Layer by Layer...
There was a time when I thought the root of my happiness was challenged by...
then it was my husband
No, really it was my dad
Duh, it must be no girlfriend!
Eventually, I grew to realize that people were all just outside influences and my problems really originated within me...
First my alcoholism
then is was my smoking
No, really it was my nutrition
Duh, it must be my sugar addiction!
In reality, all of these areas are very important, but they are just physical factors, they not the root cause. How do I know this to be true? Because each time I peel away a layer, another layer is revealed, and as soon as I adjust to the new vision, another layer becomes visible, so I peel it away too, and guess what? Yup... Welcome to my world today.
At least for today, I live clean and sober, eat properly, train consistently, sleep sufficiently and am far more disciplined than at any other time of my life. I have spent a lifetime focused on creating certainty in my life. Certainty that as long as I keep all my ducks in a row, my health will be excellent and my life fulfilling and happy. (Hmm...one odd thing about those ducks is they've somehow kept multiplying through the years!) Talk about a thousand forms of self-delusion.
So, now that I have all my adorable little ducks nicely lined up, how can I possibly still be experiencing even occasional bouts of depression, irrational fear, shame and self-loathing!? Seriously, WTF! Sure, these bouts are few compared to even a year ago, (and nothing compared to what they were like ten years ago!) but I was positive that cleaning up the food and getting off the sugar would eliminate the last of them and I was truly shocked to find that I was wrong. It seems another layer has been revealed, and boy is this a painful one.
Thankfully, when I'm obviously over my head, I've finally learned to quickly seek out the advice of those I trust...
My physical mentor essentially says the roots originate in my mind and can only be resolved with the tools of expert assisted introspection. Sounds clear and like a very good idea for peeling away lots of ugly little layers I'm sure are still nicely buried.
While my spiritual mentor completely agrees that expert assisted introspection can be invaluable for uncovering layers and applying tools for healing, she believes that it will still prove insufficient to provide lasting peace of mind. The root of all my unrest, she says, is actually caused by a spiritual malady and that I am far from unique and alone in my suffering. In fact, she pretty much guarantees that my serenity will only ever be as stable as is my conscious contact and reliance on God. She followed that by saying the best way to maintain that contact and reliance is with constant diligence dedicated to prayer and meditation, along with regular application of the tools for introspection and healing.