2021, putting our differences aside

2021 Putting Our Differences Aside.

Let’s work hard in 2021, putting our differences aside to fight for normalcy. Together, we can lower the incidence of mental and physical illness.

As 2020 disappears into the pages of history, it will, no doubt be many years before it is forgotten, if ever at all. It truly is one for the history books. Having said that, there’s no reason we can leap into the new year with a sense of optimism and hope. #2021

While its true, 2020 hit everyone hard, thanks to COVID-19, there is hope on the horizon. A few vaccines have been produced and are now being administered. While this is great news, it is still up to us to minimize the virus impact on the world. Sadly, the pandemic has taken its toll. The reality is all around us.

Regardless of where your opinion lies on the subject, one thing I think we can all agree on is we all have a collective, deep in the guts hopefulness within; one that wants to see some of what we once knew. For me, I am trying to think of 2021 as a year of healing. So, let’s work hard in 2021, putting our differences aside, so we can achieve this common desire.

Therefore, I want to focus on our similarities as opposed to our differences. What if we did embrace our differences and put them aside and worked together for the common good? Maybe this could lead us down the road to a collective resolution? If we are to put the brakes on the mental health crisis we are seeing, I think working together is our best chance.

The COVID-19 Mental Health Epidemic

Perhaps the best example of cohesion for the common good I have ever seen has been in the fire service. While I’m sure there are more amazing teams working together, this is where my own experiences are.

Firstly, The fire service is astounding, and it’s the members who make it that way. A conglomeration of people who sign up for duty to move to heaven and earth to make it work for the betterment of their communities. Personally, I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

How we can work together for the common good

Not surprisingly, the service, like any other organization, isn’t without its controversy. In fact, its challenges can get darn right intense. Likewise, the solutions offered up to resolve them, well lets just say, they can be polarizing to say the least.

As much as we don’t enjoy opposition, that’s life. In reality, not everyone will agree all the time. Nonetheless, It is however, normal. Likewise, disagreement is even helpful. Can you imagine never having any other option tabled, never considered? How would we grow? Furthermore, how would an organization move forward?

Yet, despite knowing this, we remain divided. Why? Well, I think what lies at the heart of the matter is a lack of listening to one another. Instead, we are waiting to react. Although we all want to be heard, not listening to others can be, well, rather counterproductive.

Today, so far as I’m concerned, defensiveness seems to be set on autopilot, making reacting, rather than listening the norm.

Learn how to mediate with others HERE

Because firefighting by its very nature is a profession of life or death, individual differences and conflicts are actively discouraged on the fire ground. This rule is so ingrained in the members, that once on an active scene, I have seen a complete transformation between two opposing persons. It’s awesome to see play out. If you didn’t know their history, you would never know that there was tension between them. Instead, what you see are two family-like members willing to lay down their life for one another and for people they have never met.

Having bared witness to temporary reconciliation for the greater good, countless times over my fifteen year stent in the service, I know that society at large can ban together; that we can set aside our difference of opinion and united to beat this virus.

Something to think about.

While seeing the world in a variety of ways is a good thing, it is still worth looking at what’s before us with a wide lens. For example, lockdowns impact everyone, and they don’t consider opinions or feeling. As difficult as this is for everyone, the question becomes how do WE get out of this sooner rather than later? I believe that complying now, regardless of belief towards it, will get everyone what they want sooner. Therefore, let’s put our differences on hold for now, work together and get on with it. Unleash your inner firefighter.

NEED HELP? DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN? CHECK OUT OUR MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES PAGE

christmas table with decorations for holiday
Photo by Oleg Zaicev on Pexels.com

So, if the members of the fire service can put their opinions and other differences aside under such potentially mentally and physically damaging circumstances, why can’t we? there’s no question, we are living in such challenging times that few of us if any, are not feeling the heat.

In my experience, putting our differences aside does indeed add to the best possible outcome. Let’s listen and stand in solidarity. together so we can end the chaos.

Happy New Year! May 2121 be filled with joy and renewal.

