Originally published at JediLiving.
There is a difference between handling things and and dealing with things. This is one of the biggest traps for most people, including Jedi. Life can get busy. It can come at us quick. And we can feel we are doing a great job of dealing with things. that we are tackling each new challenge and responsibility that we encounter. The reality is often we are just managing these things. Marking a checklist and then moving on to the next thing. But when we slow down and find ourselves with a few minutes to just relax (meditation, laying down to sleep) things seem to creep in on us. And we start to feel bad or stressed or overwhelmed. Where did that accomplishment go? Why when things are finally done do we feel the most broken?
Human beings are great survivors. We are pretty tough. Doesn’t always seem like it, but individuals have been defying the odds for as long as we have kept records of it. Our ability to power through is a great asset, but it can mask emotional trauma. Something that is just as valid as physical illness. If you break your foot, you don’t power through it. You go to a medical professional, get it set, and than rest accordingly to allow the body to heal itself. Same with being sick, you rest up until you feel healed and ready to go. Yet we continually ignore this standard practice with our mental health.
And sure, there are some moments and even days when you have to suck it up and power through. This even goes for physical ailments. There are always exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking we need to be aware of our state of being and address it properly. Jedi have various practices which help us out in this endeavor. Self-reflection, Awareness, Meditation, there are many things we practice which have us stop and look within ourselves. These should be moments of relief and comfort. But what happens when we are not?
Well it could be a sign that we are managing things. We are dealing. We are getting by. We aren’t fully addressing what is going on within us or our lives. And we have come to no conclusion within ourselves about how we truly feel about what is happening within our lives at the moment. This isn’t really a failure of living the Jedi Way – again this can be a feeling that arises during Jedi practices. And this is how the Jedi Path can helps us. It gives us the chance (daily) to look at where we are at, how we are feeling, and that information is invaluable. You need to know something before you can do something about it.
So if you are meditating or laying down for bed and find that something is waiting for you – what can you do?
1.) Don’t run from it. I know you may have an important day tomorrow. Or in a few minutes. But you can’t keep putting it off. If you have a day off tomorrow or you know you’ll have time later to sit down with this and really look at it. Then obviously acknowledge that. Set that time up for yourself and then power through. But don’t keep running away from this feeling. Procrastination is not the answer that is going to help you here.
2.) Acknowledge and Accept. We all know this one, right Jedi? We have to be willing to face ourselves. Look ourselves in the mirror, be honest, and be willing to acknowledge and accept what we find facing us. It is only when we acknowledge a problem that we can begin the process of solving it. So – take that time to face this mountain that is casting a shadow over you. And accept that this is a process and it starts with being honest with ourselves.
3.) Patience. Nothing is fixed in a instant. It takes time. A broken bone doesn’t heal over night – why would a broken heart? The flu doesn’t go away because you have more important things to focus on, why would your stress? You have to approach it like any other health problem. That requires rest, patience, and treating yourself right.
4.) Meditation. The original tool for mental health. Constant and regular practice. Finding a technique that works for you within this moment. Since you are dealing with this emotional or mental injury you may have to change your normal meditation style. You might need to use a technique that helps you acknowledge, accept, and let go of the extra weight. Allowing yourself the time and energy to heal. So be mindful on your meditation and find a technique that you find helpful (keeping in mind that it may take a few sessions, patience). When in bed – focus on breathing and just letting go of that extra weight with each exhale.
5.) Professionals. Do not forget that there are resources out there for you. As you would go to the hospital for a severe injury you may want to consider seeking professional help with emotional of mental injury. That is a call you are going to have to make. But don’t rule it out. Even just seeking that professional online advice can provide you with more tools and resources for your recovery. Sometimes we reach the point as far as we can get on our own. In that case – make note that you will research professional help the next day, be at peace with that decision, and meditate until sleep takes you.
This my two pennies. I am not a professional – so as always – grain of salt. But as this was something I have been dealing with I wanted to write something on it and talk a little bit about my own practices and experiences. You have to be patient with yourself and accept who you are within the moment. The Jedi Path provides a lot of great tools and resources for growing beyond such experiences in a positive and healthy way. The Jedi Community can sometimes interfere with that. So be mindful of that. Still focus on the Path, live it as best you can, and I believe it will help right the ship. Meditation, Fitness, Awareness, Patience, etc. You’ll get there Jedi – just have to take it one step at a time.