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Thursday, 16 August 2012

How Powerful Is The Mind?

Yesterday, two of my unconditionally supportive friends gave me a small neutral intervention in regard to my state of happiness. And because the conversation ignited my cauldron of bubbling thoughts and epiphanies, I'm going to mindlessly spill them all out here for the next few posts. In trying to understand my negativity and my overwhelming reluctance in self-acceptance, she recalled a scene from an influential daytime talk show about the power of the mind.

That episode documented the struggles of a woman battling anorexia nervosa. The interview was approached in a way to help her realise that she needs to overcome her own mind in order to save her own life. But how? How do you help yourself when you're the one trapped underneath a deep dark well? How do you get yourself out of it? 

In the interview, a successful survivor was being brought in to help persuade the tormented woman on the verge of self-destruction.

Anorexia Survivor: [persuasive tone]
"When you're in it, you can't see it! It's. So. Hard!"
"What you can do is you can make the little steps to build your mind so that you can fight back!"

But the anorexic woman looks up at the survivor with an unfathomable expression and in frustrated tears said: But how did you do it?! (At that moment, you could see that her mind was no longer that of a sane person. She was a lost soul, completely overtaken by helplessness.)

Anorexia Survivor: [persuasive tone]
"You just start to nourish your brain!! So your brain can start to feel life again! And the life is so wonderful! And we are in control of our own lives and our own destiny!"

The woman responded in negativity and broke down: "I can't do it..."She died two years later after having appeared on that interview. Until this day, her earth-shattering question of "but how?", is the key to what many of us are still trying to figure out within ourselves. I couldn't help but wonder if she had freed her mind to listen then, could she have been saved?

As viewers who are mere observers of something in which we are not involved in, we see many things, the bigger picture in great detail. And in witnessing her struggles, we are aware of the danger and severity of her situation. Our immediate instincts tell us that in order for her to keep her own life, she needs to stop listening to her mind and start feeding herself again.

It's as simple as taking food and putting it in your mouth right? (Like how you can just snap out of depression and be happy.) How straightforward and easy. But yet, so hard to do because something in the mind is so powerful that it's refusing to relinquish control over whatever we're trying to change. It's in a state where its obstructing every ounce of our capacity to see ourselves and to wake up. It blocks the ability to think and to understand how we ended up in the fucked-up situation we're in. That inexplicable mental blockage, I don't know how to explain what it is, but it's there and it's strong because I've experienced it. In fact I'm figuring out my way around it.

However, this story made me rethink the potential power of our minds and the endless possibilities we could achieve by focusing it in the right direction and on the right things. If only I could just ignore the call of my pain, just let go and just do it instead of asking how. In channelling all of my energy into building and strengthening myself, I might actually have the potential to exceed my own expectations or become someone better.

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