Skip to main content

Davis Journal

Mental health and everything is already all right

Mar 06, 2023 10:16AM ● By John Waterbury

It may sound like a cliche, but if what you’re doing isn’t giving you what you want, then don’t do it anymore. Life is a life-long journey, and you probably aren’t done yet, so be patient with yourself, be easier on yourself, and learn to enjoy the ride. Believe it or not, life is not a life-threatening illness!

I’ve come to believe that everything is going to turn out all right. And if I really believe that everything is going to turn out all right, then I have to accept the fact that everything is already all right. It’s as if there is a divinely orchestrated plan that uses pain and frustration, to teach us, to reach us, and to prepare us for what’s to come.

In essence, it appears that we are being prepared today for what’s going to happen in the future.

This preparation never ends, but continues throughout life.

And so it is for us all. No one escapes this process. For though there may be variations in our trials, it’s clear there will be no immunities; no immunities from the pain, or loss, or difficulties brought on by our own mistakes; no immunities from the confusion or insanity brought on by the actions of others. Sometimes it almost seems to be too much to bear, but it’s not. Life was not meant to be accommodating and pain free, but it was not meant to be so overwhelming that we would give up.

To manage it effectively, and to achieve some measure of happiness, three things are necessary:

First, we need to develop a philosophy of life that helps us see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Second, we need to accept ourselves as we are right now, with the expectation that we’re going to continue to grow.  And third, we need to be willing to forgive, both ourselves and others.

If a seed doesn’t grow, it dies. When it does grow, it destroys its old container.

Growth can be painful. I guess that’s why we tend to avoid it. But happiness requires a combination of discovery and growth.  And if we’re not committed to these principles,

there will be hesitancy, anxiety, and ineffectiveness.

Happiness is a by-product that occurs naturally as we discover who we are, as we accept who we are, and as we become who we are. This process continues to repeat itself as we move from one level to the next.

As each level of development is mastered, a greater emotional depth is developed, enabling us to reduce dependency on people, situations, or circumstances. This insight results in having options, alternatives, and choices; not addiction, dependency, or domination.  It dispels feelings of powerlessness, loss of freedom, and confusion. This level of understanding enables us to be able to focus on the rose, not the thorns.

The message is loud and clear:  Everything is already all right.

John Waterbury is a retired Clinical Mental Health Counselor who has lived in Utah since 1984 when he moved to Bountiful with his wife and four children. Since then, he has written a weekly column for several years for the Davis County Clipper titled “The Dear John Letters” which was also used throughout the intermountain West focusing on addiction and mental health problems. This new column will focus on mental health and life management issues.