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Breaking Your Heart Open Into Compassion

“Consider learning the art of 'making your pain sacred,' as a pathway for breaking your heart open into compassion for the suffering that's in the world. While your pain may never heal completely, you can find a way of being with it that does not feel so sharp and unbearable. It can be used to connect with people rather than to disconnect.” —Alina Read the rest of the story...

Alina


alinaI needed to be in a safe place

I have been diagnosed with schizophrenia and psychosis. I'm not sure that the medication has been helpful. I think I just needed to be in a safe place away from my unhealthy family environment and I probably would have gotten better.

I started to when taken out of that environment but then when they started "treatment" I had all kinds of horrible allergic reactions to the drugs, which also put me in a worse mental state. Eventually I was put on one that had minimal side effects and have been well and out of the mental health system for the last 7 years.

I only take a very small amount of medication, I think my trouble with going off the remaining bit has been unsuccessful because I didn't fully understand the withdrawal symptoms and how to reduce properly.

Medication was harmful

I was put on a moderate dose of Seroquel but as a matter of course they increased it (I think because that was what was deemed a therapeutic dose in general for everyone, the old one size fits all approach to treatment). It zonked me out completely — all I could do was sleep after taking it but at the same time as it was putting me out. It also seemed to trigger some sort of uncontrollable 'psychic opening' which made me very anxious.

Of course the doctors and nurses thought this was my "illness", so they upped the dose. It made me feel so bad mentally that I was walking around almost bent over at a right angle to the ground.

A nurse who had taken a personal interest in me took one look at me and went and yelled at the psychiatrist.

If my current doctor is willing to support me in reducing and attempting to get off the last 5mg I will attempt to do so.

I refuse to accept their labels

I experienced hope that I could get better, but only due to my own refusal to accept their labels and expectations. I know that the mental problems I experienced happened as a direct response to difficult experiences and issues with family members who at the time I had no choice but to live with.

I have maintained stability for many years without the interference of the mental health system and I am currently completing a course in transpersonal counselling to further my own growth and gain the skills required to help others.

Getting out of a hazardous environment

I overcame hopelessness by getting out of living environments that were hazardous to my emotional and psychological health, eg family and college environment.

Also reconnecting with spiritual sources of intelligence and ideas. The idea of aligning one’s personality with one's Soul was very helpful to me. I stopped trying to be what others thought I should be and follow where my Soul wants to go and the kind of person I want to be, pursuing interests and education that are genuine for me.

Having a reading with a highly skilled intuitive that identified that I have the wounded healer archetype and that gave me some direction for what my unique form of service is that I can offer to others. This gave my experience meaning rather than just being some horrible event that happened to me; it’s also guidance for a meaningful vocation where I can contribute to others’ wellbeing.

Shifting from powerlessness and hopelessness to recovery

Shifting from a place of disintegration, powerlessness and hopelessness to where you start working towards whole-making rather than trying to be perfect. Learning how to include and encompass all of ones fragments and be with them in a compassionate way that allows each of these parts to have a say and the message that they have is listened to.

Being able to attend to our own and others needs and find what unique talents and gifts we have to serve others with. Being able to connect with people and share and support in each other’s inevitable ups and downs throughout life, share our vulnerability and attend to it in an inclusive, sensitive and caring way.

Living a fulfilling life: making your pain sacred

Living a fulfilling life of wholeness does not mean the elimination of pain, rather it includes it and makes space for it and as Andrew Harvey says, "The only heart worth having, is a broken one."

Consider learning the art of 'making your pain sacred,' as a pathway for breaking your heart open into compassion for the suffering that's in the world. While your pain may never heal completely, you can find a way of being with it that does not feel so sharp and unbearable. It can be used to connect with people rather than to disconnect.

Some people like Robert Moss believe that "the healing power of the physician comes through the wound, if the wound is ever completely healed, then he or she loses their ability to heal others" such is the nature of the wounded healer archetype. Consider choosing something in the world that breaks your heart the most and finding a way to contribute to the healing of that suffering. You may in fact find your own suffering to be alleviated.

 

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