Within life’s storms, we discover the power to transform adversity into growth, and in the depths of our struggles, we find the strength to heal. For today’s episode, we dive into a topic that affects countless lives but is often shrouded in stigma and misunderstanding – mental illness. With Stephen Jacobs, the author of Mental Illness: A Support Guide for Families and Friends, we discuss how to understand and navigate the complexities of mental health struggles. Stephen candidly shares his own story, where his wife’s battle with mental illness propelled him into uncharted territory. He shares his profound realization: we’re all interconnected. Through his book, he introduces a step-by-step approach that empowers individuals to confront and transform their experiences. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain valuable perspectives and tools to support mental well-being in yourself and your loved ones. Tune in now.
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Stephen Jacobs, Author Of Mental Illness – A Support Guide For Families And Friends
Stephen Jacobs teaches meditation, which he’s done for many years. He studied with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of the Beatles’ fame in the early 1980s. He has guided hundreds of people from all walks of life to discover their own inner intelligence that quiet center that supports creativity, contentment, and health. He is retired from his corporate role as a human resource consultant where he worked with many Fortune 500 clients over his career. Stephen has been involved in his wife’s struggle with mental illness, and since then, he published a book entitled Mental Illness: A Support Guide for Families and Friends. He did this to help support families with this complex challenge of navigating mental illness.
Stephen, welcome. Thank you for joining us.
I am very happy to be here.
I’m excited to talk to you about your book. I have an opening question, which is not very apropos here because we’re here to talk about your book and what you’ve learned about dealing with mental illness as you support somebody else, a family or a friend. Your book is Mental Illness: A Support Guide for Families and Friends, Personal Restoration Step by Step. I’ve finished reading it, re-reading parts of it, and sharing it in some of my shows that I do. Thank you for that book. At the same time, a part of me wants to say I’m sorry you had to go through all of that. Another part of me knows we don’t have a choice in it. What would you like to share with us about how you got started on this journey of writing the book?
I was dating a woman some years back. We were looking for some type of internet intellectual business. Something that we could sell over the internet and had some expertise in. She was studying some strategy around all of this and stumbled upon the idea that if you have something very narrow that people want, that’s much better than something broad. A book on camping isn’t as desirable as a book on camping in the Sierras in springtime with asthmatic and small children.
At one point, she suggested something to me because she knew that my wife had developed a mental illness and I’d had this challenge a couple of years before. She said, “You should write about your experience with your wife and how you got through it.” My first response was, “I don’t want to do that. I’ll do anything but that.” The more I thought about it, I realized it qualified because I did have expertise in this area having gone through it myself. I had found and rediscovered my own stability again within a couple of years. That was a rapid evolutionary process and healing on my part, and I wanted to help others. I felt a sense of compassion and duty to give back with something that I had gone through.
I discovered in retrospect I wish I’d had that book myself as I was going through it. I had to look back, “How did I process? How did I move through? How did I deal with some of these challenges that came up?” I put the book together based on my memory of those instances, how I did go through it, and some of the tools I used. I wish I’d had the step-by-step manual.
That’s one of the things that I appreciate about it. While you tell enough of the story that people can follow what happened, you don’t get bogged down in it. You move right into practical steps people can take to relieve pressure and stress and identify and resolve emotions. It is a very useful set of steps that you have. How did you get moved in that direction? I know hundreds of thousands of us have experiences like that where someone we care about or a family member has a horrible mental health set of experiences and they don’t take the turns you did. How did you know to start doing breathwork, visualization, meditation, and journaling?
It was a lot on my background over several decades of work. I had been involved with meditation back in the mid-’70s. I became a meditation teacher. I studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who the Beatles went off to be with in India back in the ‘60s. I became a TM teacher in the early ‘80s. I’d had a lot of experiences and a lot of seminars.
It is following my own intuition as we all do as to, “What would be useful to me? What am I interested in?” and things show up, at least they did in my life, over a long period of time. There were a lot of things I wasn’t interested in, but a lot of things I was. I had this fundamental tool set at my disposal, which a lot of people don’t have. Initially, it didn’t seem to be worth very much because I was knocked off my feet by the sudden onset of my wife’s mental illness. She went from a functioning, beautiful marriage partner for ten years to someone that was delusional, imagining things, and so forth.
