Possessed by drugs

If you get caught with drugs, you are charged with possession. But I believe it would be more accurate to say that you should be diagnosed with possession. You are possessed.

You don’t do drugs. Drugs do you. They act upon you quietly and insidiously. They end up taking over your life. They don’t enhance it – they take away from it.

Perhaps if we saw drug use as possession we would be able to actually treat it for a change. We would no longer see it as a lack of willpower but as a dangerous force that takes up residence inside you and makes you do things that you wouldn’t normally do.

It is important to understand that this doesn’t start off as a passive action. You, sober, make the first move. You, sober, are the one who first starts using drugs. They don’t have a hold of you at that point. So you have control at the beginning.

This is the same as with possession.  You have to allow that demon into your soul for it to harm you.  Once you do, you are in big trouble.  Just like with drugs, you’re in over your head very fast.

Mixed Messages

“People and things don’t stop our pain or heal us. In recovery, we learned that this is our job, and we can do it by using our resources: ourselves, our higher power, our support systems, and our recovery program.” — From “The Language of Letting Go: daily meditations for codependents” by Melody Beattie

I saw this picture recently.
mixed message

The title of the article is “Her tattoo contains a hidden message, and it started an important conversation.” The tattoo is an ambigram – a message that can be read upside down as well as right-side up. In this case, the message is different when read upside down. The normal way it is viewed by others says “I’m fine”, while the way that she sees it says “Save me”.

The article says that she got it as a way of dealing with her depression. It is her way of asking for help. But there is something very wrong about this. It is passive. Help does not come from other people. If you give away your power to others, you will continually feel powerless.

I find it significant that “Save me” is the view from her perspective. Maybe she will finally read it that way – that she is the only one who can save herself.

She is the one who makes choices.
She can choose
to get enough sleep,
eat healthy food,
exercise,
avoid negative people,
find a job that is meaningful,
learn to speak her truth.

She can choose,
and must,
for her own survival.

Being healthy is a choice, and something each person must do for themselves.

Depression is a symptom, not a disease. It is the result of feeling powerless, disconnected, alone. It is a sign of not owning your own power, using your own voice. The way out of it is not to ask others to save you, but to save yourself. If others have to rescue you, you aren’t healed. They cannot do your work for you.

The giving away of power to others is part of the disease, the dis-ease. Ease, comfort, health, comes from taking responsibility for your own life.

You can ask for help to learn different ways of healing yourself, but you cannot expect others to do it for you. You must own your own power. You must be your own best friend. You must save yourself. This is the cure.

Stop being passive about your life.
Stop expecting others to rescue you.

Waiting for a hero

Maybe people are waiting for the Messiah for the same reason they are sick all the time. They think somebody else is going to rescue them. They think they don’t have to do anything about their lives. They stay children, stay passive, stay asleep.

They refuse to take care of their health, and then they are surprised when they have a chronic disease. They pray for a miracle. They expect the doctors or God to save them. How is this any different than how we live, waiting for the Messiah to make the world better? In both cases, the power is in our hands. It requires daily work made up of thousands of tiny bits of effort, not a sudden one-time push from an outside source.

Jesus didn’t want us to live like this, dependent, expecting others to rescue us. Jesus tells his disciples (that is us, by the way) that they (we) have the same powers he does. We are able to heal through our faith. We don’t have to wait for the second coming. We don’t have to wait for a Messiah.

God didn’t want the Jewish people to have a king in the first place. He didn’t want them to have a person over them. He didn’t want them to give away their power. They insisted, and God gave them what they asked for. Their history with bad rulers is well documented in the Bible.

The idea of the Messiah is that he is to be the best king. The interesting part is that Jesus came to do away with the idea of kings. He said to not have anyone over you but God. Jesus came to restore the true Ruler, who is God. Jesus came to erase the mistake of letting a person rule. Jesus came to erase all hierarchy.

Even Jesus doesn’t want to be in charge. Jesus isn’t going to come again to save you. Jesus came to tell you that you have all the tools you need, already, to do what needs to be done. Don’t think you are up to the task? He says you are. Just thinking of the possibility of making the world better is the tiny spark that is needed. It is the mustard seed.

Jesus says you don’t need to be saved. Jesus says you aren’t lost.

Food and news – raw vs processed

We suffer from too many opinions, and not enough reality. We are pulling away from the mindsets and modalities of the past, but walking into the future with no tools and no idea.

No matter what you read or where you read it from, find at least three other sources on that same topic. Don’t share anything as “true” or a “fact” until you’ve learned as much about it as you can from as many different sources as you can.

I think the real issue is that people don’t trust “The authorities” – so they want to get everything raw, for themselves. They want to put it together themselves. This applies to information as well as food. They feel that their stuff has been tampered with, adulterated. They feel they are being lied to.

So they try to get their food organic and as minimally processed and as close to home as possible. Or they grow it themselves. This way they know where their food came from. Likewise, they trust the opinions of their friends and individuals more than they trust the news. They’ll learn from YouTube rather than a commercially-run organization.

While there is a lot to be gained from doing things for yourself, there is also a lot that can be lost. Do we have to become our own doctors and lawyers and therapists? They went to school to learn how to do what they do. They went through years of study and oversight and tests. Their experience and training has to count for something.

There seems to be a trend where people think they can simply “listen to their own inner voice” and know what needs to be done. Is this healthy? Is it wise?

While we are pulling away from the passive mindset of our past, we are jumping blindly into our future. We aren’t experts, but we are starting to think that even the experts aren’t the experts.

Where do we go from here? What happens next?

