Mental wellness is a journey, a fork in the road we undertake to respond to difficulties and challenges thrown to us in life. Mental wellness requires us to find a balance point between resources and challenges. Each of us humans has a unique set of circumstances where we exercise our own emotional, intellectual and behavioral resources in order to learn competence. And mental wellness is both a journey of inner and outer awareness with self and others.
This journey starts at birth in the dance of connection between mother and infant, a primordial connection that shapes the human heart, mind and body from infancy on. The quality of that primordial relationship often imprints the inner resources that equip a human to manage an inner environment and an outer one with others. Knowing how that primordial bond shapes our nervous system is an essential step in understanding how to tap into resources that a psychological inquiry can uncover.
Just as a human baby does not survive without the care of an adult parent, a human starts the mental wellness journey by opening oneself to another human. Knowing to open up to another in matters that are challenging takes courage and openness. And truth be told, as the Buddha underlined long ago, we humans would rather avoid challenges than deal with them.
Today, western and eastern psychology agree that avoiding pain inevitably prolongs suffering. Facing hardship ultimately harnesses our capacity to develop greater competence.
And the first step on that road, often less traveled, is to recognize that we need help.