I was overwhelmed like anyone, but I rediscovered some stability maybe more quickly than someone without these tools would be able to. That is what prompted me to share this in a book format. I knew that my experience, a book about what happened to me, wasn’t going to be a biographical novel with nothing other than, “Look at this situation that I found myself in.” I knew I wanted to share the structure or the step-by-step insights that helped me regain my stability.
I’m not a PhD from Harvard Medical School in Psychology. I don’t have that intellectual background. My experience, I feel, gives me credibility. I’m not a general studying war for war college because it’s never been in a war. I’ve been in the war. I walked down that trail. I understand those feelings, the overwhelm, the confusion, and the disarray within the medical community for treating this illness and all of that.
My story was provided as a backdrop to allow people to sense some of the issues I was confronted with and how I dealt with them. I believe that access that way can help pretty much anyone. It could help anyone with any problem because a lot of these ideas in this book are generic enough that you could apply them, like going through a divorce, the loss of a job, substance abuse within a family, and many different problems that people could encounter. The particular problem I encountered was a mental illness in my family. It’s written around that because that’s the experience I had.
I appreciate the fact that it’s written as a series of exercises. Each chapter has these practical steps that someone can engage in. I mentioned to you in the pre-interview conversation that there is a tremendous synchronicity here between the work I’ve done over the last 49 years in therapy and some of the things that you talk about. Chapter after chapter, I felt like, “I’m coming home.”
Your third chapter is titled Guilt and Blame, The Silent Assassins. I have a series of bottom-line observations. The second one is Blame Is a Luxury Item. I’ve seen kindergarten-aged children that are experts at blaming, and yet, I’ve never seen blame lead to the productive or constructive resolution to a problem. There’s a lot of synchronicity here. On top of that, you add to this that the book goes step-by-step through the chapters offering people exercises to do. What gave you the idea for that kind of format?
My expertise came from what I faced. That was the first part of it. The second was I wanted to create some intellectual understanding of some of these fundamental concepts, like how we perceive something has a lot to do with what we’re experiencing and how we’re experiencing it that we have some control over that perception and so forth. I didn’t want this to be an intellectual academic, “Go have tea and chitchat about all this stuff,” because for people that have this in their family, friendships, or work environment, mental illness, is overwhelming in some instances. It was to be a caregiver, a provider, or a family member witnessing this.
What you’ve thought of as reality, normal human behavior, and so forth may not be there. You may not be able to reason with a person in the same way that you could reason with a person that has heart disease, for example. I mentioned this in my book. If someone with cancer or heart disease, or they need to have a knee replacement, or there is something physically not right, you can talk to them about how they are going to treat that and what their options are. That is whether they want to get treatment or they don’t or they want to use homeopathic or acupuncture. All of this is open for discussion.
If you want to talk to someone with bipolar disorder, someone who has been diagnosed that way, or schizophrenia about how they’re going to treat their mental illness, you’re not going to get the same quality of responses. They’re not going to reason it through the same way because of the misfiring of the neurological structure. Whatever is causing this imbalance does not enable them to evaluate it in the same way.
When I was writing this book, those chapter titles and the subject matter of them, the concepts I wanted to convey came to me very quickly. Within a month, I had the whole thing. I had ideas. It was maybe even sooner. They came like this. I decided, “I’m going to write a book,” and I looked back, “How did I move through this?”
At some point, I realized these ideas aren’t of any value unless you take them into your personal experience and use them. Otherwise, they’re just ideas. It’s reading about what someone else did and how they did it and you are like, “That’s wonderful. I’m so happy Stephen was able to do that.” The purpose of the book was to help the people that are in the trenches, that are feeling overwhelmed, and that don’t know what to do.
At one point, when I was starting with this, I had a separate workbook. I thought, “Each chapter will deal with something and then they’ll go to the workbook.” A psychiatrist that I knew here in Denver, Dr. Charles Price, who wrote the foreword said, “That’s maybe too much. Maybe it should just be one book.” That taxed me to make it more concise. You could read a chapter and do something quite simple afterward that would allow you the potential to take this into your situation right then and there and shift some of that energy that’s holding the current pattern or the current understanding in such a painful place.
