The most beautiful results are so often a result of the pain that has cracked us open. Although it is not the only place in which we give birth to profound ideas, it is a necessity to every creative, and every non creative person’s world, otherwise we would have no variety and no colour and the landscape of our imagination would quickly dry up and we would loose the desire to explore, question and move forward. It has always seemed strange to me that we are so willing to ‘cure’ ourselves of the uncomfortable things we feel, or exile the emotions we typically associate with as weakness, when I find such depth and strength in those places.
I have come to befriend my demons over the years, and understand that the only way to win against them, is by acknowledging their presence, and giving them a voice, by feeding them the way one would a starving child, and allow them to play a role in my life and my creativity, one that hopefully others, will be able to engage with, and find comfort in, in knowing that they are not alone in the chaos, destructiveness and pain they suffer. I would certainly never have travelled to the realms inside of myself, had i identified with these elements of myself as negative or damaging only, when in actual fact, all of these emotions are necessary, it merely depends on how we utilise them. This is both the gift and struggle of the highly introspective soul of a creative nature. To make use of both the destructive and the wonderful, without letting the destructive envelop us. Interestingly, the shamanic view of these dark emotions we harbour is quite the opposite to the west’s. According to the shamanic view, mental illness is a sign that the human spirit is evolving and aids the healer within us, to be born. Author of ‘The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia’ Stephanie Marohn wrote about a shamanic doctor’s experience in a mental institution :
“i was so shocked. That was the first time I was brought face to face with what is done here to people exhibiting the same symptoms I’ve seen in my village.” What struck Dr. Some was that the attention given to such symptoms was based on pathology, on the idea that the condition is something that needs to stop. This was in complete opposition to the way his culture views such a situation. As he looked around the stark ward at the patients, some in straitjackets, some zoned out on medications, others screaming, he observed to himself, “So this is how the healers who are attempting to be born are treated in this culture. What a loss! What a loss that a person who is finally being aligned with a power from the other world is just being wasted….”Heavy dosing with anti-psychotic drugs compounds the problem and prevents the integration that could lead to soul development and growth in the individual ”
Regardless as to whether one believes in the spiritual perspective of a native american shaman, there is a lot to be said about any culture keen on abandoning or treating so called mental disorders, as an entirely negative experience that need to be fixed with a dose of medication or therapy sessions. The gifts and perspective of a highly sensitive spiritual person, prone to depression and mental illness, is something very much valued in indigenous cultures, indeed, there is no such label as ‘highly sensitive’ in the first place because they consider it the natural state in which the human soul should exist in order to evolve, progress, awaken, and to build heightened awareness, inviting us to feel with much intensity, depth and ultimately become acquainted with a much more powerful and resilient version of ourselves.
This is contrary to the west’s perspective, a culture that is a breeding ground for mental illness, where the highly sensitive are seen as oversensitive and fragile, and what are considered afflictions, are treated vigorously with methods that impede our ability to feel and express rather than let the expression be the guide to our healing and overall development. Mental illness or those who are predisposed to be of a more intense feeling nature, are labelled as containing a condition that one should hurriedly recover from ,in order to be less susceptible and vulnerable to the brutal and destructive influences of our fast-moving world. But it is the inundation of a technological, rigid and artificial system, that has cut off our connection from the soul, one so deeply needed to navigate our way through life, to grow, to build connections with others, develop a diverse range of abilities, and thrive with a variety of intelligence, oppose to the academic type alone, favoured by society and high in the hierarchy of the education system.
It is no wonder we are in such a delicate disposition with our mental health when our senses and psyche are bombarded with the brutality that characterises western culture (and most others for that matter). For most of us the effects are drastic : desensitising and numbing us, with external influences that perpetuate the suppression of one’s emotions. The result being that eventually, most of us become conditioned to withstand the force of all that bombards us, by becoming submerged in a state that promotes a continuous disconnection from us building any awareness towards our feelings, cutting us off from a higher intelligence, which guides us towards developing a more feeling, and sensitive nature. In the end, it is a lack of understanding, insight and this conditioning in our culture that contributes to society choosing to label those equip with a highly sensitive nature, as fragile and out of place in a relentless and callous environment, where they are more often than not, regarded as an anomaly that need fixing and medical attention.
I have regularly encountered those with the sentiment that one should toughen up or get with the programme, and adjust oneself to meet a set of criteria, in order to be considered a functioning and emotionally adequate member of society. The problem in this being, what we consider adequate, encourages isolation from exploration of our emotions, and greater dysfunctionality, as we begin to identify with them as the thing inhibiting us from growth, quite the opposite to how they are viewed by indigenous tribes, and most likely highly creative beings with a heightened sense of awareness. But without experience, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing we are hindered by what we are witnessing with our feelings, and must therefore abide by following the common protocol for treatment, which only masks the underlying cause of what our state is influenced by, and isolates us from healing.
It can leave those labelled as ‘highly sensitive’ or ‘mentally ill’ beginning to regard their abilities or their feelings, as the problem, when these souls are the very few left in the world, still able to identify with a higher and more evolved power within themselves, one that is not systematic, curtailed, or restrained, in order to function within a culture that gives little value to those of us still in touch with a deeper self or able to remain in an elevated and enhanced state, a state that is of the utmost importance, if we are to break our own cycles of repression and destructive behavioural patterns, and allow ourselves to recognise that what is labelled as mental illness (depression) or oversensitivity, may in fact be a doorway to the ultimate growth of our soul, and an invitation to give birth to the healer, the creativity and the power, that resides in all of us.
About the author
Jwaydan Moyine is a classically trained Film Composer, Pianist, Cellist, Singer/Songwriter, and a Writer and Entrepreneur. She founded Earth Children to bring awareness to matters regarding the Environment, Animal welfare, Sustainable & Conscious living, Wellness & Humanitarian issues. She is heavily involved with activism for animal welfare in the UK and Egypt and child welfare in Syria, Thailand and Romania. She resides in Berkshire Running an organic food farm, an organic skincare company, and an online platform called Vegans & Elephants, bringing awareness to matters regarding the Planet, Plant based nutrition, Cruelty free living & the necessity of adapting to Veganism for the sake of Sustainability, Animal welfare and our Health. She has several qualifications in nutritional therapy, culinary medicine & holistic healing. You can find out more on what she is doing over at the Earth Children Facebook Page!
Follow Jwaydan on Facebook: