Powerful Prayers For Adult Children

Powerful Prayers For Adult Children

Powerful Prayers For Adult Children

 

Whether your children are 18, 30, or older, consistent prayers offered on their behalf not only helps them, but helps you to have a more peaceful and faith filled heart.  I know for me, if I’m not looking toward a loving God concerning my adult children and their lives, I can get into fear and worry. 

Here are some scriptures and affirmations to pray/affirm for your adult children. I use affirmative prayers because Jesus said to pray, believe, and then we’ll receive. I’ve also paraphrased them in a way that I felt led. So, I affirm that my prayers are done (and they are in the spiritual realm), so I affirm until they manifest and then keep affirming and offering gratitude.

Get into that secret place and allow these words to penetrate the heart of God, as there is power in our words!  I look at it this way: Hold an object in front of a mirror and you see that object as it is.  But if you turn that object just a little, you see it differently. Praying for my children, in my eyes, helps them make shifts that grant them a closer relationship with God, themselves, and others, and therefore, a better life.

Prayers for adult children:

  1. Ephesians 1:17-19

God, thank you that my children are receiving your spirit of wisdom and revelation, getting to know you better and better each day. Getting to know you more personally! Experiencing your presence! Thank you that their hearts are being opened and they’re clearly hearing what you’ve created and called them to do in this life. That they’re becoming more aware of the immensity of your glorious way of life, your awesome power, and your endless, boundless strength!

  1. Colossians 1:9-12 (Coupled with Ephesian 5 fruits of the spirit)

God, fill my children with an understanding of you and your will. Thank you that they walk in a manner that pleases you and bear fruit that blesses themselves and others in all areas of their lives –Fruits of the Spirit like peace, kindness, humility, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Thank you that their coming to a deeper understanding of who and what you are. God, strengthen them with faith filled power, endurance, patience, and joy. Thank you!

  1. Micah 6:8

Thank you, God, that my children are learning more and more how to live as you desire them to. That they’re going within and listening to your guidance. That they’re compassionate, loyal, kind, and humble.

  1. Proverbs 2:1-11

My children receive wisdom and understanding from God as they make decisions in life, such as career, service, dating, marriage, friendships, finances, and parenting.

  1. James 4:1-8

My children guard their hearts from the temptations and lusts of this carnal world.  Things like greed, addiction, lust, power trips, hurting others, lying, etc. They allow God’s will to work in them, resisting the ways of this carnal, egotistical world. If they fall or miss the mark, they humble themselves before God, and get right back up with a heart after the ways of their creator.

I’ll add to this list periodically. Commit to praying faithfully for your children, as prayer and affirmations are great ways to continually uphold and support them. Believe God’s best for them, no matter what’s going on in the physical realm.  See the spiritual realm, believing God is always at work on their behalf. We must believe for them, always.

If you’d like to add a scriptural prayer or affirmation, please do so in the comments below.  

 

Sometimes Darkness Leads To Dawn

Sometimes Darkness Leads To Dawn

Sometimes The Dark Really Does Lead To Dawn

 

Have you ever been through a really tough time in your life and wondered if you would ever see the light? Do you know others who wrestle with depression and all sorts of other negative emotions? 

Surely, we’ve all entered periods of time when sadness, frustration, depression, or even hopelessness has worn us out and left us a mess inside.  It is quite common to struggle sometimes on this journey called life.

What do you make of those times? Do you grumble and complain your way through them?  Do you whine and cry and give yourself a big pity party?  Do you numb or deaden your pain with anesthetics like alcohol, pills, food, sex, etc.? I mean, really…

Who wants to feel pain?

Pain is part of life, yet we squelch and fight it at the first sign.  But what if darkness and pain is an opportunity for us to grow spiritually?  What if there really are blessings that come from the pain and discomfort we feel while in periods of darkness? Would we have a different perspective when those times come?  Sure, we would.

