"Why do I suffer?" you may ask. Well if you truly would like the answer, you must be prepared to go to the root of it. The answer lies in fully understanding the question, yes? What does it mean to suffer? and Who is I?
All things change, yes? and change requires time. All things change and require time, therefore have endings. Since all things stem from thoughts, even thoughts change and require time, therefore have endings. All things, including thoughts, are IMPERMANENT.
The only thing that does not change, and, is not subject to time or an ending CAN NOT BE CALLED A THING. It can not be called anything, because it has no form, time, or opposite. "nothing", "no-thing". This nothing is the true "I" and can not change, end, or get lost. It simply IS. It is self-sustaining and unconditional.
This CAN NOT be imagined because imagination requires thoughts, which are constantly changing. It can only be REALIZED. Thoughts, "mental noise" settle down to reveal that which has always been there. Once this is realized and embodied, there is stillness, silence, peace. On the most essential level of your consciousness and awareness, there is no separate self "I", therefore NO SUFFERING.
ok, now, it is quite normal to read all this and say "yes, it's all true but how do I actually make this a reality? and what practical things can be done to go towards this realization?"
Now, let me go back in time a little more than 2 years to January of 2010
As with most life changing experiences, describing it is not an easy task. But I will try. My “turning-point” occurred at age 25, when I found myself at life’s dead end, faced with a decision –one that had to be made. I was aware that my actions, words, and most fundamentally-my thoughts were being generated habitually around certain conceptual (very limiting) beliefs that I clinged to- among them: that my acne-prone, inconsistent skin dictated the quality of my life. This may have been true at the time, but that was before my turning point. This turning point brought me into a deeper, more vast, more creative, and more peaceful dimension of reality which drastically, with practice, improved every single aspect of my life from personal to professional. It’s true, some things must be realized by oneself, but with the help of those who have gone through it, it can be more graceful.
At this dead end, I put my life on hold. I was depressed and suicidal. For 5 weeks, I stayed by myself in my room. With all outside stress put on hold, I found myself able and willing to be fully present with myself and think more clearly and confidently than ever before about how to get clear and be more excited about being alive. I decided to take Accutane. I did the research and informed myself about potential risks and side effects and decided to go for it, since options at this “dead-end” weren’t many. For the first time in my life, I was able to envision a possible future for me that didn’t revolve around the deep rooted fear of my skin condition. The thought of this possible life brought hope and energy into my body and mind. I started figuring things out about my life, I saw where I came from and where I was going. I felt excited and alive! More creative than ever before,
I set out to start taking the drug. Everything beautiful thing I envisioned to happen –happened even more beautifully. My skin cleared-completely! My thoughts no longer revolved around fear. I became more aware of my surroundings, more calm, more creatively compassionate. I found an unbelievably strong purpose to help the people around me discover in them what I have discovered in me- strength! Creativity! Balance! Awareness! Respect! Peace! Unmistakable confidence that is felt by everyone in your presence! I engaged in activities both by myself and with others that were more productive, inspiring, and creative to everyone. I made more money and treated people with attention. I became kind yet firm and people trusted me, coming to me for advice. I was not afraid to stay silent in times where silence was the most effective thing. I became aware of my infinite intelligent creative love, which I knew is the essence of all living things. (some call it God, but I was never really into my religion growing up, so I wasn’t conditioned to call it that. Besides, I knew if I named it anything and identified with it then it will be limited when in all actuality – IT’S TRULY UNLIMITED!) I became simple and efficient, always planning ahead but never losing sight of the present moment. My memory improved, being able to “relive” experiences that happened 2 years prior, 5 years prior, 10 years prior, even 20 years prior. I felt in complete touch with my “inner-body” from head to toe, extremely alert but still and calm at all times. My senses were alive more than ever before and the sheer joy being generated from the simple awareness of this all kept me grounded. All relationships drastically improved. A newfound energy, creative force, intelligent compassion was in the air. Things went more smoothly. There was unmistakable direction in my life, which intimately involved everyone around me. I felt fearless and open.
