“About a third of my cases are suffering from no clinically definable neurosis, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.”
― C.G. Jung
Wellness: Big Picture
I personally view wellness as being in a state of balance. Balance in Mind, Body, and Spirit on the inside. But also balance in how we choose to live our lives in general on the outside.
I share a bit of caution in regards to your own expectations for achieving personal wellness. Strive for forward movement, rather than perfection.
There's a lot ahead for those just starting out to learn.
To recover as best we can, my own experience suggests, along with lessons from all I've turned to for information, that with trauma, and with PTSD in particular, we're wisest to understand that there are no quick-fixes. I wish there were. But the reality is, there's no quick-and-easy way out of trauma and PTSD once it's taken root deeply enough.
Thus, why it's so important for us following traumatic experiences to seek right help as close to the time of the event as we can muster. There nothing really that says we can't fully recover, no matter how soon we access trauma-informed clinical care. It took me from 1994 through to 2013 before I accessed what I needed to help me break free from the bondage that trauma left behind in me.
It's been a rocky road between 2013 and today. But I've made incredible strides, more-so than in all the years I worked with recovery prior to my first EMDR treatments in Vancouver in November 2013.
I share the caution simply to suggest we're wise to keep our expectations for recovery realistic.
As it is for all I've learned, it's taken me awhile for this to sink in to a place inside that I too can accept moving forward, but slowly. This is a lesson my mentor Shannon Pennington shared with me when we first met.
He shared with me this motto: "Festina Lente: Make Haste, Slowly".
It took far too long for me to find right help (meaning, the help that fit my unique needs). I remain in recovery-mode still as an outcome of that too-much-time, and actually with a shift now brewing towards more clear focus on being well in the body:
I remain open to tackling my over-all health, now including work for my body, as I've done to tackle my mind and spirit.
What I personally need for me to stay on course, is a much bigger-picture view of what achieving wellness actually means as I carry on with my own recovery. Others are satisfied with using information that doesn't go perhaps as deeply as I need to do to support my personal journey. We all need that unique right fit. As I will continue to make progress hopefully, I'm comfortable with what I offer here as I share my take on what wellness, over-all, has come to mean to me.
Wellness is about harmony, both inside and out. Wellness is about achieving a sense of inner-balance. It's about reunification inside of mind, body, and spirit. For me, this hoped-for state of FEELING well, now includes some ideas that grant me a little deeper focus then maybe others have had opportunity to consider.
I'll share again the words I shared above from Carl Jung (he's my go-to, historical analyst/therapist). His work aligned for me with the information I took in long ago about the Hero's Journey from Joseph Campbell.
In hearing from Jung, and accepting what he has to say, I became willing to go deep with my own therapy, including tackling what turned out to be a slew of false-beliefs that had skewed my perception of reality for a time.
“About a third of my cases are suffering from NO CLINICALLY DEFINABLE NEUROSIS, but from the senselessness and emptiness of their lives. This can be defined as the general neurosis of our times.”
― C.G. Jung
What's my point?
Key to being well might take some work, agreeing to make adjustments to your own inner-beliefs.
That's really a core principle most therapists apply to their work with us. Tackling inside what may be false beliefs (the meaning we attach to things) is the basis of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques in treatment.
Here's some reading that touches on the bigger picture that is mind, body, spirit (bio-psycho-social) wellness:
Understanding the bigger picture opens our eyes to the impact of stress in determining general health outcomes.
When stress is imposed upon us in the society in which we live: With the after-math of trauma put upon us as well in the form of the conditions (PTSD etc) that trauma leaves behind, the importance of learning how to manage the stress coming at is will be a key teaching that is part of specialized trauma-informed therapy.
Prior to the traumas I suffered working as a paramedic, I'd drafted the more unhealthy ways of dealing with stress. I used booze and cigarettes, and as much play as I could find to ward of the stress that we all face just being human and living a life. Many of us have turned to less-than-helpful means to manage our stress. The beauty of right trauma recovery work is, part of the deal that is recovery includes learning far more healthy and supportive ways to manage stress imposed upon us, which will be there, traumas fully resolved or otherwise.
The basis of Buddhist Philosophy speaks to me about stress with truth. "The Four Noble Truths" make up the first doctrine that Buddhism shares as a philosophy.
- The First Truth is that all life is suffering, pain, and misery. (Stressful). (I'd add, with a few hints here and there of joy for us too).
- The Second Truth is that this suffering is caused by craving and personal desire. (I want 'this' and can't seem to get it).
- The Third Truth is, that this craving can be overcome. (Fostering gratitude for the fact that it's often enough that we're simply alive and taking breath).
- The Fourth Truth is that the way to overcome this misery is through "The Eightfold Path". (Buddhism's offering of healing the inner-strife created by chasing desires).
I'm not suggesting that anyone dive-in and take on Buddhism all the way. Particularly when one is still living in a state of stuck-energy connected with trauma. I offer up these truths simply for introduction. To adopt Buddhist Philosophy into one's life is a pursuit that Buddhism suggests might take us many life-times. I find the first three Noble Truths in Buddhism an apt reference to that which we call, rather flippantly actually, stress. I share this to point out how historically long-ago humans have been sorting out the damage that stress can do.
For a good look at the harms we suffer due to the stress imposed upon us (subtly-as if it's all 'normal' for us to live this way):
Check Out The Video Below: 'Stress-Portrait of a Killer'.
Check Out As Well The Breathing Video: This is the First Lesson one gets when we begin to seek out meditative practices.
For More On Wellness: Follow This Link.
Stress: Portrait of A Killer: Dr. Robert Sapolsky, Sir Michael Marmot: National Geographic via YouTube
Disclaimer: These materials and resources are presented for educational purposes only. They are not a substitute for informed medical advice or training. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified health or mental health care provider. If you have concerns, contact your health care provider, mental health professional, or your community health centre.
Darren Gregory © 2018. All Rights Reserved