The Dark Night Of The Soul

If you study some of the spiritual men and women of the past, many of them talk about how they entered a “dark night of the soul” and how utterly wretched those times were spiritually for them.  Their struggle was not against outward things, but it was inward- in the core of their being.  They talk about feeling despair, hopelessness, and emptiness.  They cried out for relief.  They wondered why they had to go through such darkness and pondered the meaning and purpose of life.   

The dark night of the soul can be a time of transformation. It is a time of stripping away the levels of pain, frustration, anger, sadness, mistakes, etc. one by one. It is allowing something greater to awaken the spirit within so that magnificent beauty can bubble up and radiate outward into humanity.

It is a time of discovering who we are at the very essence of our souls.

This is what Pema Chodron has to say about the dark night:

In the process of discovering our true nature, the journey goes down, not up, as if the mountain pointed toward the earth instead of the sky. We move down and down and down, and with us move millions of others, our companions in awakening …Right there we discover a love that will not die.”

The Dark Always Leads To Dawn

Just like the sun rises every morning after a dark night, so does LOVE rise after our dark nights.  Love is at the very core of every being on this planet. The problem is that multitudes do not feel that love nor let it ooze out of them into those around them. In fact, many people do not even love themselves because they allow layers and layers of emotional pain to cover up the river of love inside. 

Dear one, may we all view dark periods of life with a perspective that during those times we have something to learn. During the dark nights, we are facing our fears, regrets, hurts, and so much more in order to chisel through the hard layers of our past to find LOVE.

Pure, innocent, abundant, brilliant, unconditional LOVE.

Maybe we won’t be 100% lovey dovey after we’ve gotten through a dark night, but maybe we’ll have shed a layer of pain or ego. Maybe we’ll be able to love ourselves more, and others too. Maybe we’ll be able to let down our guard some and allow others in better.  Maybe we’ll allow ourselves to be more vulnerable with our partner, trusting that we’re safe.  Maybe we’ll forgive our parent(s), friends, siblings, etc. and begin connecting at a deeper level with them.

Are you seeking to grow spiritually?  Then you might expect to go through some dark nights on your journey, but fear not because pain can be a stepping stool to growth, freedom, love, joy, and a big smile. I have heard many people tell me how their shattered dreams helped them develop an inner strength and peace that they never thought they would have. I myself have battled the darkness and even though back then I didn’t believe I was growing, I can look back now and see the many ways I grew during that period.

And still today, when I’m going through a rough spot, I’m going inside, seeing how this can help me expand and grow on my path- not just for me either, but for others too.  After all, there’s a whole lot of people who need some TLC on this planet.

What Are You Struggling With?

Are you having trouble seeing your path because it is so dark?  Are you struggling with sadness, fear, depression, anger, frustration, disappointment, etc.?  If so, it might be that your negative emotions are nudging you to begin a journey within; a journey to emotional and spiritual healing.  I admonish you to endure the dark even when you are tired and frustrated, because the sun always breaks the night in all its brilliant glory and you too can experience a dawn!

 “The nearer the dawn the darker the night.”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

For The Days You Want To Give Up

For The Days You Want To Give Up

For The Days You Want To Give Up

 

“You never give up, even when you should.” ― Kelly Creagh

Whether you’re in active addiction, recovery from drinking or drugging, or codependency recovery, I assure you that there will be days when you want to give up.

Give up hope, give up caring, give up sobriety, give up thinking you’re actually able to get your life where you want it to be, give up thinking your loved one will EVER get sober, and so on.

I get it.  I know there were (and still are) some days where I wanted to pack up a suitcase and run as far away as I could from everyone and everything – somehow thinking that would actually help me feel better.

But you know what?

I learned that I could feel that “I want to give up” feeling and not have to “do” anything. 

I learned that I could just feel it, sit with it, and give myself permission to just feel crappy momentarily without having to figure out how the heck to get rid of such a feeling.

And you know what else?

It was worth it; the hanging on, I mean.

The NOT giving up.