Say we can’t trust the authorities, the government, our teachers. Say that doctors are paid to give us pills, rather than get us well. Say that politicians are out to make money rather than make things right. Say that teachers teach indoctrination and submission, rather than how to think. Say that the farmers fill their produce and animals with poisons, rather than provide us with healthy food.

What next? Pull away from all of this, and do it all on our own?

While it is a good idea to be intentional about your life and mindful, it is also good to not think that someone with no education and experience is wiser than someone with a Master’s degree and thirty years on the job.

Take everything that is given you and study it for yourself. Ask the authority figure. Read as much as you can. Trust you own intuition. Talk to people you trust. Try it yourself. Do it all.

Ask the doctor why you should take this medicine. Ask what the benefits and side effects are. Look up your condition yourself and learn what the cause is. Do what you can to get and stay healthy – quit smoking, eat more vegetables, drink more water. Go for a walk every day. Move more, sit less.

Ask the teacher why you need to learn this lesson. Get your own books and read more about it – or anything else. Don’t homeschool – supplement. Double up on your education.

Ask the minister, the politician, the lawyer. Ask everybody – and learn on your own as well.

This isn’t an either-or kind of thing. It is a yes-and. Use what we have, and more. Learn on your own, and listen to that inner voice. Be mindful, be awake.

To pull your kid out of school and try to teach him yourself is the blind leading the blind. To stop going to the doctor and just pray over your illness is to do the same. To grow your own food can be as insane as being your own lawyer – you don’t know what you are doing. You aren’t an expert.

It is just as dangerous to be submissive and passive as to be blindly self-supporting. There is a middle path.

Victim mentality

Thinking you are a victim makes it so. Have you ever heard the phrase “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”? It is very true. Our attitude is very important.

We have to get past this idea of victimhood. We seem to have a society now that says that everybody is a victim. It says that nobody is responsible for their own lives and their own decisions. This is very unhealthy and unproductive.

It is essential that we take back control of our own lives. It is essential that we actually start taking our lives seriously. This isn’t about blaming other people for our failures and our failings. Sure, society may have tried to tell us that we can blame our parents or our genes or our teachers for our messed up lives, but really we don’t have to accept that. Blaming other people only shifts responsibility to them, and takes it away from us.

When we give away our power, we become passive agents in our own lives. Don’t blame anybody, even society. Don’t blame the media for selling the message, even. Just get going, and start living your own life.

Exercise disclaimer.

Have you ever read this? “Before doing this exercise or participating in any exercise program, please consult your physician.” They wrote it to cover their butts. Really, they should write “Don’t sue us if you hurt yourself doing this” because this is what they really mean.

People aren’t very good at thinking ahead and thinking for themselves. Remember we live in a time where you can win a lawsuit against a fast food company because you spilled hot coffee on yourself.

It doesn’t do you any good to consult about exercise with your doctor. Western doctors treat symptoms rather than cause. If you started exercising and eating well, you’d put them out of business.

Rather than encourage my father to stop smoking, his doctor gave him a pill to stop his coughing. Rather than connect patients with nutritionists and exercise coaches, doctors give out diabetes medications. There are ads telling us that we can “eat like a kid again” meanwhile the person is at a state fair eating corn dogs and funnel cakes. It may be fun to eat this, but it isn’t food. Doctors should not be enablers. Doctors should “Do no harm” like their oath says.

I went to an ENT this year because my throat and neck hurt. He put a tube down my nose to look at my throat and saw evidence of acid reflux. Rather than suggesting lifestyle or diet changes, he put me on an antibiotic and an antacid. My neck still hurt, and obviously the acid is still there. He didn’t even want to tell me what the problem was. He didn’t want to spell out my condition, which was a symptom, not a disease. He wanted me placid and docile. He wanted to be in charge.

It took a trip to my chiropractor (who is also a nutritionist) to find out that I have arthritis in my neck. I now use a special pillow for my neck. What a simple fix. A comment to him about my experience at the ENT resulted in his entirely different theory that the problem isn’t too much acid, but too little. He says that we produce less acid as we get older and we need to supplement it or our food does not properly digest. I did a simple vinegar test and now know how much acid I need. I feel a lot better, and I’m even losing weight.

I wonder if Crohn’s and IBS and many other digestion maladies can be solved in this simple way? I doubt that regular doctors will even entertain this idea.

More doctors need to engage their patients in their own health care. More doctors need to understand that they work for the patient, and stop treating us as if we are ignorant children.

And we need to wake up. We cannot be passive about our lives. We can’t keep on thinking that we can eat whatever we want and not exercise and we won’t get ill. We know what we have to do. It isn’t a surprise.

It isn’t easy to switch from drinking sodas to water. It isn’t easy to switch from all meat to mostly vegetables. It isn’t easy to go from fried to steamed or baked. But it is worth it. Food does indeed taste better when it isn’t salty, deep fried mush. It takes about a week for your taste buds to relearn this.

It isn’t easy to start exercising. It isn’t easy to stick with it. But it is worth it. You won’t see the benefits right away, but the payoff is better energy, better rest, and better strength. The payoff is a stronger heart and increased resistance to disease.

If we are concerned about changes in health insurance, then we need to do what we can to improve our health so that we don’t need it. We have to stop thinking that doctors have all the answers. We have to stop thinking that we can do whatever we want and then just take a pill or have surgery to counter our mistakes.

You know how Jesus said “Go forth and sin no more”? That. But with health. The “sin” is continuing to eat whatever we want and refusing to exercise and then thinking we will be rescued by modern medicine. It is far better to not need to be rescued at all. There is no diet. There is only what Michael Pollan suggests in his book “Food Rules”. His mantra? Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. For a further explanation, read the book. I suggest getting it from your local library.