It evolved. I kept working on it. I’m not an author by nature. I hadn’t written anything else. I never thought of myself that way. I took some long sabbaticals for six months. When I get frustrated, I’d be like, “I’ll put it on this shelf. I’m not going to think about it. I’m not going to look at it.” I was doing nothing with it, but I never gave up. I always knew I would get it completed because I wanted to share some things that I found helpful with others that don’t have access to those things.
You’ve done an excellent job. One of the things that I like is the second chapter where you start talking about an exercise to help people feel fully whatever they’re feeling. There is so much in our culture and in certain areas of therapy where people are led to things to distract them, deny and suppress things, or move past them. This is very gentle-focused, giving them permission, and showing them how to start feeling things fully and then move through them.
This idea about guilt and blame is a silent assassin and helps people understand. It’s not that that’s counterproductive, but what do you do to get clear about what happens when you release your guilt and blame? I was particularly relieved because sometimes, I read. When people talk about grief and the five stages of grief by Kübler-Ross, they talk about it as though it’s set in stone, that she is the definitive answer, etc. You have a very nice understanding that she never said, “This is what everybody does in this step-by-step way.” These are some thoughts and observations, and everyone is going to be different. What would you like to say about the stages of grief and what you learned from your own process and what you ended up writing about?
Initially, I was in denial like anyone. You don’t want this predicament that showed up one day. You didn’t order it. Amazon didn’t deliver it. On some level, we’re involved in it. My feeling is that things that we find ourselves in whatever is showing up in our life are not only appropriate via some karmic pattern or cause and effect, however people look at that. It’s for us. It’s designed to help us grow, evolve, and become stronger, more capable human beings. One of my teachers, Maharishi, gave seminars and classes all over the world. One time, he was here in my vicinity up at Lake Tahoe, which is 40 minutes from Reno. He was up there for a week or two or something. It was long before I started meditation. He talked about how he could see the winds up there and the boats getting blustered by the winds.Things that we find ourselves in are designed to help us grow, evolve, and become stronger, more capable, human beings. Click To Tweet
He said, “If the winds come from the West, it goes all the way to the East. If the winds come from the North, it’s going to go all the way to the South. If the boat has an anchor, it may go but not as far. It’s not going to get blown all across the lake up to the next shore. If a boat has an enormous, huge, heavy, and deep anchor, it doesn’t go anywhere. It still gets blistered and blown about because the winds are the same. Life is still bringing things. Some we like, and some we don’t. It’s tethered. It’s anchored. It doesn’t deal with the winds the same way a boat with a shallow anchor does.”
All these emotions that are coming, like anger, guilt, denial, blame, and shame, I felt, “What did I do? Why wasn’t I more on the ball?” Looking back on my wife’s behavior, it had become a little erratic. It’s like a child is growing a little bit every week but you don’t notice. A year later, you see they went up two inches. I didn’t notice it as it was occurring until she had a complete breakdown. I felt, “Where was I? I should have been paying more attention. Why would she cut off her relationship with her mother?” which she’d done. I was like, “Why was she having trouble with her son?” which she’d done.
I had all this emotional energy to process. Some of it was blame, guilt, anger, depression, and bargaining. That’s one of Kübler-Ross’ definitions. You’re like, “God, if you’ll get me out of this, I’ll go to church every Sunday,” or whatever. All of these things, I was experiencing. They weren’t coming in any sequence or order where I’d be like, “Now I’m done with that one. I’m moving to step four now.”
To your question, it was my experience that they were fluid. I was having different emotions coming and going. It was overwhelming me sometimes. By virtue of experiencing them, being willing to sit quietly, close my eyes, and locate that energy in the body where I always found it, they began over time to dissipate and lessen. I knew this was something I’d learned decades before. I knew this was a tragic time in my life. I had some of these tools. I used them consistently. I didn’t always feel like it. I know people won’t feel like it. They’d rather go have a double whiskey or something. Go do anything. Take a vacation. Get out of here.