The clinging onto that thread of hope that would someone always find me in my deepest, darkest times.

Listen, friends, there will be days when you want to give up. Where your regrets and fears will paralyze you. Where shame will tie a rope around your neck and ask you to jump. Where you’ll look around at others and see them living good lives and you wonder how in the world THEY can have it all while you’re living in misery.

Oh yeah, you’ll be tempted to give up,

But don’t. 

I’m telling you to hang on.

I’m telling you to get yourself to a space where it’s quiet, preferably outside in nature, and BE quiet with yourself for a minute. Just slow-the-eff-down for a short time and listen.

Just listen.

No, not to your ego. Not to the hamster wheel of negative thoughts running through your skull.  Not to the screams of your spouse, wicked step-parent, boss, kids, or whoever else has spewed angry words at you.

Rather, listen to the silence. The birds. The rustles of leaves blowing in the wind.

Breathe deeply a new breath of life and exhale all the garbage you want to let go.

Let go, I said.  Just.Let.Go.

And for real, let God.

Let God what, you ask? 

Let God give you the courage to carry on.  To help you feel the pain you’ve been running from and numbing…I mean really feel it and not freak out.  That pain won’t kill you. The alcohol, drugs, or lack of self-care is what may kill you!

But that emotional pain? It’s not meant to kill you. It’s not meant to make you live a miserable life. 

It’s your opportunity to stop for a moment and ask “why”?

Why am I feeling this pain? What can I do to NOT feel this pain that doesn’t involve something harmful?

And let me be clear:  This isn’t easy to do.  It’s easier to run and numb. It’s easier to stay imprisoned within yourself, wearing a mask so that others will think you’re alright.

But you CAN do it…

You must.

Consider this a definitive moment where you promise yourself to never give up again.  To NOT let your fears, your past, or your emotions cause you to keep living a life marked by addiction, codependency, lies, shame, depression, etc.

Consider today a breakthrough kind of day.

A “I’m drawing a line in the sand” kind of day!

A day where you commit to persist and carry on with faith in something bigger than you. A force greater than us all!

Call it God, Spirit, Nature, Universe, Higher Power, or whatever you want, but know that

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

And, you don’t have to keep running, numbing, or escaping.

Stay.

Stay for you, stay for me, stay for your friends and family.

Ask for help if you need; a counselor can work wonders. A friend can help ease the load.  A support group or online forum can be a lifeline.

My point is that there will be days when you want to give up.

But don’t.

 

 

 

Try Proprioceptive Writing to Heal Limiting Beliefs

Try Proprioceptive Writing to Heal Limiting Beliefs

Try Proprioceptive Writing to Heal Limiting Beliefs

 

We all want a good life. A life filled with more peace and joy.  It’s a wonderful intention, right?  However, moments of peace and joy aren’t as plentiful when we aren’t aware of the unhealed wounds festering underneath layers of “junk”. The pain of life, ya know?

This is one reason I encourage everyone to navigate life’s path with boots on and shovel in hand, digging beneath the surface to see what’s really going at the subconscious level.

And, as a writer, I’m all for exploring with pen in hand. 

The power of proprioceptive writing

Now, as you’re seeking to get to the nitty gritty of your core beliefs, consider proprioceptive writing. This is a wonderful type of writing that Linda Trichter Metcalf writes about in her book, Writing The Mind Alive. This form of writing is a method for exploring your mind via writing. It’s simple, and anyone can do it!

It’s a powerful tool that will help you connect better with your real self, while dissolving false beliefs that hold you back. You can focus your awareness on parts of you that are wounded, and begin applying healing salve to them.

You can get to your core and see what’s really going on in the subconscious mind about things like money, worth, people (Mom, Dad, Lover, etc.), and so on.

For example, let’s say you want to see how you’re really feeling about money.  Write the word “money” at the top of a blank page and then write down everything you find yourself thinking. Write down words and sentences. Just let it flow without trying to figure things out. Write down things even if they don’t make sense at the moment.

