The Key to Manifesting Self Worth
I don’t know about you, but I feel this month has been full of turmoil and violence. February, the month of Valentine’s Day, is supposed to be full of love, not just love between couples, but love among friends and family members. Instead it has been full of drama, violence (shootings) and unappreciation for each other. For me, February is the month before my birthday (March, 3), and I am a fierce member of the Pisces crew. My friend often reminds me, that Pisces are all about helping others, which describes me totally. As I mention in my book “Strengthening Your Identity While the Shadow is in Front of You”, you need a reminder of how strong you are in the midst of the madness.
Part of my book’s title, “the shadow in front of you”, applies to illnesses. It speaks of any obstacle you may be facing, and staying true to who you are in the midst of it all. This helps keep you mentally centered.
In chapter 9 of my book (Staying True To Who You Are in the Midst of Madness), I use this quote:
The human experience is contagious. It’s sometimes crazy, but full of thrusting force that fuels you and keeps you going. You realize that it’s the only thing teaching you wisdom and molding your identity.”
The human experience is full of a lot of subsistence, density or flavored baggage, meaning that there are a lot of things that make up the human struggle. A lot of it is what we don’t know how to deal with until we have the experience and learn how to deal with the strife.
The Love of Family…
My first manic episode could have been worse if I hadn’t had the love of my family, which is something I celebrate every Valentines Day since I was diagnosed. I write hand written letters to my family members and tell them how much they mean to me.
When I was first diagnosed, it was summer of 2004, I was taking on too much and one of my triggers, (I don’t know about other people), but for me is too much stress. During college at the University of Washington, I had an internship during the summer in Issaquah, WA and another job as a receptionist on the weekends in Everett. Now, first of all I didn’t realize that I was taking on more than I could handle at the time. Issaquah was about an hour and half away from where I live in Lynnwood, and driving there was infectious to my peace of mind. The pressure of dealing with traffic and then the actual job on the weekend was havoc. I didn’t realize it until I actually broke down and had a manic episode. It was like I blacked out and the next thing I knew I was surrounded by family at the hospital.
Again if it wasn’t for the love of my family and for them being so open and understanding with wisdom, I don’t know where I would be. One thing I learned about love here on earth is that love radiates, you can feel it in your soul when you have positive people around you. My family also reminded me to reconnect with my writing in order to stay “sane” and relaxed. It is my comfort and solace. Oftentimes I escaped from depression by writing. I wrote this poem when I was having a manic attack, it’s called “ The Underworld” because sometimes having an illness can be like being in a world where no one here on earth can understand or comprehend how to help you.
“An underworld of unspoken verbs and nouns
Making broken English make familiar sounds
Crying out loud for help like howling hound
Trying to be saved becoming a beacon of light that is
A secret place that is coded with an encryption that is foreign to the 99%
So God if you can hear my howling sounds through the moonlight
The sound that is above my height
Before I get into this unfair fight.”
Supporting One Another…
I feel that in these times where we have a world full of violence instead of peace and love, we need an escape route, especially for the youth when they are feeling trapped. They are filled with the challenges of meeting expectations of good grades, fitting in classroom and in the social arena. At my high school we had a program called Conflict Mediation. It was more geared towards solving conflicts among students, it worked well.
I feel more programs need to be in place where therapy, emotional, uplifting, and self-esteem building activities are integrated together with learning. I believe that it is one of the ways we show love for one another, by sharing with each another how to handle tough times. By helping others, it uplifts us and makes us feel whole. Love knows no bounds as we learned this week of heroes saving children in Florida. Love is strong and defiant; Love is an endless and powerful force of emotion. We need a stronger dialogue about mental illness and violence. If the love of children, who are our future isn’t enough, I don’t know what is. Happy Valentines Day.
I’ll leave you with this poem in honor of black history month, written by Langston Hughes, my favorite poet. It’s a strong poem and we can use these rivers of waters he uses in his poem as a metaphor for the many forces of nature in this world that are waiting for us to dive into the pool of love. We just need to be vigilant in our efforts.
I think in his poem Hughes expresses his love for his country’s history as well as his heritage and is proud to represent both. It demonstrates how Hughes showed his love for life by sharing with others his vision and by using his strong, bold words that changed the world. We all have that special something that can put more love instead of hate in a world that is in vast need, and is thirsting for peaceful rivers as Hughes expresses.
THE NEGRO SPEAKS OF RIVERS
I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
flow of human blood in human veins.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I’ve seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset.
I’ve known rivers:
Ancient, dusky rivers.
My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
– Langston Hughes, 1902 – 1967
Click here to learn more about my book, “Strengthening Your Identity While the Shadow is in Front of You” and purchase a copy.
***(Disclaimer: This is my story I’m in no way saying that people can get healed doing what I did, I’m just sharing my personal experience, hoping it may be helpful).