn from it. Maybe discover how to prevent it from happening again.

In my journey I don’t regret anything.

There were moments when I did. A time when the stress and pain stole me away and I began regretting chemotherapy. I convinced myself that it transformed me into another person.

In some ways I was right, but it wasn’t the chemotherapy that was doing it.  It was a cocktail of all sorts of negative roots that were feeding into my Tree of Life. I was overwhelmed and there was nothing I thought I could do.

I crumbed under the weight of my own stress…

…and because of who I’d become my levy could no longer stand against the rising waters, and the flood destroyed my village.  All of this was my fault, I made this happen.

Once the village was destroyed I tried to commit suicide, but I want you to know that the suicide wasn’t a result of the levy falling. It was going to happen no matter, I caused that to happen, I know that now.  I am sorry that my actions hurt the people I love. Its hurts my heart zone to know that some may never forgive me for that. I hope that one day those love spots will heal.

My feelings aren’t of regret, rather love. I have transformed my roots of regret into the roots of harmony. My insides may hurt knowing that I hurt those I love, but I’d rather help them overcome those pains, than to wish them away.

Links

Harmony – Tree of Life

 

shame

Shame – Tree of Life

shame

Shame

Shame is one of the seven negative roots of the Tree of Life.  It is a crushing noun, its effects touch us in every way we can imagine and more. It pulls us in, chews us up and spits us out into stringy meaty bits, its a grinder making ground meat. Shame prevents us from asking for help, its what holds us from those we love and destroys our dreams.  An easy example of shame could be said in a few comments: “Men don’t cry.  Suck it up.”

The actual definition of shame is different than the one we are using here. Shame is a synonym of guilt, but in this instance we are going to define it as the guilt we experience due to society’s influences on us, whether real or perceived.

I’ve been told by some that they were surprised I experience shame. They had an idea of me, I was this person, no.. this character who wears everything on their shoulder, giving no shits about what others may say or feel. Truth is, I’m a person just like anyone else.  I am not a character or a cartoon, I experience life just like you.  In the past I’ve made the attempt to carve my own path out in the rock of shame, by living my own life by my own terms. But there are forces that hold me back just as they would you or anyone else.

Shame was one of the powerful forces that lead to my suicide attempt.

This was not the first time this idea put me in this situation. It feels embarrassing to feel these emotions and have these thoughts. When we arrive at this low point we lose sight that there are others who have been there and want to help.

If we want to live life to its fullest we need to move beyond shame and transform it into something greater.  By walking this latest path I have learned how to put an end to shame.  By slicing the negativity from the word I have turned shame into Accountability, one of the positive roots of the Tree of Life.

Links

Accountability – Tree of Life