As we emerge from the challenging times of the pandemic, I’ve noticed a somewhat concerning trend. Some people have begun to label themselves as having ‘mental health issues’.
It is vitally important that, at last, as a society, we can be more open about emotional struggles and challenges. But when terms such as ‘mental health issues’ become a label that is bandied around at a whim, I worry that people will begin to closely identify with this term rather than taking the time to reflect at a deeper level.
Challenges in Life
The truth is, many people are indeed suffering. However, if we adopt the term ‘mental health issues’ and the like, simply because we find life challenging or things are not going our way, then where does that leave those who are genuinely struggling with their mental health?
Lots of Shoulds
There are many rules surrounding how we ‘should’ live our lives. We should have a ‘good’ job; we should be paid well; we should have a nice home; we should be organised; we should have a plan, and so on.
We hold on to these ‘shoulds’ as if they will bring us ultimate happiness and fulfilment, but we often remain unfulfilled and unhappy even when we have these things. It seems the more we strive and the more we hold on, the harder it gets.
After over twenty years of coaching hundreds of people, I’ve concluded that many of us need to calm down, take stock, and ask ourselves, ‘What do I really want to create in my life?’, rather than ‘What should I do to overcome unwanted thoughts and feelings.’
The Automatic Response
We hear it all the time. “What are you going to do?” But, what is the point of taking action when we are unclear about where we want to ‘be’ and what we want to create?
Taking action for the sake of simply doing ‘something’ is a crazy idea. So is focussing on the future if a person doesn’t know how to be in the present.
We can learn a thing or two from the mystics. Their motto was to let go and let God, trust the unknown, and abandon oneself to the mystery.
For sure, it’s a tall order, especially when our ego is running the show. This is why reflection, stillness and quiet time alone are essential for personal growth and transformation.
A Greater Intention
Today I was chatting to a friend who has been trying to find a new job. She has been actively seeking a position for many months. Doors appear to be closed. People don’t respond to her applications, and they don’t return phone calls. In circumstances like this, it’s difficult to stay positive. It’s hard not to lose hope. It’s hard to stay the course. BUT she knows there’s a greater intention at play.
She knows healing and light are emerging amid the darkness.
I believe we need to call upon spiritual truths when facing life’s challenges. Struggles, challenges, blocks and obstacles are potential resources to wake us up. They cause us to stop, contemplate, and review our path and direction. It’s our job to listen.
What does it take?
It has taken me a few decades to realise how important it is to live my life intentionally and not take the road of ‘shoulding’ all over the place. The only way is to live in the present and connect and reconnect with my Source.
It takes a desire to live your best life, and sometimes that involves working through the messy stuff.
Struggle is an indicator that signals that something is waking up or wanting to be healed.
If this is something you’d like to explore in your life, please respond to this post and let’s set up a time to chat about coaching options.
If you are genuinely suffering from mental health issues, please reach out to get professional support.
If you have labelled yourself as having mental health issues because it’s a trend that has bewitched you, let it go and be honest with yourself. Have the courage to ask yourself, “What do I really want to create in my life?” Then, without delay, begin creating.
Monica O’Brien is a professionally trained and accredited Coach and founder of Creative Edge Coaching www.creativeedgecoaching.com.au. She blogs on issues about creativity and small business development for conscious artists and business entrepreneurs.
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