Roots are where the nutrients are. Roots tell the story and have the answers. They don’t always make sense. But that’s because most people aren’t used to looking at something from the bottom and working their way up.
Just as it’s hard to see the forest for the trees, it’s hard to see the tree when buried in the dirt and looking up through the ground floor. But that’s the whole point and is often the reason why good people find themselves in the muck of bad feelings.
Mental health can’t ever be one thing. You have to get down in the dirt.
That’s where we all started, after all.
As a baby, you didn’t have all the answers. You had to crawl before you could walk. And before you could talk, you had to gurgle and babble your way through your very first words.
There is a beginning process for all great acts. Starting something before you’re ready is something that you and I were forced to do when we were children. It continued as we became teenagers. But something happens in adulthood. Adults are supposed to have all the answers. They’re supposed to know the reason for everything that happens to them.
This is silly. We don’t expect this for childhood and adolescence. But we expect adults to have the handbook for their hearts and minds.
It’s, quite simply, never the case.
Try This Approach When Feeling Down
The next time you are stuck in a feeling that you think you shouldn’t be having, try this new approach.
Admit that you’re in it. Admit that this is the feeling state that you find yourself in. It’s reality, and you’re going to have to crawl through it. Mental health issues can be hard to navigate, but I think a major reason they are that way is because we expect people to dig through them without the proper tools.
When you’re down in the dirt, you don’t need a textbook or a telescope; you need something much more mundane. You need a simple shovel. Lacking that, you need your hands and feet.
Start kicking up dirt. Start scooping through it until you see what’s in front of you. What is it exactly that you are facing? It’s most likely not one magical reason that your life ended up at this precarious point. It’s probably a combination of factors that are currently right in front of you. Sift through them long enough and then you might start to see the patterns. But you always have to start right where you are.
Old behaviors and events can be instructive. But they only start to make sense when you see the dirt for what it is. It’s all around us. Full acceptance of that fact is not only healthy–it’s admitting to a common reality in which we all exist.
We all can relate to dirt. Start talking about that. Lofty statements about why you shouldn’t feel a certain way will get you nowhere. People can’t get behind that because they don’t know exactly what you’re talking about.
We can all relate to that. We’ve all been there. We’re there right now.
Start with dirt.
The dirt is where I found myself years ago. It felt like an awful place to be. But once I admitted to myself that I was in dirt and needed to deal with it, I started on the path to become better. It’s where In Search of Happiness came from.