Why I Thank God I Know my Mental and Emotional Health is Not Something to Be Ignored, Healthy Voice for Real #5


I don't know about you, but there is something about this little girl that reminds me of myself when I was little, what I may have looked like when I was sad and felt alone. I wanted to use this image because I thought it spoke to that little girl in you and me who may want relief from what she's thinking or feeling....who probably would have loved relief from it then if she knew...

Jump forward in time to who you are today, the things you've been through and more...listen to this song. I heard it the other day on the radio and was moved. Remove the premise of the song and listen to the lyrics. It may take you a couple times, but it's all about being the person you are underneath, not the one everyone else sees. Listen all the way to the end. It's powerful.

"It's hard enough to be myself, let alone to try to be someone else trying to play the role, trying to look the part, never saying anything from my heart..."

Here's the deal...

If we don't pay attention to our minds, we end up stuck in them trying to control everything in our lives, when it's our minds that are actually controlling us. Although the world judges those who face their mental health issues, many of us have no choice. It doesn't matter about a scarlet letter, what matters is that we live life. Because I know that my mental and emotional health play a major factor in my physical health, I always have to pay attention to them and what might be influencing them. Not only that - I have to proactively treat them in many ways because one never knows how they are are going to hit us. Do we all have such mental and emotional struggles? Yes. We all have both. Some of us have them more that others. Some of us have a lot more work to do on them to get healthy. The important fact is that we DO something. So, let's talk about meltdowns.

Have you ever had a meltdown moment?

You know, when everything seems to not go your way, and then you just feel like you are going to fall apart and sometimes you do?  It's like a domino effect. All the pieces fall into place just wrong enough that you think you aren't going to make it.

You know how it's all about how to react to it, right? Well, it's a lot easier to handle them when you are present to the fact that your mind can be a battlefield and your emotions can think they run your life. If you try to "control" your thoughts and feelings yourself, you'll end up at a dead end. Sometimes that dead end can be the biggest gift of your life. It can be such a meltdown that you finally realize you need help. You finally realize, okay, may way isn't working anymore. I need help. Those in recovery or on a path of renewed faith get it. Surrender is a GOOD thing. Weakness brings power, and sometimes? 

We've got to break down to breakthrough.

And that is why we have to face the fact that our mental and emotional health is a huge factor in our overall health. There are factors with the makeup of our brain chemistry, our thoughts based on what's happened to us in life and our feelings based on how we've reacted to those events that have happened. These factors are not something we can just "fix" with 3 hours at the gym, or the next best diet fix. They are also not ones we can fix by going to one therapy sessions. What we have to learn to do is process THROUGH them, and sometimes, it takes every single tool we've got. When we've got tools, we know exactly what to do to get through them. We know like we know our names that "This tool shall pass," but only if we are willing to face the facts!

Let me tell you a quick story that might make sense of this:

The other night I had one of those nice little meltdowns. 6 years ago I would have binged on something or found a place to get a "fix" to my feeling. That night, I did what was right in front of me to do. I went to the place that I go to talk to my Dad and I just sat. I cried it out, hard at some moments. I talked out loud to God, to Dad (it's a quiet place in nature). I took notes on my thoughts into my phone notebook so I could get them out of my head. I called a friend who I knew would "get it." I cried more. I let myself feel the feelings. I realized instead of this moment breaking me, it was breaking me through to something better. I looked up scripture on my Bible app regarding the situation to see what God might say about it in his word. I got on my Spotify and found a positive, encouraging song to listen to that reminded my God was right there with me carrying me through the moment. I got home with my puffy face, which was the last thing I cared about after knowing what God just brought me through 5 minutes before. I could not have done any of that without all the tools I've been given in my program of recovery or my relationship with God and trust in him. 

.Why do I tell you all this?

Because the "world" will tell you that you can get your thoughts right, you know with a little of that willpower you use with your weight?... and your life will be grande. In some respects, that is right. But if you think you will be the one to "fix" them from a place of willpower all by yourself, you could be setting yourself up for failure and I wouldn't want you to do that. If we access it, we've got a power that can help us renew our minds and it's not us!!!

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
— Romans 12:2 NIV

The same thing goes for your emotional state. Some people may say to you, "Aren't you over that yet?" or you may think you are the only one in the world with your problem. I can tell you that you are not alone and I get that voice that says, "Get over it." There is a big difference between getting over it by walking through it and getting over it by pretending "you got this." HE'S got this! 

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
— Philippians 4:6-7, The Message

Our mental and emotional health are very serious matters not to be taken lightly. The best thing we can do is address them, acknowledge them, learn about them, navigate through them. Even better, we can turn our fears over to God who I promise you helps you walk through them. I know I didn't grow up in the Word, but the more I study it, the more I realize He IS the one who can help me through this, because of his love.

So, if you struggle mentally or emotionally? Don't keep it inside. Talk to someone you trust. Talk to someone who knows better than you what you can do. Talk to someone who can remind you that no matter what your thoughts or feelings try to tell you - you are good enough and capable having a joyful life not run by your thoughts or feelings.

Here are a few parting messages to take with you....

“Don’t allow your mind to tell your heart what to do. The mind gives up easily.
— Paul Coelho
“When a person is going through a hard time, his mind wants to give up. Satan knows that if he can defeat us in our mind, he can defeat us in our experience. That’s why it is so important that we not lose heart, grow weary and faint.”
— Joyce Meyer, Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind

A Reflection from "Jesus Calling" earlier this week...