Jonathan

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The Road To Mental Wellness – The Book

Cover reveal

I am excited to announce that I will be revealing my first book cover in mid January. Called The Road To Mental Wellness, it chronicles my lifelong battles with mental illness. It’s goal? To help others by telling my story…. Check back for updates. However, if you would like to see it sooner, simply subscribe to The Road To Mental Wellness email list and I will be more than happy to send you the exclusive fist look at it.

Order Lemonade Stand Vol. III here

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Check out our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

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authenticity be the way to healing

Authenticity the way to healing?

Authenticity, the way to healing? What do you think?

When I look back on my life, I think of how often I roamed through the world hiding my true self. For years, I just hid, doing what I didn’t want to do. The thing that held me in place? Fear. But maybe it’s deeper than that, I think when I was younger, I believed that my passions were little more than pipe dreams, not something worth chasing.

For far too long I allowed my thoughts to consume me over how people viewed me. Moreover, I grew up with a whole host of socially scripted narratives; expectations of who I was supposed to be and how I was expected to carry myself.

In my view, this is a flawed way to think. Even so, we continue to lay the groundwork for how we expect the next generation to conduct themselves. For example, there is a lot of pressure to go to college, get a good job and so on. If one just follows this well-worn path, they will find happiness. But is trampling down the same street as everyone else really the answer for everyone?

Follow your own way

Sure, there are undoubtedly many who find fulfillment while subscribing to this traditional and predetermined way forward; but for those who have a deep urging for something different, their way forward seems forced.

authenticity be the way to healing
Photo by jasmin chew on Pexels.com

Could it be possible that if people were free to go their own way, that mental illness could be alleviated? Could authenticity be the way to healing?

I am of the option that it just might. When we go against the grain of what we really want out of life, whether it be a career choice or a way of being, if denied, it could produce anxiety. What’s more, eventually those of us who don’t fit the standard box, may become depressed.

NEED HELP? DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN? CHECK OUT OUR MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES PAGE

If this sounds like you, could releasing your authenticity be the way to healing for you? Could giving yourself permission to be the real you, the one hiding just below the surface be your way to happiness?

Your own road to mental wellness may very well be the road of going your own way. So, you do the real you and do what your heart is aching for, you may just find the fog of mental illness start to lift.

anxiety or ADHD

THE ROAD TO MENTAL WELLNESS – THE BOOK

Cover reveal

I am excited to announce that I will be revealing my first book cover in mid January. Called The Road To Mental Wellness, it chronicles my lifelong battles with mental illness. It’s goal? To help others by telling my story…. Check back for updates. However, if you would like to see it sooner, simply subscribe to The Road To Mental Wellness email list and I will be more than happy  to send you the exclusive first look at it.

Order Lemonade Stand Vol. III

Recommended reads

Note: The Road To Mental Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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Success! You're on the list.

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

I will never bend to it’s will
I will never bend to its will, to my mental illness. These …
You have the right to refuse
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES PAGE
Every stage of life is a gift.
Have I figured out the meaning of life?
Have I figured out the meaning of life? When battling major depression …
3 things

3 Things That Heighten My Gratitude

Out with the negative script and in with the good. discover the 3 things at heighten my gratitude.

Last Christmas I wrote a piece called I Feel Nothing For Christmas. Sadly, At the time, I was in a lengthy and very painful depressive episode; an episode that robbed me of the one holiday I love. Despite this, I forced a smile and went through the motions, but it was all robotic and insincere.

In contrast, this Christmas, the joy and love for the season made a welcomed return. However, the road from twenty-nineteen to the Christmas of twenty-twenty, hasn’t been an easy one; not for me and certainly not for anyone else either.

While COVID-19 spread across the world, not once but twice, our lives were lite afire; our loved ones suffered and cases of mental illness grew exponentially. I mean, how can it not? Every day, we hear about its tragic reality.

Mental Health and Covid-19

Yet, despite this, the difference between how I was feeling last year and how I feel today are literally night and day. Normally, I would be analyzing why I am experiencing such a stark contrast, but this year? I refuse to.

