As some of you know, I am attending school to become a counselor. Through my own life experiences and career experiences, my eyes have been opened to the great need for discussions and more knowledge about mental health. I am disappointed to see the stigma that exists around mental health, even in the year 2017.Counseling is still viewed by some as something for crazy or “messed up” people. For some, mental health has a negative connotation and is equated with shame.
I want to play a part in helping to break free of the stigma of mental health! Jesus came that we would have life to the full! (John 10:10) Our mental health is an important aspect of living an abundant life, and living life to the full.
I hope to bring awareness of the importance of mental health and how it affects us all! I pray that all may take steps to improved mental health and never be ashamed to ask for help when they are struggling!
I will be posting one post a week for the series. I am not sure yet how long the series will last. How many posts will depend on the demand of topics. Here is what I plan to cover so far:
-Counseling and mental health
-Food and mental health
-Relationships and mental health
-Faith and mental health
Are there any other topics you would like to see related to mental health? Don’t be shy! I want to write what YOU are interested in reading!
Today I am featured over at Modern Ruth Project with a post titled “Fear, Joy, and Change.” This year is bringing many changes for me. I’m learning to let go of fear and jump into the new things that He has for me–even though it can be terrifying!Head on over and read! I hope you’re blessed by reading!
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”~Isaiah 43:19
Jesus was the Son of a carpenter. He would have, then, followed in the footsteps of His (earthly) father. The time between the beginning of His ministry and His death and Resurrection was 3 years. Jesus likely began carpentry at a young age and assisted Joseph
for many years in this trade, until the time His ministry began. Thinking of our lives, He’s given us many tools to use.These tools may not be a saw or a hammer, but they are what He’s given us to use as we build our lives alongside Him. These tools help us in various ways as we work out our salvation with “fear and trembling.” These tools help us to navigate our lives. Because Jesus was a carpenter,it seems fitting that He works through so many circumstances in our lives by various tools.
This life is a difficult journey. There are seasons where we can feel the grace and sunshine on us moment by moment. Other seasons? Not so much. Other seasons are dark and we struggle constantly. We may feel helpless sometimes. Thankfully, our Father hasn’t left us alone.
What tools has He given us to navigate and build our lives?
His Word-His word provides consolation, comfort, conviction, guidance, and anything else we could ever need.
His Holy Spirit-After Jesus ascended to the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us forever, to lead, guide, and console us!
Prayer-We can connect with the GOD of the universe wherever we are! How amazing is that? Even better, there are styles of prayer to suit every personality, from silent and meditative prayer to belting out in praise!
Other people-We can receive encouragement and confirmation from others. Others can provide wisdom and strength that we need. The Lord did not create us to be alone–in fact, we can’t make it alone through life. Human love can teach us in a small way about the love our Creator has for us.
Counselors-These trusted people help us walk through the broken pieces of our life and into more whole versions of ourselves.
Books-Good books teach, heal, guide, and inspire.
Nature-Nature is a great way to connect with our Creator and de-stress. Nature teaches us so much about our Creator and His ways.
Art and music-Like nature, these gifts of beauty show us Who our Creator is. They can be very healing for many people.
Writing-Pouring one’s heart onto paper is very helpful for many people.
Prophets and the prophetic-These experiences can confirm what the Lord is speaking over our lives.
Laughter-This gift helps us to relax. It helps us to connect with others and is positive physically and emotionally.
Tears-Tears are the words our hearts speak when life seems too much for us to carry. Tears are a release for our body and our emotions. Sometimes they are also a supernatural gift from the Holy Spirit.
What other tools has the Lord given you as you work through life?
As singles, sometimes our focus can unknowingly be on finding someone to make us whole. In a world that places having a significant other on a pedestal, society can make us feel like there’s a problem with us if we are standing alone. Even the church sometimes makes an idol out of marriage, seeming to forget that Jesus Christ was single! Not only that, but it seems that St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians focusing on singleness are not talked about much. Church events are more often than not geared toward families.
A relationship or marriage will not make you whole. You need to be secure in who you are as an individual. How do you become whole? You focus on a relationship with Christ. You seek an identity in your Creator, and not in one of His creations. Seek your identity as a unique child of God.
Isaiah 43:1 tells the children of God that “I have called you by name; you are Mine!”
Your spouse will be so blessed to have a spouse who knows who they are in Christ. You will not be needy and wanting them to fulfill your every need. Your spouse will never be able to fulfill all your needs. You will not be able to fulfill all their needs. If you are seeking Jesus Christ wholeheartedly, you are more likely to (in God’s time) attract the person who is seeking the same thing!
So, how do you become whole?
Focus on your relationship with Jesus Christ. Focus on Jesus and not on finding a man or a woman. Pray to know Jesus in a new, fresh way. Read the Scriptures, especially the Gospels, carefully. You will get to know His heart and teachings. Spend time in Eucharistic Adoration and pour out your heart to Him. Also find like-minded people on the same journey.
Forgive! Forgiveness is powerful. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask that the Father “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Often we hold onto hurts from the past. This holds us back. Resentment, bitterness, and anger make us emotionally and spiritually sick. They poison our relationships. Moving forward into marriage, you will need to learn to forgive. Your spouse will hurt you at times, and you will hurt them.
Attend counseling. (As a future counselor, of course I have great faith in this tip!) A good counselor can help you walk into healing from the hurts of the past and present situations. They can give you outside insight and help you learn better how you function & how to function more healthy in the future. If you attend counseling, I recommend a Christian counselor. Secular counselors may not understand the integration of faith and its importance to healing, and may have recommendations that are not Christian.
Learn self-care. The truth is that many of us need to learn better how to live healthy lifestyles. What does this involve? Feeding your body nourishing foods. It means getting enough rest and not pushing yourself too hard. It’s surrounding yourself with healthy people–and knowing yourself and your boundaries. Self-care is taking care of your mental and emotional health. Of course, I cannot leave out what was discussed earlier: a healthy prayer and spiritual life! Self-care looks different for each of us since we are all wired differently, but it ultimately comes down to this: a balanced life which does not neglect any aspect of ourselves.
courtesy of unsplash.com
Most of all, I want to leave you with this: Jesus Christ is THE greatest Love we will ever have. That love will follow us into eternity. Christ is the only One who will never hurt us! Find your wholeness in Him. No matter what life brings, your life being built upon Him will not steer you wrong! You will become the beautiful creation that He intended. You will become wholly yourself. Whole.
Together journeying toward the Creator and becoming the creations we were meant to be.