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A Lot Depends on Your Point of View

As the wise Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi said, in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, “Luke, you are going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”

I bring this quote up, not just because I have loved Star Wars since I saw the original movie in the theater back in 1977, but because it is relevant to mental health as well.

Many things in life depend on our perspective. The way we perceive things can greatly alter how we feel and how we approach things. Changing how we perceive things can go a long way to helping cope with some of our challenges in life. A change may not make the world all rosy, but it can help.

Personally, I do not like to think of things like borderline personality disorder, bi-polar disorder, etc as ‘illnesses’. I think of them more as just a different way of processing things. Yes, they make things more challenging at times, but you can find a positive way to use them.

I am co-morbid with bpd and bi-polar disorder, but I have found that the different way of thinking lets me find solutions to problems that others may not see. It also enhances my creativity. It gives me an advantage when it comes to times to solve complex problems.

I try to focus on these positive ‘side-effects’ of bpd and bi-polar, along with the other positive ‘side-effects’, instead of the negative ones. Unfortunately, not only do we too often focus on the negative ones, they are the ones that are more often publicized.

‘Mental illness’ is not the only phrase that I hate. I hate the term ‘suffering’ even more than I hate ‘mental illness’. When we say we suffer from a certain challenge, it automatically paints a very negative picture. It puts us in a negative frame of mind right away.

I know things are hard at times, trust me I know. But, we do not need to let the hard times define us. We should not allow them to define us. We are more than our diagnosis, more than our challenges and hardships.

We need to take the hard times and use them to learn and grow stronger. It is like the Dalai Lama says:

There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’ No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.

No matter what the hardship we face, no matter what the challenges we must meet, we can always learn from them. Sometimes, it is not easy to learn the lesson or even to know what we are supposed to learn, but it is always possible. We grow stronger with every tragedy we overcome, every hardship we endure and survive.

None of us ever need to suffer again. We can overcome anything.


Posted: June 29th, 2012 under Thoughts on Mental Health.


Comment from Richard Punko - 2012/07/01 at 02:48

You seem very positive. Keep it going.

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