Getting Right with God

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This next series of blogs are going to be on the subject of spirituality. Now some may turn away at this point but be warned, read my fourth truth of bipolar under why I write this blog.

Spirituality is different than Religion. Spirituality is for those of us who have already been to hell and don’t want to go back. Religion is for those who have never been there in the first place.

Unfortunately, it is only by studying seemingly religious things that we can lean about spirituality.

I have written a formula for becoming right with God. The formula is; Prayer + Meditation+ Right Action = Right living in the eyes of God. It could also mean right living in the eyes of the world but that is not important to me.

This is my story after all that is all we will ever be is a story. I have BPI and because of that illness, misdiagnosis and my inability to see the truth, I made a mess of my life for the first 55 years. Add to that the fact that men on both my maternal side and paternal side have never reached 70, I will be 61 at the end of the month. This could mean my time is short. Now I could meditate on those things and I can become those things or I can, and do, meditate on this poem by the Sanskrit dramatist Kalidasa and come to understand and live this way.
”Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities(difficulties) and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendor of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn!
© by Kalidasa
Live well today and God will take care of the rest.
This poem leads us to a fuller explanation of the formula; prayer + meditation + right action

Prayer:

Prayer is the asking.” Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Mathew 7:7

I asked for mental wellness and for help to live as the above poem described, in today, this moment. Yes, I had many yesterdays that were not so good, but I asked if I could live one day mentally well, then I would have one yesterday that was good to treasure. It actually happened. Now, I have many yesterdays to look back on fondly and the not so good past is fading away to nothingness, only to be brought when my past experiences will help others. I no longer live looking backwards at the “what if’s”, “should haves” and all those other things that kept me firmly rooted in mental illness.

Meditation:

Meditation is not in the way we think of meditation today. What I mean by meditation is this;
”Meditation is the intense dwelling, in thought, upon an idea or theme, with the object of thoroughly comprehending it, and whatsoever you constantly meditate upon you will not only come to understand, but will grow more and more into its likeness, for it will become incorporated into your very being, will become, in fact, your very self. If, therefore, you constantly dwell upon that which is selfish and debasing, you will ultimately become selfish and debased; if you ceaselessly think upon that which is pure and unselfish you will surely become pure and unselfish.” James Allen.

A quick side note here. There is a James Allen free library on the internet. This quote is from the book “From Poverty to Power” and is directly from Part II” The Path Way to Peace. Finding and reading James Allen changed my life, especially that book.

Meditating on mental wellness and the things that bring mental wellness is what changed my life. Despite myself, I became mentally well.

Right Action:

Right Action for each of us is different and therefore is not easy to describe as we initially have no idea what right action really is. (See my first truth of bipolar.) It is trial and error. The key with prayer and meditation and right action is really getting to know yourself.
Jesus said,” If your leaders say to you, ’Look, the (Father’s) imperial rule is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ’It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father’s) imperial rule is inside you and outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty.” The Gospel of Thomas, Verse 3 (this is not in the bible but it really helped me)

It was when I got sick and tired of being the poverty that Jesus describes that I sought real help and real knowledge on how to get well. Ignorance may be bliss, but it sure stops you from growing. Real knowledge of ourselves and this illness is what keeps us on the road to mental wellness. This my formula for getting right with God, along with the main quotes I meditated upon to understand what getting right with God means. These quotes have become me. I hope this blog edition and the quotes can help you.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Please remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

Subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday, as we look at the truths of living with and managing our Bi-Polar disorder.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

 

 

 

Guilt, Shame, Remorse and Regret 5

 

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This is the fifth in the series of guilt, shame, remorse and regret. My intent is to tie is all this together and add the tool that sparks that one thing that is needed to bring us out of these negative feelings. That one emotion that all humans need to continue on in life is hope. Finding hope is difficult for the bipolar sufferer. In the manic phase we are invincible and untouchable by the feelings of guilt, shame, remorse and regret. Hope does not enter into our lives.  When we crash we become worthless in our minds and all hope is lost to us.

The emotions of guilt, shame, remorse and regret are normal human emotions, every person has the capacity to feel these emotions. These emotions are used as red flags to tell every human that they have violated something within themselves that has hurt their relationship with themselves and/or with others. Bipolar is a mood disorder and the feelings of guilt, shame, remorse and regret are moods. As moods they are expressed as feeling guilty, feeling ashamed, feeling remorseful and feeling regretful. Bipolar causes us to become stuck, or mired, in these emotions for much longer and more deeply than a sane person does.

The feeling of guilt is caused the violation of our personal values, the feeling of shame is caused by a giving away or losing our personal identity. The feeling of remorse is the deepening of either guilt or shame or both causing a deepening of the feeling of worthlessness. This causes the loss of all hope. For myself there was a progression from either guilt or shame to remorse that deepens and deepens culminating in a greater and greater regret of my entire life. Only when I reached that point of deep regret could I take the action that reversed this downward slide. Real regret opened the door that gave the me the will to repent, to change. Caught in the deep feelings of guilt or shame and feeling remorseful to the point of worthlessness and total loss of hope there was no ability to change. Only when the feelings of guilt and shame passed and I was left only with deep regret could I find the door to change.