Proprioceptive writing is great way to explore your psyche, learning to express your thoughts without judging yourself. Without feeling badly. In fact, with curiosity and empathy. This exercise can take you one step closer to emotional health, because it combines your intuition, imagination, and intellect. 

It’s a ritual that helps you realize the power that certain thoughts have had in your life.  It gives you clarity as to what’s really going on in your subconscious.  Many people will put on some music by Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, etc. as they write.  This will certainly increase the creativity feel.

Linda Trichter Metcalf says,  “The desire for the self, the desire not to live a life that doesn’t feel like it’s yours—that’s why somebody might be attracted to this work.”

How to do proprioceptive writing

Think about the topics you’d like to write on.  Maybe it’s money, or worth, Mom, Dad, life, love, etc.

  1. Sit in a quiet location. Feel free to light some candles. Have lots of paper handy. Put the date on each piece as you write.
  2. Put on some Baroque music like Bach or Mozart.
  3. Relax by taking several slow, deep breaths.
  4. Take 15 to 20 minutes to write whatever comes to mind. Setting a timer helps. You’re the observer of your thoughts at this point, simply recording them.
  5. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling?” or “What’s the story I am telling?”
  6. Once you’re finished, read what you wrote out loud.

What moved you? What was challenging to hear? What stands out?

Consider doing this in a group, and as you read your writings out loud, allow others to respond, and reflect back to you.

Then, any negative thoughts you encountered, look at them next to God’s view of you.  Next to the divine in you.  Then, purpose to change those negative to positive, seeing them for the false reality that they are. 

After all, you are not your thoughts!

Feel free to write a new story about the topic you just explored. A story that feels empowering!  Energizing! 

You can do this exercise as often as you like.

Heal Your Pain

Heal Your Pain

Pain as a Pathway to Joy

 

We all experience emotional pain at times and as disheartening as it is, we don’t have to continue to suffer. Suffering means you give your power away; you feel powerless to do what needs to be done to decrease or heal the pain.

Sure, I’ve experience plenty of pain in life. Gut-wrenching, falling to the floor, horrendous pain. And, yeah, it sucks.

I’ve also witnessed others struggling with things like chronic grief, depression, illness, addiction, etc.

I mean, it doesn’t take long to look around and see that humanity needs some help. 

Masses of youth all the way to the elderly are drowning in emotional pain, and many have no idea how to swim safely to shore. They’re scared, disillusioned, restless, and feel very alone.

Now, I may not have all the answers, but I do have my experiences, strength, and hope to share.  I’ve managed to recycle intense pain (and an all-out emotional breakdown) into passion and purpose. 

And, so can you.

Emotional pain as a pathway to joy

We all want to experience unconditional love and joy.  In fact, the desire to experience these things are the primary reasons we do what we do.

Society and the media try to tell us that the latest high-tech gadget, SUV, more money, bigger house, alcohol, or that exotic vacation in Bali will bring us the ultimate fulfillment that we see; will fill that hole in the soul, but that’s hogwash.

Those things won’t. And hey, I’m the first to admit I enjoy plenty of “things”, but I understand that material possessions or traveling cannot completely fulfill or satisfy me.  I spent years and years seeking objects and people for fulfillment – stuffed lots of materialistic garbage down my throat – when I really needed to be seeking peace, joy, and contentment from within…

From God.

Of course, in my seeking gratification in external objects, I ended up falling short and oftentimes experiencing pain.  I had dreams and they were shattered. I put my faith in things that let me down. I expected too much from others. I made mistakes. I lost people I loved.  And so on.

Looking back, I see how God allowed my heart to break and my dreams to shatter, so that I might learn valuable spiritual lessons. 

Because what “I” want is not always in line with Love. With God.

So, there I was sitting in a puddle of tears, (more than once) and emotionally broken. My lover, my kids, money, material objects – nothing could fulfill that aching hole deep in my soul. That haunting feeling of being alone and disconnected always came back and sometimes with a vengeance.