Some people do that for a while before they end up picking up a book like yours. It’s okay if they want to avoid and run away. A book like yours is going to present them with a very practical series of steps they can take when they are ready to start resolving and moving through these emotions and perceptions. You said we all create our own perceptions. What we’re not taught in our culture is how active our perception is, which is why we can have a group of 8 people go out to a play and have 7 or 8 different opinions of the play. Weren’t they watching the same play? In one sense, yes. In another very real sense, no.
I am grateful that you wove into this work the idea of checking in with the body on a regular basis and feeling the sensations. This nice thing where you talk about feeling the sensations, watching the thoughts that might be associated with them, letting them go, and focusing on the sensation and breath work, you’re disconnecting this false belief of, “It’s my thoughts that are the same as this feeling.” That was a powerful exercise. Did you have that in your meditation work or did you come by that from some other place?
I got that over some years from another place. The concept that is so brilliant, in my mind at least because this is my understanding, is that the mind and the body are one system. We’re not separate entities, categories, or silos. We can think of them as different components. The thoughts are flowing through the mind all the time, but energy, sensations, and vibrations are flowing through the body all the time. The definition I liked that I used in the book is that when those get connected, we call it an emotion. We say, “I feel happy because I’m going to go on vacation next month,” or, “I feel sad because my friend can’t come to dinner tomorrow,” or something like that. It is all these different emotions and feelings.
Typically, the mind seems to be very much in charge so it’s yaking all the time to us about something. When we have a major problem area, the mind goes ballistic, in my experience. That influences the body. The energy in the body, the hormones, and the chemicals, all this stuff is changing. That emotional turmoil can continue to expand in a negative direction. We’re getting more worried. We’re seeing more problems. We’re feeling more overwhelmed. We have to find some way to break that cycle or reverse that to start to dissipate that energy.
One way to do it is this concept of finding a happy thought. It is positive thinking. It is like, “Everything always works out. I’m stronger than this.” You could have some religious idea or whatever. It’s good. I’m fully in favor of it, but it’s hard to do. It is very problematic to put a positive thought on top of that turmoil for most people. It’s relatively or comparatively easy to close your eyes and locate where in the body this feeling or energy feels the strongest because it’s there. If you’re having those kinds of thoughts, the body is on it. It’s easy for most people to locate, “Where is it?” A lot of the time, it’s going to be along their head, throat, heart, abdomen, and the chakra system typically. It is somewhere along the center line.
Being with it, allowing it, breathing into it, and experiencing it allows it to start to dissipate and rearrange that vibrational configuration. When that happens, it takes the mind with it because the mind and body are connected. When the mind is stirred up, the body is stirred up. When the body quiets, the mind quiets. It’s an access point to this vibrational system where the mind and body have a particular dance going on that may be leading to more anger, resentment, sadness, depression, overwhelm, and so forth. We’re spiraling down. Suddenly, we can reverse that direction and begin lifting ourselves up a bit.The mind and body are connected. When the mind is stirred up, the body is stirred up. When the body is quiet, the mind is quiet. Click To Tweet
I did that exercise hundreds of times during that period. Sometimes for 5 or 45 minutes. When I would feel overwhelmed, I would close my eyes and try to experience it. When I was angry, I would try to do that. It was a key component. That’s why I introduced it in the book quite early. It wasn’t the only thing I did, but it was one of the things I did. It’s something everyone can do and learn to do quite quickly.
It’s a wonderful stress reliever, the energy flow. Anybody who’s been trained in this probably comes back to it over and over again. It is not because of some loyalty to their teacher, but because it works and it gives them a better feeling. They feel lighter. We’re feeling less encumbered. If my body is feeling more relaxed, the mind relaxes more.
They’re doing a dance together. They’re dance partners. We need to be willing to do it. I’ll share with your audience one other interesting phenomenon. I don’t know if you’ve ever had this experience since you’re a psychologist and you’ve worked with all of this so much yourself with your clients. There still are in my life, but in this particular situation, there were times when I would feel overwhelmed, anxious, angry, despondent, or whatever these particular emotions were. It didn’t matter what they are. I could take that energy into this energy release process that I described in the book and shift it.