Instead, I chose to embrace the triumphant return of my ability to feel. If I have leaned anything from my slow walk down the road to mental wellness, it’s this: Sometimes, too much thinking can lead one down the rabbit hole, a dark place that, when things are contemplated on for too long, can put you right where you don’t want to be; in a depressive mindset.

3 THINGS THAT HEIGHTEN MY GRATITUDE
Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova on Pexels.com – 3 things at heighten my gratitude.

In my case, if I choose to put my energy into trying to discover the difference from one year to the next, I would slip. Essentially, my mind would slowly access the feeling of ole; bring them to the fore, and I would feel as I did last year. Nope, not happening.

Its effects are too damaging and only rob me of my joy. Therefore, I chose to just let it be. Instead, I invested my limited energy into the feelings produced by the now; by the joy I am feeling. Essentially, I got my mojo back. That’s the only thing that matters.

Staying focused in the now.

Sure, saying I choose to say in the here and now easy to say, but what about actually being able to do so? That’s the hard part. Here are the 3 ways I work on staying in the now.

1. Acknowledging.

Firstly, it’s helpful to know that humans’ attention will wander. We can not prevent thoughts from floating into our minds. It’s just how the dammed thing works. But once we acknowledge this fact, we can start to be more mindful of them and thus push them aside and focus on, in my case, embracing the fact that I feel great this holiday season.

2. Calling to attention.

We want to prioritize all the thoughts we are having that are enhancing our mood, not have intrusive ones that hinder that. For example, This is the first time in years that I woke up on Christmas day at my parents’ house. This made me feel a sense of gratitude. I mean, in the middle of a pandemic I was able to share my first waking moments with the two people whom I love and who have done more for me than anyone. I made sure that I call to attention this memory. Furthermore, as I replay this joyous moment in time, I still feel its beauty. It is but one thing that keeps the good feelings rolling.

3. Continuously running through my gratefulness inventory.

Many years ago, I decided that I would keep a list of all the things I am grateful for. While this may seem difficult at first for those who have never done one, it does get easier with practice. In order to maximize its effectiveness, I include anything and everything good in my life; no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. In addition, as good things happen, I am continuously updating the list. More fuel for the positivity fire.

Conclusion

There you have it, the 3 things at heighten my gratitude. Before I go, I want to leave you with a final example of what I’m grateful for. This year I spent Christmas with my kids at my ex’s home. What made it even more wonderful was my parents also joined us. It was amazing, having the kids entire family, both their mom and their dad’s sides under the same roof. How can it get any better?

NEED HELP? DON’T KNOW WHERE TO TURN? CHECK OUT OUR MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES PAGE

The result of compiling a list and reviewing it are surprisingly effective to keep the good mood rolling. When I read it back and reflect on the things on it, like moments such as the ones here, It takes me further away from the negative inner script. To be more specific, it keeps depression and the imagery that comes with PTSD out of my head; if only for a while.

Finally, Our mission should be to live. Ruminating and living life off a script of negativity, will degrade one’s sense of overall well-being, cause one to miss out on the moments that make life great and worst of all, it will keep them stuck. Therefore, in order to break free from its grasp. Taking stock will help us to embrace the beautiful moment’s life throws our way. For they are our true gifts, a fact I never want to lose sight of.

Life is but a series of moments, make every one of them count.

Jonathan Arenburg.

Need help building your gratitude? Check out Good Days Start With Gratitude

Good Days Start With Gratitude is a 52-week guide to cultivate an attitude of gratitude! It is a self exploration journal designed to focus on being thankful for what we have 

anxiety or ADHD

The Road To Mental Wellness – The Book

Cover reveal

I am excited to announce that I will be revealing my first book cover in mid January. Called The Road To Mental Wellness, it chronicles my lifelong battles with mental illness. It’s goal? To help others by telling my story…. Check back for updates. However, if you would like to see it sooner, simply subscribe to The Road To Mental Wellness email list and I will be more than happy  to send you the exclusive first look at it.

Order Lemonade Stand Vol III

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

I will never bend to it’s will
I will never bend to its will, to my mental illness. These …
You have the right to refuse
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES PAGE
Every stage of life is a gift.
Have I figured out the meaning of life?
Have I figured out the meaning of life? When battling major depression …