In recent years, there has been an ever increasing focus on mental and emotional health, and this can be seen as a good thing. For so long, this was something that was brushed under the carpet.
Nowadays, this is something that is spoken about in the media and people talk openly about what is going on for them on social media. So, as there is less pressure on people to hide how they feel and to look as though they have it all together, it is a lot easier for someone to open up and to share what is going on for them.
If someone is in a bad way, and they decide to reach out for support, there are help lines, counsellors and different types of medications available. But, simply expressing what is going on to them to a friend or a family member, for instance, might be more than enough.
And, what this comes down to is that human beings are not independent; they are interdependent. This is why it is so important for someone to open up and to share their load, so to speak, with others.
A Cultural Flaw
A belief that is deeply rooted in the west is that people are independent, but this is nothing more than an illusion. This is something that can become perfectly clear when someone is not in a good way and needs to open up to another person.
Even so, if someone has been conditioned to believe that they are independent and that they should do everything by themselves, they can end up feeling weak for needing help. Fortunately, this conditioning won’t have been strong enough to stop them from reaching out.
Someone like this may have ended up in a bad way recently, or they may have been this way for a very long time. When it comes to the former, they may have soon realised that something wasn’t right and sought hep soon after.
On the other hand, when it comes to the latter, they may have gradually become used to what was going on for them. This, along with the shame that they experienced through having problems, may have been what caused them to suffer in silence for so long.
A Big Factor
What this illiterates is how powerful shame is, and how it can cause someone to become their own prisoner. With too much shame, someone’s primary aim will be to protect their own image and to make sure that they are not ostracised.
It then won’t matter if they have mental and emotional problem as their need to protect themselves will take precedence. In this case, someone would need to understand that they won’t be end up being abandoned if they open up; but if another person was to turn their back on them, it wouldn’t have anything to do with their value as a person.
Its Black and White
However, regardless of whether someone has been able to reach out after suffering for years or only suffered for a little while, it will be clear that they wanted to change their life. Someone would have fought a long battle with themselves or it would have been a very short encounter.
Shame is then something that has the potential to hold someone back, yet it is not necessarily something that will cause someone to completely surrender to their suffering and to accept it. At the same time, just because someone is consciously resisting what is going on for them; it doesn’t mean that another part of them doesn’t feel comfortable with it.
Hidden or Out In The open
What this means is that a small part of them will want to change their life but an even bigger part of them will have come to feel comfortable with suffering. This can sound like a ludicrous idea, especially if someone is not familiar with the nature of the unconscious mind.
Therefore, irrespective of whether someone is suffering in silence or reaching out for assistance, they can still have a strong attachment to their pain. Due to how long they have been this way for, this pain can be a big part of their identity.
Someone can then be in a lot of pain and even reach out to others, creating the impression that they want to change their life, but another part of them won’t want their life to change. What this comes down to is that the unconscious mind associates what is familiar with what is safe, meaning that it doesn’t care about whether something is healthy or feels good.
For example, someone could be used to feeling down, powerless, hopeless, helpless or worthless, and feeling this way could be what feels comfortable at a deeper level. Not only this, through feeling this way for so long, it could play a big part in how they see themselves.
With this understanding, someone will be able to look into what is taking place at a deeper level, to work through it, and to embrace their inherent power and worth. Without this understanding, someone can end up feeling like a victim.
It will then be as though they want to change but something (or someone) is holding them back. How they feel as an adult might match up with how they felt throughout their childhood years, which may mean that they don’t know what it is like to experience life differently.
What this emphasises is that it is not always going to be possible for someone to change even if they say that they want to - there is a lot more to it. So, if someone’s whole identity is built around them having mental and emotional problems, and this allows them to receive attention and approval, for instance, letting go of this identity will be tantamount to death to their ego mind.
In order for them to redefine themselves, it will take patience and persistence, and they may need to work with a therapist or a healer. There is the chance that they are carrying many layers of trauma that will need to be worked through.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article, as many others have.
Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
To book your free 15-minute consultation, click here.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.