There were times when I would move into that exercise in a very upset, negative pattern, and within some short amount of time, I would discover bliss. I would discover within all of that energy intense joy. Isn’t that an odd thing to announce? It’s the truth. I knew it was there because I’d experienced it. I used this exercise long before I had this mental illness in my family.
Underneath all of the turmoil, there is something beautiful, balanced, harmonious, joyful, peaceful, and contentment. I call it the eye of the storm in one of the chapters. It’s there no matter what’s going on. There’s a hurricane on the surface, but the eye of the storm, if you can get into that eye, it’s quiet. It’s content. Everything is perfect. We have the ability as humans to locate that. We need to learn how to do it, but it’s there.
One of my overarching ideas in putting this book out is that nothing needs to be added for you to regain some sense of balance, joyfulness, and positivity. The ill family member may get better. They may stay the same. They could get worse. It’s not dependent on that. It’s dependent on your learning how to reposition some of these situations to release some of the trauma and the worrisome energy to rebalance a lot of it. It’s taking what you have in working with it in specific ways that are going to enable the family member or the support person to become stronger, more balanced, and more capable regardless of the situation itself by bringing out what’s already inside of them.
Richard Schwartz wrote about how internal family systems work. He talks about his church upbringing to his therapy training. It was always about getting someone on the outside to bring in the healing, salvation, etc. He found out in his work that we all have this interior core. People started asking him, “How do I know if what I’m thinking or what I’m about to say or do is coming from my core or some other part of me?” He said, “If it’s going to come from the core, you can count on these eight Cs, which are Compassion, Creativity, Curiosity, Connectedness, Courage, Confidence, Clarity, and Calm. If it’s coming from your core, it’s going to have these attributes.”
He said the thrill for him is what like you’re talking about. It’s in everybody. You can tap into that. You did tap into that at times. It was not all day, every day, but even when your wife was going through this tremendously stressful, disruptive series of whatever she was evolving into. In her experience of not being able to tell a difference between the thoughts in her head and the actuality of life, as someone who loved her and cared about her but couldn’t help her, you were able to get into those positive states yourself. You mentioned in the book the bliss.
That was the goal right along. It was to give people access to something that’s already there but they may not have had a background that allowed them to know about it or access it, even get introduced to the concept. That’s what I wanted to do. Take my experience. I’m an expert because I went through this. I was in the war. I’m not a general, but I ended up there. I didn’t want to go, but I had to go. I had some ideas and background that enabled me to deal with that particular situation differently than a lot of people would be able to. Because of that, I wanted to share it. I wanted to share the concepts in these seventeen chapters and turn them into an exercise that would allow people to take this unique idea.
Many of these chapters are 5 to 8 pages or something. It’s not like you got to spend a month reading the book. It’s pretty simple stuff, but it’s powerful. Take a simple idea that you can read about in 5, 6, or 10 minutes. Think about it, digest it a little, re-read it if you want to, and then move into your situation. How can this idea help you in your situation? You do the exercise is how. You perform it and you’ll see what happens. You might have to do it several times. That’s fine. This stuff might’ve been sitting there for five years. It gives you a key. You can open the locked door because you have got a key. The key will fit the lock and the door will open. You’re going to find something new on the other side.
Another chapter that spoke to me because it’s right in line with the core work that Journey’s Dream developed into the Optimal Being program and the Optimal tool is the concept of forgiveness. You say that when you learn to look at forgiveness from this deeper and different perspective and use the kind of tools that you’re providing in this book and that the Optimal tool will provide in learning how to cancel specific goals, you wake up one day and realize, “There is nobody out there to forgive. There’s nobody to blame.” That’s such a powerful truth that comes from some ancient teachings that aren’t well-known. How did you stumble across that? Where did you come across the concepts of forgiveness that you put in the book?
I had been exposed to some of the ideas. I’m trying to think of the person’s name. It was Radical Forgiveness or some book that I’d read.