I literally felt like Isaiah records in the Bible:

    Is there any hope for us? Can we be saved?
We’re all sin (ego)-infected, sin (ego)-contaminated.
    Our best efforts are grease-stained rags.
We dry up like autumn leaves—
    sin-dried, we’re blown off by the wind.

My My, What to Do?

Well, reaching “out there” to find peace and joy, or just to simply feel “good”, wasn’t doing the trick. I was walking a path that led to inner misery, and Great Spirit allowed “my world” to shatter.

Why?

So I wouldn’t and couldn’t equate peace and joy with external things.

We easily place our faith in external things to make us feel happy. We expect people to bring us joy and then when things don’t go as we planned, we experience pain. 

The lover leaves. The kids lose their rational minds. The job drains. And so on.

Sadly, too many allow such pain to immobilize them for years and years instead of inviting that pain to teach them.  Allow that pain to lead them toward healing and wholeness.

Shattered dreams come. 

Pain is experienced in life for a variety of reasons.  We’ve got wounded parents raising children and wounded lovers trying to fix each other. Just look at how codependency has infiltrated so many relationships. We look toward our mates to fulfill us. To complete us. To make us feel happy.

We lose people to addiction, anger, lies, death, etc. We grieve loss after loss.

Still, some of the most inspiring people in this world are those that have suffered a great deal of pain.  Through that pain they have discovered not only a spiritual connection with their Creator, but also their greatest gifts that they offer to add value to humanity.

Pain can be awful. I get it.  Childhood trauma happens, loved ones die, break-ups occur, family members struggle with substance abuse, we struggle with addictions of all sorts, children are molested, dreams die, etc. 

We hurt and sometimes feel like the pain is too great to bear.  We may want to give up and isolate.  We may want to numb the pain with alcohol and drugs. And many feel so utterly alone.

But listen, sacred soul.

Emotional pain can be an agent of change.

But it takes effort. It takes a journey within. It takes you throwing your hands up and saying, “My God, I can’t do this on my own.”

It’s alright to feel pain momentarily. Feel it. Really feel it in the guts of your belly. Talk about it. Offer it to the heavens in mounds of sobs.

Journal it. Poem it. Grab someone’s hand and ask them to help bear your load.

And then, learn from it. Process it. Talk to it. Let it know you’re not afraid anymore. Then, integrate it into your energetic being, so that you can free up your emotional body to feel the more joyous and peaceful feelings.

Be willing to “do the inner work” to experience emotional healing.

That may sound easy, but it rarely is simple. It takes time, effort, patience, compassion, commitment, and more. It takes you walking your very own unique emotional healing path. That could look like committing to a spiritual practice, seeing a therapist, visiting a modern-day Shaman, getting a spiritual director, educating yourself about emotional healing and applying what you learn, and so on.

But it’s worth it, dear one.

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.”  Kenji Miyazawa

Yes, allow pain to be recycled so you can go on to help others in some form or fashion, even if it’s just to sit beside someone and say,

“Wow, I don’t really know what to say, but I’ve felt this way too, and I thank you so much for sharing this with me.”

Are you hurting? Are you feeling like you’ve been immobilized for so long because your heart has been broken repeatedly? Have you experienced terrible things?  Are you allowing pain to hold you back?

Are you stuck in an addiction? Alcohol? Drugs? Porn? Sex? Gambling? Food? Love?

This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where you must draw a line in the sand and say, “No effin’ more!” This is where you must stare down your pain, your trauma, your shattered heart, addictions, etc. and vow to go through them, rather than run. Rather than numb.

Why?

Because this is the path to emotional healing and true joy. The kind of joy that makes you laugh and dance for no reason other than you are breathing.

You are not your pain. Pain is an emotion and you are not your emotions. You are a divine, sacred spirit and you have a divine Creator who wants you to reflect light and love on this earth, no matter what you have been through.

