**The ideas contained in this post are the opinions of the writer and communicated without reference to supporting documentation. The writer also recognizes that BPD is a disorder that affects both males and females, and uses of “she” or “he” in the communication of ideas are not intended to covey sexual bias. Breakaway MHE Disclaimer
A question you need to ask yourself before reading this article further is this: Is my goal to regulate emotions and settle the brain, or, is my goal to win a war of words? Another similar question you might want to ask yourself is this: Is my goal to become and remain sane, or, is my goal to feel better?
Before learning more about mental health, people are often focused on seeking out certain types of body, and emotional experiences that they believe are “the best types of experiences to have” because they are not pain experiences. Habit in seeking out these types of experiences then turns into preoccupation and belief that this is “the best way to live,” and furthermore that looking at (and feeling) the other sides of the life experience only serves to take away from what is preferred. Incessantly seeking to “feel better” is how people get hooked on the idea that “being positive is better than being negative.” Insisting on “feeling better” is also how people start wars of words, both within themselves and with others, and henceforth risk living in stress, tension, drama and conflict.
I’m not suggesting that it isn’t ok to seek out pleasure and emotional uplift from time to time through words and actions, but the issue here is that preoccupation with seeking out these experiences sometimes turns into forms of neglect to embrace ALL of the life experience (all of the emotions). When we become extreme in our approach is when we start to neglect parts of ourselves and possibly experience mental health and relationship problems. The reality of mental health is that ALL of life must be faced with deep curiosity and openness to have mental health.
In conditions like Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), both “positive” types of emotions and “negative” types of emotions can be experienced with great intensity. And since the emotional challenge in BPD can be so intense, there can be a strong tendency to seek out (and “buy into”) different ways to avoid the “harder” emotions, including insisting that positivity must be emphasized. Possible assumptions that can come into play here are that parts of the human emotional experience are not tolerable, and also that everyday emotional experiences of a particular variety are what make people mentally sick, unattractive, or unmotivated. These kinds of assumptions fail to help a person with BPD face and regulate his emotions but instead encourages emotional avoidance.
The best way to resolve the emotional highs and lows of Borderline Personality Disorder is to NON-JUDGMENTALLY ALLOW and (if necessary) VALIDATE all thoughts and emotions that arise, and to not to get hung up on whether or not the thoughts and emotions are “positive” or “negative” in nature. It doesn’t matter what the thoughts and emotions are, as long as there is an established way to process all that arises. Another essential skill in this regard is to orient to the present moment after the existence of the thoughts and emotions has been acknowledged.
For more information on the subject of validation, please refer to these two BreakAway MHE articles… article one, article two. For more information on the subject of orienting to the present moment (Mindfulness), please refer to these two BreakAway MHE articles… article one, article two.
Doing it this way gives the person suffering from his emotions as a way to regulate and settle himself, no matter what is being considered or discussed. Doing it this way likewise ensures there is no more jumping back and forth between “positive” and “negative” in thought and feeling, again because it doesn’t matter to maintain mental health if there is “positive” or “negative.” What does matter for optimizing mental health is that a human develops confidence for living in his skin and working through his thoughts and emotions – whatever they may be and whenever it may be required.
Believe it or not, it can be safe to have thoughts and emotions no matter what is going on, and no matter what the situation may be. It can be safe to allow all thoughts to pass through the mind and all the emotions to pass through the body. It is good to become well-acquainted (to make peace) with them all, and to work relentlessly at orienting to the present moment to help all these things resolve naturally. Once you know that you can do this, you also know that you can release yourself from a toxic BPD pattern.