Mental Health and Spirituality

I’ve attempted to take my own life 3 times over the years, starting back when I was a teenager. Two of those attempts left me in the hospital. One of those attempts put me in the psychiatric unit for a while. I was clinically depressed at 12 years old. I fought that battle all through my teenage years until I was 20 or 21 and the roller coaster of pain stopped. I’ve had to battle it here and there over the years since then when things happened that I didn’t necessarily have the skills to handle at the time.

Since awakening 6 or so years ago, I’ve begun to understand a lot about energy, the wonky perception all of us have as humans, and how that wonky perception plays into what we feel and how we respond to life. Those beliefs, the modified perception, the intuitive guidance that I’ve had, have given me the ability to get up and out of my stuff when I need to. It frees me in many respects, from a lot of that intense pain that I used to experience because I can now gain a clearer understanding of what’s going on without victimizing myself in the process.

Spirituality has saved me from myself. Humans tend to be their own worst enemies. I certainly was for myself. I understand now how my perception at the time created the painful reality I lived through. I also understand that without professional help, I probably wouldn’t be here.

Spirituality is wonderful for the perspective, freedom, and clarity that it provides. But I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, spiritual beliefs don’t fix you if your guts are hanging out of your body. There is a place for everything and there is a need for balance between the spiritual world and the practical human world that we all live in. Western medicine, regardless of what you think about it, is needed sometimes. Psychiatry, psychology, and therapy are also needed sometimes. There are points where spiritual beliefs aren’t enough because they are subject to the limitations of the human that believes them.

All sickness is energy. Depression is energy. Depression is also a very real thing that can make us a danger to ourselves and others. It’s important to get professional help when it’s needed. Clarity only gets us so far. Sometimes we just have to allow the more traditional medicine. Sometimes we just have to be human. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Finding this balance between spirituality and human life is different for everybody and sometimes really complicated. We tend to use spiritual beliefs as a stick to beat ourselves up with. It’s another reason to not be good enough because we can’t just believe our pain away. We still have to go through the muck. We still have to pull the weeds. We still have to do the work. That’s human and that’s okay. The spiritual beliefs come back. The balance gets created again. The work gets done and we get to be okay eventually.

I talk all the time about allowing ourselves to be okay more often. When life isn’t happening around us, when we’re not experiencing major trauma, figuring out how to empty out the backpack of pain we all carry is an important step in the process. Having space in the backpack to handle life when it happens, means ditching the stuff that we’ve been holding on to for too long. We’re not throwing salt on fresh wounds. We’re releasing old ones. That’s what we do in therapy, right? That’s the process. Go back and find the wounds to heal and release. Let go of what you’ve been holding on to. Sometimes we just need a little extra help to do that and that’s perfectly okay. Anybody that tells you it isn’t, hasn’t been through it themselves.

Spirituality gave me permission to heal. It gave me a platform to do that work for myself, by myself. It gave me permission to be okay. But understand, I wasn’t clinically depressed when I did it. I wasn’t battling major life trauma. I was simply taking care of myself. Subjectively, my own process may have been seemingly easier than yours, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it too, regardless of whether you need outside help or not. You’re not here to be in pain. That’s not what human life is supposed to be about. You do have the power to heal. Really, the first step is just giving yourself permission, whatever that permission looks like for you.

Life is messy. It’s painful and at points, it absolutely sucks, but it’s also rewarding, humbling, beneficial, joyful, and immensely gratifying. Your life is your own. Depression or not. Pain or not. You didn’t get to where you are for no reason and you have the power to keep going, even after everything you’ve already been through.

Sending you so much love.

Laura

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