Will you never feel pain again? Will life always be grand? No, silly. Life is about experiencing the whole gamut of emotions, but not getting stuck in the negative ones. 

If you simply cannot get past your pain, please seek help. There are plenty of people who have been through what you are going through that are willing to help.

There are also various paths to freedom, including counseling, 12 Step support groups, treatment centers, workshops, retreats, books, videos, and alternative or energy healing practices.

Get on YOUR path to emotional healing and freedom.

 

The Myth of Normal & Why I’m Not

The Myth of Normal & Why I’m Not

The Myth of Normal & Why I’m Not

 

 

I recently watched a talk by Dr. Gabor Mate, physician and addictions expert, about what he calls, “The myth of normal”, a concept that divides people into normal and abnormal based on pathological traits. What I loved right away in listening to this talk was that Dr. Gabor stated that he doesn’t see a division among people, but a continuum where mental distress is present in every single person to a degree.

Essentially, this means we’ve all got a bit of “crazy” going on inside – some more than others.

He goes on to say that mental distress and pathology (disease) are largely a result of a materialistic culture that idealizes and promotes individualism, while ignoring emotional needs.

I agree.

So, essentially, our society at large classifies individuals as normal or abnormal, with the abnormal ones displaying some pathological symptoms like addiction, depression schizophrenia, bipolar, OCD, and so on.

Do you realize there are over 500 disorders in North America (according to the American Psychological Association) that pretty much tell us what, and who is pathological? It’s no secret that many people are struggling, including myself, in which case I could diagnose myself with a couple things today if I really wanted to.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 1 in 5 Americans will experience a psychological crisis in their lifetime, 75 percent occur before the age of 24.  

Chances are YOU or a loved one have already or will experience such a crisis. 

I know I have.

“I’ve got a chemical imbalance”

Yes, there are instances where chemical imbalance occurs in the body, and yes, pharmaceutical drugs have been somewhat helpful.

But please hear me on this…

The hypothesis that says drugs will cure chemical imbalances are lacking in evidence.

Where’s the stats on that?

Here are some helpful statistics that show drugs are NOT necessarily doing the job manufacturers would like you to believe.

In 1988, there was $500 million spent on psychopharmaceuticals for mental health.

In 2008, there was $40 billion dollars spent. Yes, 40 B I L L I O N.

In 1998, there were about 1.25 million people with a clinical diagnosis. (depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD, addiction, etc.)

Ten years later, in 2008, 4 million.

Today, in 2017, that number is up to about 10 million in the United States that live with a “serious” mental illness. That’s 1 in 25 people. [1]

And, don’t get me wrong. I believe there are some prescription drugs and treatments that are helping people, but I also believe that oftentimes they are simply treating the symptoms and the root of the issues never get resolved. There’s no digging underneath the surface to really see why the depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, bipolar, etc. is manifesting.

There’s only  the handing out  band aids for gaping wounds.

Normal vs. Abnormal

Throughout my twenty years in the mental health field, I’ve witnessed some progress in understanding and treating mental illness.  I mean, homosexuality is no longer diagnosed as a mental disorder as of 1973, thankfully. Clinical depression is not viewed upon with such stigma anymore, as more and more people are openly talking about it. More addicts are being treated for a disease of the brain, rather than judged for lack of moral or willpower.

However, there is still much stigmatization and prejudice, and a misunderstanding of what society deems “abnormal”. Maybe it’s that people don’t understand or fear what they see as different, or maybe it’s that we can all somehow feel the familiarity – at least to a degree, of the symptoms.

Who hasn’t felt anxiety? Disconnection? Fear? I know I have, and at various anchor points on the continuum. Have you felt such emotions on the far end of the continuum? The side that would be diagnosed as a mental health disorder or the for-real cray cray?

Have you felt them and stuffed them? Self-medicated? Never reached out for help due to fear? Shame? Or you just had no idea what to do?

