You may have read Rianne’s blog about the three principles, and though you may have thought it was very good, you may have had some reservations, some ‘ifs and buts’; ‘Yes but…’, ‘But in my case…’, ‘If I…’, ‘If only you knew that…’, etcetera. In that case, or in any case for that matter, keep on reading! There is hope for everyone. “The beauty is, we are all human.”
I fully understand the aforementioned ifs and buts, because I have had thoughts like that myself. It is somewhat reassuring that those are also thoughts that become our beliefs. The fact we believe our thoughts, or accept them as our truth, isn’t right or wrong; it is simply interesting to examine it a bit further.
I thought, why not examine the slightly more complicated matters a bit further
Let’s focus on that mudslide of thoughts. And because I am a human being as well as a ‘three- principle facilitator’ and a life coach, and because these experiences are all part of being a human being, I am simply going to use my own experience. I also think this is the best way to get my message across. I am consciously writing it like this, because I’ve noticed that some coaches or therapists give themselves the role of a leader, or a role model, or somebody who knows it all. The beauty is, we are all human, we all learn and grow, and experience struggles along the way. And even therapists experience mudslides of thoughts.
As a child, I was badly bullied at school. The other kids excluded me from their games, or they would call me names. This really affected me as a child, and I spent a lot of time on my own. I was a little bit different from the other kids. Even when I was very young I thought about subjects other kids were completely oblivious to. ‘Why do we live if we end up dying?’ or ‘Why are leaves green and not blue?’, ‘Why is that?’. Looking back, knowing what I know now, I can say that it was traumatic for me.
But what exactly is traumatic?
Not necessarily the unpleasant events, but rather, what happened inside me because of these events.
I was all alone in this, and I became detached from my inner self. I was trying to be different from who I really was. That’s how I lost the connection with my loved ones around me and with myself. I made up thoughts about myself like ‘I am weird’ or ‘I am nuts’, and these thoughts became the basis for depression, anxieties, and suspicion of people. And from there my experiences, thoughts, and feelings became more intense and more traumatic. And that then led to closed admissions and separation.
The experiences we have in our youth often form the basis of our approach to handling certain things. If someone were to say to me now: ‘O my word, your thoughts are so deep and confusing”, it might get to me. Not because of the present, but because the old me is getting hurt. The experience of being bullied because I thought deeply about life comes back to me. At the same time, a whole series of thoughts can follow. Imagine a train of thoughts, with one thought at the front (the locomotive), and then a whole lot (the carriages) will follow; ‘told you I am still complicated, I was bullied because of it in the past, I am still not good enough, and back then a man touched me against my will, I felt depressed, when I was admitted I went through hell, I was locked up, I was all alone’, a series of thoughts can suddenly make you feel extremely low. Not that surprising really.
The good thing is that I now know how thoughts work
I can let myself be dragged through all the feelings from, and thoughts about the old days. But now, I am aware of it when a piece of the old me is getting hurt. Everything consists of thoughts. That sounds a bit strange, but I am writing this blog now, sitting in my little study. My thoughts are taking me back in time, using my thoughts I write about the three principles. If my thoughts take me back to my period of depression, I can instantly feel that uneasy sensation rising inside of me. But I am just sitting in my study, and my children sporadically come in and ask me things like ‘mum, can you help me sort out my clothes?’, or ‘can you make me some food?’ In the here and now, feeling lonely and isolated isn’t part of my life, but I can still revisit these feelings, simply by thinking about them.
I used to think I could make everything nice and rosy, simply by changing my way of thinking. But it doesn’t work that way. In life, all thoughts and feelings are included. Everything that springs to mind in that moment, and everything you think and experience, has something to tell you. A good cry can help you pull yourself together. Be curious about and accepting of everything you feel and think.
At times when I felt really depressed I used to self-harm
For a long time I used to hide my scars and wore long sleeves and trousers during summer. I beat myself up about it and felt really embarrassed about what I’d done back then. I felt like I shouldn’t have. These were all thoughts that captured me at the time and prevented me from feeling free, and accepting myself. There was a moment in which I felt real regret and sadness about what I’d done, and it showed me it was time to let go of the thoughts and ideas I had about myself.
Now, I just go to the beach with my children and everyone can see how I look all stripy. I do realise it may look a bit upsetting to other people, but I have made my inner peace with how I look. I cannot turn back time, what happened has happened. Everything I had thought and done was back then. I can let myself be dragged along by the mud-streams of thoughts, but they cloud my vision of the sparkling diamond. Everybody has this diamond, your essence, your inner wisdom, because it is the foundation of life. Einstein once said: “It is better to believe than to disbelieve; in doing you bring everything to the realm of possibility.” Belief can inhibit us and cause us to feel trapped in depression or traumatic experiences. But belief can also make us grow, and take us places we only ever dared to dream of.
Rianne Levi is works as an experience expert, 3 principe facilitator en IZR practitioner in the Netherlands. She has a website.
Read more blogs?
- Vulnerability to psychosis-May-May on recovery
- One room – about being locked up
- My crazy and psychotic self or the beautiful high sensitive me?