'Your mind can be your best friend or worst enemy'.
This unattributed quote struck me as particularly significant a couple of weeks ago. I was working with someone who was incredibly troubled. This was not because of what was happening in their physical environment but through the unimaginable torture conjured up between their two ears. Their distress was tangible even though what disturbed them wasn't.
'Maybe my mind has turned against me as well!' That was one of my own thoughts since I've been signed off with stress. For instance, my sense of what is difficult is disproportionate. When I awoke yesterday, transferring money to Louis' music teacher, writing an email and doing the washing up took on the air of the impossible. I'd normally deal with such mundane stuff on autopilot.
Thankfully there's part of me that seems separate, a dispassionate observer. They're not seeing my mind as a new enemy, a turncoat. For from it stems creativity, love, analysis. logic, humour, a sense of what is right and wrong and the idea that there are hinterlands where morality or reason is unfathomable. It usually serves me beautifully and my inner life is something that is cherished. At the moment it's just been stretched beyond capacity with multiple things that cannot be blogged about, tales of trauma outside my control, yet where my input has been needed. I had my first telephone counselling session last night and it was only then the breadth of what I've been dealing with lately sank in.
My mind is still my friend but maybe one that is in need of a bit of firm TLC at the moment. 'Rule your mind or it will rule you'. So said the Buddha. The part of my psyche that remains objective urges the addled bit to remain rational, encourages it to properly assess the difficulty of what needs to be done and coaxes it into action. Because of it money was paid, dishes got cleaned and an email was replied to as normal. My mind is also reminded to go easy on itself and notice the things that it's still doing well and what is being achieved. After all wouldn't I be offering similar support for any other mate in the same situation?