That’s perfect. That person learned that from Dr. Michael Ryce. That’s what gave Ryce the Journey’s Dream work and the Optimal Being program. It’s all coming from the same source. There are some ancient Aramaic sources about the true nature of the word forgiveness. Being shbag has nothing to do with pardoning somebody. It has to do with removing the garbage that we’re creating in our false perceptions and restoring ourselves to that bliss state you were talking about.
I specifically remember, too, that I have never thought about before, but you did bring it up. When I was writing about forgiveness, I’d gotten to that point in one of these little subsets, the other chapters had all lined up, and I had all this material I was working with, I remember it occurring to me. I wrote it in the book that we’ve been talking about forgiveness from the beginning of the book. It isn’t a separate wine item, like, “Now we got something brand new to discuss.”
We had been talking about many different areas of the book about letting go of these perceptions that we feel are concrete. We are like, “That’s the way it is. That’s what happened to me. I’m the victim here. I can’t get out of this. I don’t know enough,” or whatever these problems are. The doctors, lawyers, police, and the mental healthcare system, I had all that. I’m sure many of your people that are going to be reading this feel the weight of that. It is like you’re in this Catch-22 and you can’t get out. The people that are supposed to be able to help can’t always help. They would like to, but they can’t.
The concepts in this book have some web of connection. All of them do. They have some potential for interrelating with one another. The idea of forgiveness is what you said. There is no one to forgive because I’ve misunderstood some things. I’ve misunderstood things about myself, other people, and the events. When five people go to the play, someone says it’s a tragedy, a comedy, lousy, and great. They all saw the same play. They’re all filtering that play through their own consciousness, which involves so much. It’s whatever we begin with as a little infant, and then the family, the religion, the culture, the school grades, the teachers.
It is, “I broke my leg playing football,” and this and that. It is all these things. We’re all unique, but we also have the ability to see more clearly, holistically, and from a deeper understanding that we’re waves on an ocean. We are the wave. We’re the individual, the body, the mind, the activity, the profession, the mental health in my family, and whatever. All that is an individual piece of the puzzle, but we’re all part of the ocean, too. That wave is connected to the ocean, whether it knows it or not.We're all unique but we all also have the ability to see more clearly and holistically and to see from a deeper understanding that we're all waves on an ocean. Click To Tweet
On the ocean level, all the waves are fine. They don’t need to be bigger, smoother, or more of the same size. They don’t need to splash more, splash less, or be a different color. We’ve got our individual perspectives on it, and we are individuals. We know that. We are bigger than that, which is the part that we don’t, in our culture, necessarily understand, connect with, or experience regularly.
You tell the story of your brother injuring his wrist as a teenager and then complaining about it for 50 years until you come along and help him see the same data points from a slightly different perspective. All of a sudden, he’s able to shift, not complain about that anymore, and not generate all of that upset in him about the event and/or the coach who was so stupid. That’s the value in something like this. It’s another way to introduce people to the core material that gave rise to Journey’s Dream and the Optimal Being program. Your book is another excellent way to get people to understand how active our process of perception is.
Neuroscientists tell us that if I’m looking at something, light waves are hitting my eye and then my brain is creating a picture of that. When they track how much of the input from my eye is going into that picture, it’s only about 20% of the picture. Eighty percent of the information that goes into the images that I see is coming from my past, history, traumas, beliefs, and emotions, not from the light waves hitting my eye.
You said to your brother, “Let’s take a look at this. You keep calling this coach stupid and everything. If a coach hasn’t been upset about this for 50 years but you’ve been turning yourself inside out and upside down for 50 years over it, who’s the stupid one?” Your brother was able to say, “I am.” Here’s this other perspective. When we are willing to try on those other perspectives, we change our perception and therefore the impact on us of this event and/or the memory of it. It’s wonderful, powerful stuff. I’m thrilled to have this book to give people another perspective on that same critical set of issues.
I wonder if you would take a breath, get centered, and think, “Here is what we’ve talked about so far.” I realize we’re coming to an end here in our time. Is there something that we’ve already talked about that you want to go back and highlight or something that we haven’t even mentioned yet you’d want to leave with our audience?
