My creative, intuitive friend, Jamie Stein posted this on his FB page:
I can’t help but look at this conversation around mental stability as a larger-than-life mirror for what’s going on with the collective consciousness. We’re no longer “mentally stable” as a collective – and I think that’s a GOOD thing. I keep hearing the words MENTAL BREAKDOWN, but, to me, I hear it very literally – mental defenses are getting BROKEN DOWN – outdated mental mechanisms aren’t working anymore – old illusions of power and control, false senses of identity aren’t going to work anymore. Seen in this way, this isn’t just a conversation about Trump – as a society, we’re no longer mentally stable. “Mental stability” in this case meaning the mind wielded as a tool of false identity and power, with no connection to the heart. It’s a sinking ship. The rats will scurry. The heart is screaming to be heard. How will we take care of the heart in ourselves and others?
Where is the Trump in you pounding his fists and screaming, “I’m sane! I’ve got this under control!” even when you know there are old defense mechanisms that no longer serve you?
What part of your mind needs or wants to “break down?” And what will your heart need to say when/if the mind finally does break down?
We have a major upheaval in all walks of life – Congress, Hollywood, Media, Business – where people with absolute power are being ousted because of their heartless clinging to power and the status quo. The #metoo movement is bringing heart back into places of power and importance in our society. And that’s a very good direction, even though it feels scary right now.
The Committee in my Head
There are so many directions in which we could take this keen insight, but I think of the “committee in my head.” Those many warring voices that create my day, my drive, my fears and sometimes even my brilliance. If we indeed each have an inner Trump who is sulking and shrieking in turns, “I’m a very stable genius,” then we also may have an inner Matt Lauer, and an inner Harvey Weinstein, and an inner Paul Ryan.
How loud is your inner Trump right now? In the face of adversity and fear, how are you lashing out, holding fast, and moping? Can your more reasonable self (your inner General McMaster) convince you to quit playing small and go big? Quit being petty.
We have egoistic inner voices who are as arrogant and entitled as a Matt Lauer. These sentiments keep us from trying new things (why should I have to?) and boost us up to believe we are better than others around us. We’ve all had those moments. (Oh, just me then?) When your arrogance kicks in, you lose presence and connection to who you are, who you could be, and who is right there with you. You separate yourself from the value and diversity of those around you by hewing to one measure – whatever measure you excel in – Intelligence? Beauty? Money?
We have insecurities and humiliating thoughts that lead us to crave validation from others. If your insecurities are sexual, your inner Harvey Weinstein isn’t buried very deep. But even if those insecurities aren’t sexual, are they there? Do they bring about odd behaviors, compulsive needs, bad actions? Where are you “presenting” yourself inappropriately because you have a deep-seated need to believe that hole in your consciousness is okay. When you get that dancy, insecure feeling about what you’re saying and doing, how you’re presenting yourself, what might you do to reel it in, feel real, and not bring strangers into your neediness? What help do you actually need to be at ease?
We all have an inner Paul Ryan too. We want the approval of our tribe. Paul Ryan is not alone there, either. The partisanship is causing gridlock worldwide. Does he dare make a move without checking to see what Breitbart thinks? See if it’ll put his seat in peril? Does he back Trump authentically, or is he aware that what is going on is wrong? Does he activate his denial and defense mechanisms to preserve the status quo and his position of perceived power? What are you unwilling to risk, bec of a possible “dip in the polls?” How are you protecting your status, rather than seeking a reality you fully believe in? Where do you see active denial and defense mechanisms in your actions?
How might we heal our inner Trumps, Lauers, Weinsteins and Ryans?
It is easy to rail at these – and other – actors with fear and trepidation. Lately, it is common to judge and excoriate them. There is temptation to exile, boycott, sanction them. But whose actions does that remind you of? It is these bad actors who seek to control the narrative, exile and boycott and belittle their accusers. Instead of trying to diminish these inner selves, and thereby backing them into a corner, we can do the opposite.
For our own inner selves, we must see our inner bad actors, and embrace them. Show compassion. Help them heal. And in doing so, retain their gifts and talents, and yes, power. In doing so, we require the “mental breakdown” that we fear and fight against. But after the breakdown of these defenses, we realign, reconfigure and find a new and different strength that includes presence, compassion, inclusion and heart. <3
They are teaching you how not to be, and reminding you to reconnect your ego to your heart and feelings. They’re irreplaceable. They are there for a reason.