I can really go on and on about all the miraculous things that I experienced during the 6 months that I was on Accutane. All the drug did was clear my skin, allowing what was already there: my creativity, compassion, strength, patience, respect, responsibility, humility to fully surface and become the driving force. You could say my ego dissolved and I became more selfless.
3 months after I finished taking Accutane, acne gradually started to come back, along with hair loss, dry mouth and joint pain. Fear gradually started to arise in my consciousness. Fear that I would go back to my old ways of functioning. It was scary and very depressing at times, especially having come from a state of bliss balance. For about a year I battled (mostly emotional) with the recurring acne, hair loss, and joint pain, finding it at times unbearably difficult to cope with the psychological pain. I went into denial at times, and would have brief periods where I would bounce back and be happy again. This was all unstable and was a very dangerous cycle that I knew I had to do something about.
Around October 2011, I was faced with another decision: one that had to be made. I wasn’t suicidal this time because I had the insight and wisdom which I gained from my transformational experience. I just needed to put what I learned about myself and life into practical and long term use to accept and move forward from where I was at. I gradually learned to accept that I am balding (it’s not that bad but it was sad seeing my hair fall out day by day) and that I had to change my lifestyle if I was going to be physically and mentally healthy. I started eating a healthy balanced diet and I started exercising.
Now…I’m not losing my hair as quickly as during the 1 year period after accutane and it’s not as dry. My joints don’t hurt as much as they used to. I feel more flexible and physically stronger than before. I have acne..but it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be before accutane. My skin is less oily too. I’ve taken up a number of activities that have proven to be healthy for both my mind and my body and I’ve been fairly consistent with them. Yoga and stretching is a major one. Also, creative writing like poetry and stuff like that is great. I eat only healthy foods and drink plenty of water. I drink tea and love it. I don’t get drunk, ever. One or two beer tops if and when I go out to a bar/restaurant.
I’m trying my best to attract good things in my life. I like to try different things and take some risks. I work hard and plan my future. My life is not as blissful as It was for those 6 or 7 months on the drug but I will continue to live in the way that agrees with what I have learned at that time. It’s true, what happened to me was really incredible and miraculous. I became aware of the vast knowledge that connected all things. If saying it like this resonates with your “language” here it is: God really called upon me to serve his will during that time. For some reason, that sounds funny, almost ridiculous to say it that way, especially because this experience was humbling.
I now know that in order for a change to endure, the change must be gradual. And since my change was kind of a sudden revelation and I put into my body some man made chemicals that are NOT by nature, I was forced to deal with the adverse effects.
Life goes on. Do I wish I never took accutane? No! I’m so happy I did. It was probably one of the best decisions I made in my life. Is there an quick and easy and enduring way out of your suffering and turmoil? No, there is not. You must practice to see the bigger picture and over time you will see the progress. You must persevere .
Remember, you are not alone. Your deep and personal suffering is teaching you to become a stronger, more patient, and wise person. Learn to be aware of the positive aspects of your life and how they undoubtedly outweigh the "negative" ones. Persevere. Practice inviting positive things into your life. Take risks and go out of your comfort zone. Don’t post on here too much. By all means, pursue your ambition of having clear skin but don’t let it run your life. MODERATION IS THE KEY. There is no guarantee for anything. Have faith, hope, and love. Learn to meditate and look inside. Learn to be open with others without getting walked on. Learn to be strong and still. Take on creative endeavors to channel your energy. Believe in yourself. Try not to fall in to the trap of attaching your self with and indentifying your self with labels of any kind. By all means, study the causes of your skin condition, but then let go. By simply letting go, realize you are helping yourself.
You can get through this!!
Thankyou for reading my story and please feel free to comment or ask questions! J
Edited by LLL3, 09 May 2012 - 08:42 AM.