When I was asked to contribute a piece on Mental Health for a leading publication – I pondered on, how I can best create value for the readers. I understand the workings of the mind well, but from a Spiritual perspective rather than a Scientific perspective.
For too long, there has been clear and antagonistic distinction between Science and Spirituality, so much so, that the modern-day culture has become almost mechanical. We seem to be so focused on the outward rules of evidence and what our senses can perceive, that we have developed a complete disregard for our Inner world. There has been no place in Science for the extra-ordinary power of the human mind or spirit, but thankfully for us findings via Quantum Physics is profoundly changing the way we think about the universe and the nature of reality.
Mental illnesses such as Depression, Anxiety, even High Blood pressure have typically been viewed as diseases caused by the miswirings of the neurons of our brain. Very quickly medication is attributed to correct the disorder. Psychiatry while becoming more important, is for the most part, unable to fully cure a patient suffering from long term depressive illness.
In my opinion, Scientific methods alone, are insufficient to cure mental illness as they fail to incorporate the most important part of us human beings – which really is the Soul or the Spirit. I believe, that for real relief and understanding of mental illness, we need to incorporate “Spirituality” into our treatment so as to address the primary cause of the disease instead of focusing only on the symptoms.
What is Spirituality?
Far from being dogmatic or religious, I view Spirituality as the study of the Self. The better you get to know the workings of your own mind and emotions, the better your handle on life, and the less likely that you will fall victim to “mental illness”. In most cases, mental illness, is a call from your soul to start focusing on the internal (soul / spirit) rather than the external (life/circumstances).
Coming face to face with Depression
About ten years ago, – I found myself in a paradoxical situation. I had everything that I thought I had wanted, a reasonable job, love, family, a comfortable home and yet there was absolutely no joy in my life. Instead, a deep sense of emptiness plagued my being and nothing external could touch that.
At the behest of my mother, I went to see the doctor, and when the doctor suggested that I might be depressed, I refused to accept it. I couldn’t imagine that a person with my strength and intelligence could end up depressed. I was in denial. I did not want to take medication – like it was some kind of taboo to be using depression medication, which would put me in a “box of mentally ill” people.
My search for Answers
I was determined to get to the cause of this and reverse it. I wanted to know where that deep sense of emptiness was stemming from. All intellectual and scientific sources failed to provide a convincing answer. I finally turned to the one thing, many of us turn to – when we have no answers – that was “God”.
I began a relentless search for this thing called God, which I had been forever present in my life, I had even prayed to myself, but the truth was that I had felt no real connection to “it”. I delved into every kind book, religious ideology and scripture I could lay my hands on. I started following the teachings of Spiritual masters and developed a daily practice – I started Yoga, I fasted, I meditated, I chanted, and I read – a lot – all in a desperate quest to get some answers.
My Journey towards God
A few months post the launch into the spiritual life, there were moments of expanded awareness, and flashes of joy and love started coming back into my life. New epiphanies on the fundamentals of the human condition were unfolding themselves to me on a regular basis. I started uncovering the workings of my own mind and emotions. To my surprise I found, that most of my habitual ways of thinking were not even mine, but simply a result of the conditionings of my heritage, and my society. I recognized the need to get past that and find my authentic self.
8 years forward
As I stand today, I can say with absolute certainty that – My Search for God, was really a search for myself. The deep emptiness that I was feeling, was a fundamental disconnect to my soul, my spirit, my authentic self, which is a part of the greater universal spirit or what we call God. That depression, was a desperate cry from my soul for attention!
As I grow, my Spirituality has only deepened, I understand myself fully well, I am an empowered woman, and am the happiest I have ever been in my life.
I recognize the need to address our mental, physical and spiritual well-being as the primary focus of our lives, and am no longer hindered by the expectations of others or society.
No amount of material wealth, success or relationships can satisfy the longing of our soul to connect with our inner selves.
Mental illness and Work
When we do work, just to earn money or keep ourselves in jobs/ careers that give us no fulfilment, and may even be toxic for us, we disregard the very God essence of ourselves, and so we suffer and end up either depressed or stressed. Long term stress will eventually actualize itself as disease in our minds or bodies. The illness or disease is a call out/ a sign from our higher self, our inner self – to guide us away from destructive ways of being and thinking.
When we are spiritually connected to ourselves and to a greater force, we are not bound by fear, and therefore have faith in having our needs fulfilled no matter what. Further, coming into our full authentic power, brings us closer to finding and living our purpose. And work driven by a purpose is the very source of joy, that we are all seeking.
Each of us has an individual core competency, which leads us to our purpose. Our job, it to discover as fast as possible what that is so we can then use that competency, to be of service, and do greater good in the world. The road to discovery of that talent, lies in getting to know ourselves better.
My core competency is my deep sense of empathy, and heightened intuition which helps me connect with people at a deeper level, almost instantaneously. This makes me particularly impactful as a Coach.
What do you believe is your Core Competency?
p.s. – This article is based on opinion and experience. Medical attention is an imperative first stop, to treat mental illness.
p.s. – If you would like to work with me, please contact me here for a discovery session.