So much of struggling with mental illness is about trying to avoid the things we don’t want. We can easily get stuck spending all of our time and energy trying to avoid all of the feelings we don’t want to feel or trying to prevent a million possible dangers from coming true.
On the other hand, learning to stop trying to control the uncontrollable and instead focus on creating and building a life that makes you healthy and happy can be an amazing support for recovery.
It helped me to recognize that the absence of fear had nothing to do with the presence of happiness. I’d devoted my entire life to avoiding my fears and it only led to me investing more time and energy in my fears.
This is a concept that applies not only to us personally, but also in our communities. If we only care about avoiding the things we don’t want to see, we don’t magically get the community we do want to see.
The absence of fear is not the presence of happiness. Avoiding prejudice and bigotry doesn’t lead to equality and diversity. Hating violence doesn’t create peace.
As you invest more in your own recovery from mental illness and you put your time and energy into the practice of health, look to your community around you as well. Your health isn’t only about your body. The same approach you take to building a healthy self also applies to building a healthy community. It does not happen by magic. It does not happen if you sit back and wait for it to happen. It does not happen by hating the things you don’t like. It happens by taking action every day to create the community in which you want to live.