Saturday, 2 January 2021

Dismantling our helplessness

So this 'mystery' of a loving, good, altruistic presence permeating all things and all creatures. Not forcing itself upon us, having to be invited into our consciousness in order to flourish and make deeper roots. 

We're so easily overcome by our survival instinct prompting us to worry about something or somebody. But what if the answer to all worry is to invite in that loving presence? What if trusting that we'll have enough, that we'll be okay, that life is good actually brings it about? Our trust brings in the loving presence who'll take care of us in whatever shape it might appear. Through other people or directly?

Not that we would be passively waiting for everything to be handed to us. No, we'd use the skills and understanding that we've been given, assuming that whatever is missing will somehow be added by 'providence'. Research around well-being and faith in something bigger than ourselves, shows that the person who believes in a punitive God/superior force, or in being a helpless victim usually ends up with mental problems. The person however, who believes is a fifty-fifty relationship where they do their best and expect God/providence/a loving presence to do the rest experience high well-being and hope.

But it can be difficult. Most of us are products of 'learned helplessness' in some area of our life. We're programmed by some childhood experience of being helpless and then might continue programming ourselves to further helplessness by our unconscious belief that there is something we cannot do when in reality we might be very good at it if we got a chance to develop that skill.

While I love my father dearly, he did trigger a helplessness in me regarding being able to change somebody's mind. I remember him physically punishing my brother for wetting the bed and I objecting to it but being dismissed as irrelevant and unable to make a difference for my brother. It's only later when I look back that I can see how that has stopped me from speaking up against anybody with a strong opinion. I straight away feel that there's no point and so I avoid conversations with anyone who has a strong opinion because I haven't developed the skill of negotiating.

I admire people who are able to speak their mind independent of what other people think or feel. Thankfully, I have other skills and that might be what happens for a lot of us, we put our energy where we feel we can make more of a difference, but we need to be careful all the same, that we don't do it at the expense of our well-being and happiness.

At one point in my life when I was challenged by a friendship that didn't work out the way I expected a close friend asked me 'What do you want?' That was something I had put into the background for a long time, a helplessness around my ability to listen to what I would enjoy, what I wanted to do with my time and energy. My friend's question set me free to open myself to a more enjoyable life where rather than depending on others to lead the way, I started to listen to my inner sense of enjoyment and peace. I started to climb mountains, to write, to reach out to people in the neighbourhood.

So I have been fortunate in coming across people who encouraged me to develop beyond my helplessness even though sometimes I limit myself much more than what I need to, thinking that I'm stuck somewhere when really I'm not, I just think I am.

But I do understand how easy it is to buy into helplessness, especially if we have grown up in an environment of helplessness which is often the case with people caught in addiction, mental illness or depression. And I feel for you, and I know it doesn't feel like it, but there is a loving, caring presence within you & around you. Open yourself to that embrace of goodness and love and you will experience it in abundance. Use the gratitude skill, look for something good somewhere. That's a start, and then keep going. You can do this. We can do this. If you need my help write me an email: and together we'll think of some way of you entering this adventure, that your life becomes when your helplessness is transformed into power and freedom.

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