This is an opinion piece.
Most of these articles that I have done have been based around issues associated with mental Illness and how those issues could be understood, addressed and reduced. Being educated and understanding how something works is a big key to being able to address it appropriately and therefore help reduce the stigma and other issues that tend to be associate with those individuals.
There has been a lot of issues lately in the news revolving around numerous topics such as police brutality, flags, memorials, protests, rioting and many other news headlines. Now this is not an article about any of these topics specifically, but it is based on one aspect of human nature that refuses to die…hatred.
I consider hatred an illness; an imbedded refusal to recognize the value of someone simply because they are different, not like you. Someone who has different thoughts about how things are or should be. An inability to be flexible when rigidity foments dissention and hardheadedness. Hatred triggers the mind to try to predict what the actions of the person being hated may do, as a way to protect you, but this leads to further anxiety, restlessness, obsessive thinking and paranoia, which also then impacts negatively in the way you engage in relationships. Sigmund Freud defined hate as “an ego state that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness” relating it back to self-preservations and the refusal to believe we could be wrong. So, what is truly causing our unhappiness?
It is hard for many of us to be introspective and look within ourselves and analyze why we think and feel the way we do. It is just easy for us to say, “that is just who I am” or “they can just deal with it….that’s just me”. It is human nature for each of us to think we are right and being willing to change our thoughts and feelings is difficult. It takes a desire for dialogue and being willing to say, “Maybe I am wrong” or “I am willing to listen” for all of us to be able to fight the evil that hatred possesses. Hatred is self-centered, egotistical and slow to recognize its destructive patterns.
The Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) is a fairly simple concept yet many of us struggle with this daily. I am not proposing the solution to all of these current issues is easy, but I am saying that if more of us were willing to set aside our desire to be right and walk with others through what they are experiencing, we may be on the right track to eventually diminishing and hopefully resolving some of these issues we currently struggle with. I encourage everyone today to start looking at issues with a different set of eyes and focus on how we all can try to be a part of solutions versus demanding to be heard. The vast majority of people long for peace and fellowship with others and it is not till we refuse to see the issues or wash over it with opinion and denial that we only add to the current problems. Let us all work today to make the person next to us feel appreciated and loved and maybe we will begin to heal the divide that is so prevalent at this moment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol, drug or mental illness and needs help, please contact Mountain Lakes Behavioral Healthcare for more information and/or treatment options: mlbhcwebpage.com, Guntersville office: 256-582-3203 Scottsboro Office: 256-259-1774 Cedar Lodge (Substance Abuse Treatment) 256-582-4465.
David Holmes LPC-S, NCC, is the program director for the Marshall County office of Mountain Lakes Behavioral Healthcare.