1. Being able to say “I’m sorry” is a skill, and one that not a lot of people possess. Hone that skill. Apologizing shouldn’t be followed by “but here’s why I did it” or “and then you did this”. An apology is you taking responsibility for hurting someone else, not a notch on a scorecard in some bizarro battle of “Who’s Right?”
To demonstrate the effects of armoring, let’s place a rubber band across [a] jellyfish’s middle. Where the jellyfish once pulsated as a single unit, expanding and contracting freely, the rubber band causes the jellyfish to expand and contract in disconnected segments. The beauty of the pulsation is gone. The animal functions as much in response to the constricting rubber band as it once did to the great ocean in which it lived. It is cut off from direct contact with its cosmos; instead of being beautiful, it is now unnatural. The band has not only interfered with the physical aspect of pulsation; it has, in effect, made the jellyfish into a different creature, and affected all of its functions.
Armoring distorts human functioning to the same extent that the rubber band deformed the jellyfish. Innocent impulses become cockeyed impulses. Armoring transmutes an organism born to religious awe (cosmic longing) into one who calls circumcision of newborns and celibacy religious duty. It changes eyes that linger and look deeply, as a young child’s, into eyes that look sidelong and turn away. Aggression, which is the instrument for overcoming obstacles and leads us to explore, becomes the tool of hatred and money aquisitiveness. Our bodies lose their ease and grace and become stiff, wheezy, dispeptic, and constipated. Our armoring disfigures us literally and spiritually.
Although many writers had had periods of significant depression, mania, or hypomania, they were consistently appealing, entertaining, and interesting people. They had led interesting lives, and they enjoyed telling me about them as much as I enjoyed hearing about them. Mood disorders tend to be episodic, characterized by relatively brief periods of low or high mood lasting weeks to months, interspersed with long periods of normal mood (known as euthymia to us psychiatrists). All the writers were euthymic at the time that I interviewed them, and so they could look back on their periods of depression or mania with considerable detachment. They were also able to describe how abnormalities in mood state affected their creativity. Consistently, they indicated that they were unable to be creative when either depressed or manic.
The relationship between creativity and mental illness – a fascinating study based on writers from the prestigious Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Kurt Vonnegut was among the subjects. (via explore-blog)
I think about this a lot, as I suffer from panic disorder.
Be Impeccable with Your Word. Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
Don’t Make Assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
Always Do Your Best. Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.