Is It So Simple?
In a word: yes.
But the simplicity of this understanding runs up against the science-based cultural message: "the truth is complicated."
It is perhaps also hard to believe there is a natural mental health when there is so much violence in the world.
However this shows precisely the power of Thought: what we think can look like a "reality." Violence is evidence of how thoughts that do not originate in our innate health will also be experienced as real, and in full innocence we act on them because all our mental stories can be very convincing...
until we see how this all works.
When we have an insight that it is our thoughts that lead to our feelings, rather than a particular circumstance, we can see how erroneous beliefs and ideas can appear very real and motivate us to act. A key to our health is the awareness of this. This awareness allows us to no longer be prisoners, at the whim of our thoughts. There is no longer a need to follow every thought down its rabbit hole. We become free to listen for the natural aliveness of our wild mind which will bring to us ideas and solutions that are life-affirming rather than destructive.
We all know some form of the habit of rumination, the chatter that keeps us in a sort of low-grade chronic sense of unease. Goodness knows we have a life time of learned thoughts, memories, attitudes, beliefs and judgments to ruminate on. In addition we have the messages we receive from mainstream media that we are not good enough as we are, and that we need to do this or that to improve ourselves. Or we might feel the urgency of needing to present ourselves in a certain way, perhaps for a job or for our children, when we might not in that moment feel up for it. This leads to layer upon layer of attempting to manipulate ourselves to be a certain way.
Ironically, this idea, that we must impose change on ourselves, goes counter to what we see around us: other animals, birds and insects live from an instinctual wisdom in the ecosystems they inhabit. Could we perhaps trust in an instinctual wisdom, a health, arising in us to meet the situations we find ourselves in? For example, can we acknowledge a low mood, and let ourselves be guided in doing the best we can in the present situation, with the awareness and self-compassion that our mental health is compromised?
There comes a point when we have the flu, that we know we have to wait it out, and let our immune system work its magic.
Why don’t we do this when we have a sick feeling that accompanies a particular thought?
As we learn to recognize that this is how we can naturally function as human beings, we can rewild our minds by trusting in our minds' natural way of moving back towards health: a state of ease and wisdom that leads us to an appropriate response to a situation.
Can you have comfort with uncertainty?
Sometimes we have to struggle
until we throw our hands up and give up.
This is when we have finally arrived
at the place of allowing something larger than us,
that can guide us home.