Disease as a culturally manufactured paradigm

Much of it is cultural, folks. A major culprit of disease is a culturally manufactured paradigm.

We live in a society that cuts us off from spirituality and idealizes individualism. Yes, it’s getting better here in the West, but come on. It’s got A LONG ways to go…. Our society largely destroys cultural contexts and ignores emotional needs. This, dear ones, generates emotional and physical pathology.

Our economic system

Listen, there’s a “self-love deficit” epidemic going on. There’s an emotional pain epidemic running wild.  

How’s your self-worth? What do you base your feelings of worth on?

Your status? Amount of money? Popularity? Social Media activity? Success level? Partner’s attention? Rituals?

Gabor Mate states that here in the West, it’s not so much about who you are, but how you are valued by others. The producers and consumers of society tend to be valued more by the whole. The others, (non-producers, non-consumers) are not valued as much.

Why?

It’s like they’re devalued because they aren’t keeping up with the Joneses or the American Dream. They’re classified as weak, lazy, ignorant, lower class, cray-cray, etc. This goes for the schizophrenic, heroin addict, senior citizen, homeless, etc.

Now we know this isn’t a new occurrence. Even Jesus talked against promoting the man who shows up in a nice suit over the man in rags. He spoke against segregating man, and welcomed ALL.

And, I will add back in the day, Jesus didn’t turn the so-called “abnormal” ones away. In fact, he went to them, and they went to him, and oftentimes healed them with a healing power that I believe is still present today. (Can I get an Amen from all the healers out there?)

What if our society really started dropping the “abnormal” labels, such as schizophrenia? Bipolar? Bizarre? Weird? What if communities were more accepting of those who are “not the norm”? Where people make room for those that are different, where connection is not broken, but rather, maintained. Where you’re not ostracized, but welcomed and you’re free to express yourself how you wish.

What if we honored and celebrated those that have forgotten who they really are? Do as many indigenous cultures do and sing and hold ceremony with them?

Don’t we all crave THAT kind of community, whether we’re diagnosed with some disorder or not?

Can society find meaning in craziness?

The American Dream is great, as the government should protect each person’s desire to pursue their own idea of happiness. Each person IS created equal, but is that really how it plays out? Or has the American Dream somehow been twisted over the years to promote materialism and greed? Has it slyly infiltrated the minds of people with thoughts like, “Do more, be more, get more, and then you’ll be happy”? Yes, it sure has, and just look at the incredibly high stress levels and exhaustion of most people as a result. 

Do you realize about half of the American population has some sort of chronic illness? (diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease, mental illness, addiction, etc.) Oh, we see everyone posting happy pics on social media, but let me assure you that millions upon millions are suffering in silence. And many who are voicing their distress are running into closed doors and wide-eyed people who just don’t know how to “deal” with them.

There’s no doubt a new American Dream needs to go forth, as the Center for a New American Dream envisions, where “a focus on more of what really matters, such as creating a meaningful life, contributing to community and society, valuing nature, and spending time with family and friends.” 

Mind and body are connected

There’s this mentality that is actually taught to kids in schools that the mind and the body are separate. They’re not. They’re connected, and this has been validated by modern science. Just look at the traditional Chinese or Shamanic schools of thought that are slowly, but surely making their ways here to the States. (Yay!)

The mind (thoughts and emotions) affect the body, which brings into question what’s being taught to society at large? What’s getting into the minds of people in everyday American life?

Look at advertising. Watch commercials. And if you can stomach it, watch the news. You know what’s being propagated? Drinking is the best way to have fun. Shopping for the latest and greatest things is the “cool” thing to do. The more you have, the more valuable you are. Produce. Get more. Have more. Be more. Go, go, and go some more.

Why don’t they show the almost 20 million people who are struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction?  Those on the verge of suicide (and one occurs somewhere in the world every 40 seconds) What about those who are so far in debt that they’re miserable? Overworked, and tired deep in their bones? Those that have traded the almighty dollar for their very own souls.

