As a result of what is taking place in the Middle East and Ukraine, someone can often feel down and depressed. Due to this, they might not do a number of the things that they used to do before.
Quiet simply, they won’t have the desire or the energy to do a great deal. Apart from going to work, then, they might spend a lot of time at home and seldom if ever see their friends or family.
Their friends and family could be concerned about their mental and emotional health, that’s if they are aware of what is going on for them. But, even if they are aware, are concerned, and have made this clear, it doesn’t mean that this has had much of an effect on them.
They might have said that they can’t just focus on their life and allow themselves to feel good whilst so many people are suffering. The idea of being happy during this time could fill them with guilt and shame.
If a friend has suggested that they are not helping anyone by being this way, they might have criticised them. It might have gone further than this, though, as they might have fallen out.
Their need to live in this way is then going to be so strong that they won’t be able to accept any feedback that challenges how they live their life. Along with not allowing themselves to be happy, they could do a number of things to try to help those who are suffering.
The Next Stage
As the days, weeks, and months pass, they could sink even deeper into the hole that they are in. If so, they could end up being put on medication and even think about ending their own life.
What this will illustrate is that they are unable to keep it together and in a very bad way. In this case, it will be as if others are on a ship that is sinking and they have ended up in the same position.
Now, regardless of whether they have arrived at this stage, it could be said that as other people are suffering, it makes sense that they wouldn’t be able to experience positive feelings. This can be seen as a normal part of being a human being who can empathise and experience compassion.
If they were not in touch with their humanity, on the other hand, it would be different. But, as they are in touch with their humanity, they are unable to simply overlook what is going on and live their life.
Nonetheless, although their ability to empathise with and experience compassion for those who are in a very different position to them is a good thing, what stands out is that this is also something that is causing them to suffer. By getting into a boat that is also sinking, they won’t be able to truly help themselves let alone others.
To stay with this analogy, for them to help someone who is sinking, they need to be strong enough to rescue whoever is on the boat. Naturally, if they go from being on dry land to jumping on a sinking boat, they won’t be able to do this.
With this in mind, allowing themselves to fall into a hole because of what is taking place for others is not serving anyone. This is not to say that they need to pretend that there are no problems in the world.
No, what it means is that they can be aware of what is going on, or some of what is going on, and, at the same time, they can allow themselves to experience positive feelings. They can focus on how grateful they are for being able to live a radically different life.
What they can also keep in mind is that by allowing themselves to fall down emotionally and for their life to fall apart in the process, they are feeding into a reality that is the opposite of what they want for themselves and others. The way for them to play their part in creating a world that is loving, peaceful, and harmonious is for them to do what they can to embody those elements.
Yet, by not doing this, they are giving their energy to the very reality that leads to more pain and suffering. In other words, and to use another analogy, it’s not possible to make water cleaner by pouring in more dirty water.
If they are on board with this and have come to the conclusion that they need to be strong and an example to others, the mere thought of changing their behaviour could make them feel uncomfortable. They could be filled with guilt and shame, with them having a strong need to carry on as before.
What they may find if they were to take a step back and reflect on their life, is that they have found it hard to experience and sustain positive feelings for most of their life. This can show that, during their early years, their mother and/or father were often depressed.
Back In Time
Furthermore, their mother and/or father might have often blamed them for what was taking place in their own life. However, if they were not blamed it wouldn’t have mattered, as they were egocentric and thus, would have personalised what took place.
The outcome of this is that this would have caused them to feel responsible for their mother and/or father’s wellbeing, to feel unworthy of being happy, and to blend with their emotional state to try to be loved. This stage of their life will be in the past, but the impact that it had on them will still be affecting their life.
The people who they feel sorry for and have lowered their emotional state for will then, symbolically, represent their mother and/or father. Consequently, they will feel responsible for what these people are going through, which will cause them to feel uncomfortable experiencing positive feelings and their emotional state will then be very similar to the state that these people are in.
Another part of this is that their early years were a time when they didn’t develop strong boundaries. This is then why they have no sense of where they begin and end and where other people begin and end, with the outcome of this being that they feel responsible for the world.
Cleaning Up The Past
Neglecting themselves and being there for others will be something that feels comfortable. What they will need to keep in mind is that their needs are not bad or shameful; they are simply part of being an interdependent human being.
For them to no longer feel responsible for the world and to bring themselves back into balance, to feel comfortable with their needs and develop boundaries, they are likely to have pain to face and work through and unmet developmental needs to experience. This will take courage, patience, and persistence.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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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.