We’ve pretty well covered it. There are some additional details in the book. What I feel about all of this is that my experiences won’t necessarily be identical to anyone else’s who stumbles upon this book, but the concepts that are in the book can help them with anything. It doesn’t matter where you are on your journey. If you’ve been in therapy yourself or your support group with NAMI, or something else, I support all of that, but I feel that these tools can be helpful to someone anywhere and with any difficulty in life beyond mental illness as well. It’s repositioning. It’s the recognition that you have energy that’s out of balance.
You talked about those eight Cs or however many there were. If we’re not experiencing that calm, contentment, creativity, and whatever those there ones were, we’re out of balance with regard to something. The way it looks to us from the normal human perspective is, “This is a good thing and this is a bad thing. This is for me and this is opposed to me. This I want to have and this I want to get rid of.” From a deeper perspective, it’s all fine. It’s all perfect as it is. Those so-called negative things, which mental illness would certainly be right up there on the top of anybody’s list, that’s for us too.
I don’t pretend that I have this mastered so nothing bothers me anymore. I’m not there. I understand this intellectually. I have some tools to work with when something still sets me off or I find distasteful, upsetting, or whatever. I have to work with my own stuff in my own life. I do feel that anything we go through is a benefit to us once we’re on the other side of it.
It can be if we’re willing to take the kind of perspective that you’re offering. If we gauge the tools and release the resistance and the negative energy, we can turn it into a lesson, a blessing, etc.
Thank you for that clarification. The most negative and challenging circumstance I’ve ever had in my life was this and by a large margin. Yet, I know deep in my heart this was ultimately to my benefit. I don’t like the fact that my wife became ill. She was in on this, too, from her perspective, her karma, her journey, and all of that. I didn’t cause that. She didn’t become ill so I could develop myself, grow, or something. If we have this idea that we look out at the universe and the planets are doing this, and we got 37 trillion cells in the body that are all doing something, releasing toxins, re-oxygenating, and everything is always in this state of flux, evolution, and rebalancing effort, how could something show up in my individual life that isn’t a part of this intelligence? It’s around everything. It’s for us potentially.
That’s a good clarification. We don’t have to step into this. We don’t have to do anything about it. The complaining and the blaming, we spin around with it. We blame tomorrow, a year from now, and a decade from now. That doesn’t move us forward. The goal of this book is to take your circumstance, whatever it is and wherever you are on this journey, and allow you to start moving forward incrementally. You can’t read the book and everything is hunky dory, but you can begin to regain your balance again. I know it because I’ve done it not only with this but with many things.
That’s excellent. Congratulations on taking this very challenging set of circumstances and turning them into a blessing for you and others. I want to reiterate that the book title is Mental Illness: A Support Guide for Families and Friends, Personal Restoration Step by Step by Stephen Jacobs.
Can I recommend my website as well? It’s SupportAndHeal.com. I also have a meditation website. Meditation is a part of my journey and I recommend it. If you need support around meditation, I teach classes via Zoom. That’s MeditationForLifeReno.com.
That’s excellent. Thank you so much for joining us. It’s been a pleasure meeting you. Thanks for the book, and congratulations on turning this difficult situation into some growth for yourself.
Thank you, Dr. Tim. I appreciate being on your show.
- Stephen Jacobs
- Mental Illness: A Support Guide for Families and Friends
- Radical Forgiveness
About Stephen Jacobs
Stephen Jacobs Bio Stephen Jacobs teaches meditation, something he has done for the past 40 years. He studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (of Beatles’ fame) in Europe in the early 1980’s. He has guided hundreds of people from all walks of life to discover their own inner intelligence; that quiet center that supports creativity, contentment and health. He is retired from his corporate role as a Human Resource Consultant where he worked with many Fortune 500 clients over his career. Having been involved in his wife’s struggle with mental illness, he published a book entitled: Mental Illness: A Support Guide for Families and Friends in 2014 to help support families with this complex challenge. He is a singer, songwriter, and musician who performs weekly at The Unity Center. He has an active volunteer, social and travel lifestyle that keeps him engaged and out of trouble. For more information he can be contacted at: email@example.com supportandheal.com 775-247-1632
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