Thought For The Day #916 October 2013
Broadcast 16th of October 2013 on BBC Radio Bristol
For a large part of my life I’ve been deprived of basic mental wellbeing. My parents separated when I was a toddler. My father was an alcoholic and died in my early twenties. I’ve had drug problems and suffered from depression. There have been times when I’ve wondered whether it was worth it at all.
Luckily, through deep friendships, regular meditation practice and therapy, I now consider myself extraordinarily grateful for being alive.
Even though I’m now happier than I’ve ever. No amount of growing up or wisdom can protect me from the slings and arrows of life. In fact, I experience pain far more deeply nowadays. Rather than making my life perfect, I’ve opted for the more practical task of emotional fitness.
The difficult areas of my life aren’t asking to be swept under the carpet. I answer the questions they pose by sincerely getting to know them. Paying such close attention is inevitably uncomfortable, if not excruciating. But it’s also illuminating because reality rarely matches my expectations. What I fear is unbearable is actually a mixture of different emotions. Sure, many of which are certainly horrible, but it does me no benefit to tar them all with the same brush.
So you see, I haven’t so much overcome the deprivation in my life, but instead found myself to be far more capable and resourceful than I’d previously thought. As the great explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who appeared on the Laura Rawlings show last week, likes to say, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes”.