In deciding that I no longer wanted to slide down that slippery slope to deep remorse and depression it became apparent what I needed was knowledge. What did I need to know? I needed to know myself, to find me, my true self. I needed to find my real identity, my values, my boundaries. I needed to built my true character which is made up of all those things and more.

That is the first step, get to know your real self and then quit violating yourself or giving part, or all, of your self away when you deal with others. In that way you will keep your self-worth intact. This leaves the feeling of hopelessness. How do you battle hopelessness? I have found only one way and that is to replace hopelessness with gratitude. To be eternally grateful for everything I have at this moment and for what I am about to receive, if I continue on this journey called living. It is only by being grateful that makes this journey worthwhile.

I said at the beginning that I would add the tool that brings us out of these negative feelings that tool is to cultivate gratitude at all times. Write down three things you are grateful for every day. Keep those in mind all day long and look for more.

When those feelings of guilt and shame come upon us we have to find out what we have violated or given away within ourselves, quickly. These are our feelings, so there is no need to look anywhere but within ourselves to find what has been violated or given away.

There is one caveat to all of this. To find your-self and to learn what your true values and boundaries are, you need a stable mind. Without a proper diagnosis and proper medication, you cannot achieve that staple mind.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Please remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday, as we look at the truths of living with and managing our Bi-Polar disorder.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

Guilt, Shame, Remorse and Regret

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This is the fourth in the series on Guilt, Shame, Remorse and Regret. These are the four main feelings that control the down side of bipolar disorder. What I am about to say regarding regret may surprise many people. These are my conclusions after years of studying myself and listening to, or reading, the stories of hundreds of others.

Regret is the feeling of disappointment with our past actions or inactions. In many cases our deepest regrets are over missed opportunities or regrets about taking the wrong fork in the road of life. This is always looking into the past. Regret is always past tense. In the moment, or present tense, we feel either guilt, shame or remorse. We do not feel regret until we look backwards on an incident, then we feel regret. How I now view regret, is as an opportunity. The feeling of regret opens a previously hidden door if you are willing to look for it. The feeling of regret opens the door to repentance. To repent means to change our ways. In that time of regret, we are given the greatest opportunity to really seek those changes that will make us that better person. In the present moment we are consumed by the emotion of that moment, be it guilt, shame or remorse. With remorse, it can be so overwhelming to us, with bipolar, that we can seldom pick ourselves up, let alone change. It is only when the guilt, shame or remorse change to regret can we begin to make changes in our lives. It is then, at the fist twinge of regret, that we need to seize the opportunity to repent and make those constructive changes in our lives.

I now view the feeling of regret as the start of the upswing in my moods and depressions. Guilt and/or shame can and do start the slippery slope towards remorse. Remorse, for me, is the bottom of the pit. It is when I feel regret that I know the worst is over. Today, not only is regret the signal that the worst is over, but that it is time to learn a new way to handle life.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Please remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday, as we look at the truths of living with and managing our Bi-Polar disorder.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

 

Guilt, Shame, Remorse and Regret 3

 

 

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In this third in the series on the emotions of guilt, shame, remorse and regret, emotions that are a predominant whirling dervish in our fall from mania to depression. This week I look at the emotion of remorse.

Remorse is more than guilt or shame; remorse is generated when we have committed a serious wrong to another person or ourselves, in our mind or in reality. Remorse can be described as guilt and shame coupled with grief. We are remorseful when we are fired from a job or alienate a friend, betray our spouse or ignore our children.

Remorse is generated by our actions, or our inactions, and of all the emotions that are being discussed here, it is the most dangerous. Remorse is the emotion that leads us to contemplate suicide. When we feel genuine remorse we see ourselves at our worst and in our illness seeing ourselves that way causes all hope of a future to flee. With no hope of a future we feel we cannot go on. Real remorse is the most dangerous emotion we can generate. True remorse is the lowest point we can reach. This is the deepest pit to climb out of, it is the emotion of severe depression. We need to learn that there still is hope for us

Constantly reliving the feeling of remorse, or recreating remorse, creates our depression, at least for me. Another part of remorse is that this emotion is the trigger that allows you to beat yourself up at every perceived error, even when you think you are doing fine. If you never felt remorse you would never condemn yourself either.  This is the emotion of self condemnation.

Remorse is again a normal human emotion, used as a severe warning flag that we have crossed a line that has really hurt ourselves and/or others. In the reality of the real world humans are to learn this is the hot stove ring emotion and we should not do the things that cause this emotion and when we do, should not do them again. We, as bipolar suffers, take a sick pleasure in causing ourselves severe emotional, and sometimes physical pain, and remorse is the severest emotional pain we can create for ourselves.  The emotion of remorse can not be allowed to linger in our lives.

Our battle is with our minds, not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Always remember our battle will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

Please subscribe to this blog, or check back every Monday, as we look at the truths of living with and managing our Bi-Polar disorder.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work harder on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.