I imagine the mind of someone living with Parkinson’s to be some what of a tortured mind. I imagine their soul to be somewhat of a tortured soul. Much darkness! What else would cause the brain, the home of the mind, to become so mis-wired?
Certainly this would characterize me and much of my life … rushing through one task to get to the next, one addiction to get to the next. My mind ever vigilant for the next quest! No time for rest! Nothing was ever enough!
Little genuine and sustained happiness!
Human unhappiness is evident in our addictions and self destructive behaviours, isn’t it: alcohol, drugs, work, money, power, fame, sex, food, exercise, extreme sports, video games and so on.
It’s also evident in our anger.
Behind every person experiencing PD, I suspect, is or has been, a lot of unhappiness, borne of anger. There certainly was (and occasionally still is) for me. In the years leading up to the onset of the first symptoms I was extremely unhappy at work and at home.
And I’ve certainly had my share of addictions. As an adult, I was particularly addicted to accomplishment. That was my identity. Growing up, I was addicted to hockey, and more specifically, to winning and impressing people, especially my dad.
So, what is at the root of this unhappiness, this anger and addictive behaviour. Perhaps it is unmet expectations, fear and unfulfilled dreams.
On a deeper level, it likely has to do with feelings of being unloved, unwanted, unaccepted and unappreciated, mostly resulting from dysfunctional (or non-existent) relationships with our parents. Or perhaps we were abused by others. Or maybe we simply developed a faulty self view due to our appearance, financial situation, or some other factor (such as a stutter).
Here’s the thing, unhappiness affects us, not just on an emotional level, but on a physical level as well, because it creates stress which then leads to acidosis and inflammation, the precursors of disease.
What then is the solution to our dilemma? How do we transform a lifetime of anger into happiness … and tranquility?
Well, here’s the really cool thing, each of us can change our experience. We have the power!
Change begins when we understand that the anger and unhappiness we’re feeling comes not from external circumstances, but rather, from within. As Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now and A New Earth said, it is born of the conditioned thinking of our egoic mind and the unresolved emotional pain that is our pain body. It is also the outcome of our faulty self-image … the fact that we don’t feel good about ourselves … from beliefs that we are unlovable, unworthy, inadequate and powerless.
There are a number of steps that can be taken to change our experience and create tranquility:
- Become conscious … learn about the purpose of life and our divine connection to God and all that exists
- Practice kindness, integrity and speaking up because this will help you feel good about yourself
- Let go of your emotional pain through forgiveness
- Practice living in the present moment and accepting the present circumstances
It’s also important to create tranquility not just in your mind, but in your environment! Simplify your life! Make the outer reflect the desired inner! De-clutter your living and work space if it is required.
The key to transforming unhappiness lies not in what you do (for a living) or what you accomplish, but rather, by letting it be the light that guides you and inspires you to change. Make it your ally.
Have an awesomely tranquil day!