The abnormal addict

I work in the addiction field, so of course, I hear stories each day of how addiction/alcoholism is ruining individual lives and families on a grand scale. Addiction to booze, drugs, prescription drugs, cigarettes, sex, porn, food, people, gambling, video games, and so on.

Is the addict abnormal?

No.

When it comes to addiction, choice and genetics don’t always explain it. People don’t choose to become addicts and genetics no longer can be blamed for it. That’s what we’ve been taught, but when you dig deeper, you get some interesting findings. 

During the Vietnam war, many soldiers began using heroin while in Vietnam, and about 40 percent became addicted. Now, you would think there would have been a heroin epidemic in the States upon their return, but there wasn’t.

Why? Because their circumstances had changed. They left a highly stressful, even traumatizing, environment, to a loving family or atmosphere that was peaceful, and overnight, the majority of heroin users stopped using. Granted, changing an environment isn’t the cure-all, but it’s one factor that is important to consider.

{Check out this wonderful video on the Rat Park Experiment, showing how community (loving people) makes a HUGE difference in whether one becomes or stays an addict} 

The Rat Park Experiment

Let me reiterate what Dr. Mate states:

It’s not an addiction epidemic, it’s an emotional pain problem.

We live in a society that promotes emotional shutdown. Stiffen that upper lip! Be strong! Suck it up, cream puff! Or, as in my case, kids grow up in homes where parents aren’t in touch with their own emotions due to stuffing or repressing their own wounds, and this unhealthy cycle continues. Everything piles high under the darn carpet. 

What’s the solution?

I think we all know the plight of our society, and can agree that some things must change. But what’s the solution? How can we stop judging and stigmatizing those who fall on the far side of the normal/abnormal continuum? How can we celebrate our spot on any point on the continuum, realizing that being different is alright, and part of being human?

How can we better treat the “emotional pain” epidemic going on?

Ah, if only there was a clear-cut solution. The reality is that there are a variety of things we can do, and part of my focus for the upcoming year is to tap into more of the traditional wisdom of indigenous populations around the world that oftentimes contradicts our Western views about mental health.

Learning from those who have for centuries embraced all spots on the “normal/abnormal” continuum, and use natural, alternative healing techniques (and acceptance) to

transform a psychological crisis into a positive, transformative experience.

I’m also going deeper myself. This year has been wonderful in so many ways, but I’m called to deeper waters. Deeper connections with myself and a community. Deeper peace, and deeper love.

And, a resolve to bring healing to a greater number of people who are suffering emotionally.

Tips for you

As I close, I want you to ask yourself:

  • Am I feeling connected to myself? To others? (Not social media. Real life, face-to-face)
  • Do I feel free to express myself, no matter what that looks like?
  • Am I drinking/drugging to cope?
  • Am I afraid to reach out for help? (Counseling, coach, support group, 12 Step group, etc.)

Regardless of where you are on the “normal” continuum,

  • Embrace a journey toward a deeper understanding and awareness of yourself, God/Source/Spirit, and others.
  • Resist the urge to disconnect and escape from painful emotions.
  • Resist consumerism.
  • Reach out for help, be it a therapist, energy healer, friend, spiritual advisor, mentor, etc.
  • Commit to a season of honestly looking at your past (trauma, abuse, neglect, etc.), on your own or with a therapist/shamanic healer/spiritual advisor/pastor, etc.) Oftentimes, addictions, depression, anxiety, etc. are the consequence of early trauma. It’s time to begin healing there, at the root.
  • Explore what it means to go through an emotional crisis.
  • Find meaning in your “craziness”. Celebrate it.
  • Encourage others who are struggling.

You’re not broken. You’re not abnormal.

You (the real you) is whole.

Continue your journey toward experiencing that reality.

XO

[1] https://www.nami.org/NAMI/media/NAMI-Media/Infographics/GeneralMHFacts.pdf