I mentioned it in my last article and you've probably heard the saying before. "You can't get better in the same environment that you got sick."
Even if you're spiritually inclined, this phrase can be confusing. It's described so literal, but sick doesn't mean ill and environment doesn't always refer to your literal environment. Have you ever met someone who says they want to do pursue their goals, but never does? Maybe you've been that person, forever stalling and procrastinating. No matter how badly you want it, somehow it just doesn't fit in your routine and you just can't get it done. Or you're endlessly stressed, and you're so used to the source of your stress, you can't identify it anymore. If you want to change your routine, but somehow can't, it's probably because your environment cripples you to. Nothing is physically stops you, there is a mental block instead. Think of how you want to go to the gym, but every time you're about to, there is something stopping you. You blame the bad weather, or it's already too late, or you're just not feeling it. You will try again the next day, surely there is nothing to stop you tomorrow. If you run into problems like this, while you feel motivated to change but you can't, and you've tried everything else, it might be time to change your environment. What is your "environment" to your Inner self?
Your environment does include your physical environment, but it also involves everything that influences you and is only there because of your environment. Think of people, scents, sounds, habits, limits. Think of a lack of space to try new things. Think of your daily routine, that is set to your environment, that leaves little room for change or new things. Think of the habits shaped to accommodate your environment. If you live with other people, changing your lifestyle can be a challenge. And if your environment limits you, doesn't meet your needs or routinely upsets you, you become sick. What does "sick" look like? Being sick, even from a physical standpoint, is displayed by a series of symptoms that indicate something is wrong on the inside. Just like a fever, snotty nose and an upset stomach can indicate an infection or flu, there are telling signs that you're spiritually unwell. When you're stuck in an unhealthy routine that you can't seem to break no matter what, it's because your environment doesn't allow you to. If you're constantly nervous or looking for validation, it's because someone or something around you devalues what you do or say. If you keep waking up throughout the night, it could mean you don't feel safe. If you find yourself running in circles, getting to a point where you're sick of the situation, desperate to change it, but calm down to realize it is "better to stay put", your living situation is toxic. If you feel fully motivated to accomplish something, you feel ready to work hard on a project but you crumble into a comfortable "maybe tomorrow" mood as soon as you get home, it's very likely you don't feel safe at home. And not feeling safe can be as simple as living in the city while you're really a countryside person, or it can be as complicated as living with someone who subtly, or not so subtly, brings you down and makes you nervous. Over the long run, feeling devalued turns into feeling invisible, and feeling stuck turns into anxiety. And the crux of the matter: you can't get better in the same environment that you got sick.
But I'm not spiritual, why would this apply to me? You're right, not everyone is as sensitive to their environment as others, but a lot of people are so used to dealing with stress or spiritual sickness that they don't even realize it, or understand where it's coming from. You might have normalized your difficult relationship with your parents, one in where you avoid them because they critique you, and because you avoid them they critique you more. Going through that circle makes you believing you're unable to succeed. You might tolerate the busy roads along your house, accepting it as part of your city life, but that doesn't mean it can't slowly drive you mad. Maybe you accept your apartment as "just what is it right now", without seeing that its physical limits, limit you. We are so used to living with signals of stress and anxiety, that we don't identify them anymore. My number one trick to figure out your state of mind? It is reflected in your environment. Is your room messy, and you can't keep it tidy? Most likely it means you feel like you're not in control. Is your living room empty, with barely any personal belongings that tell others who you are? Odds are you don't feel safe, and you don't feel at home. Are your curtains always closed? Do you keep your work space in your bedroom? Is it tightly organized? Is there a lack of life? You'd be surprised how much the state of your direct living environment reflects your state of mind. Think of what "the power of habit" says about making your bed in the morning; tidying up your surroundings, changing it, can change your state of mind. On things like this, psychology and spirituality aren't that far removed from one another. If you feel stuck, unwell, depressed, stress, and you can't find out why, start analysing your environment, you'd be surprised what you might learn about yourself.