I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration lately, and about faith. As we recognize World Mental Health Day here at Psych Central, I’m aware that conditions for those of us who struggle with emotional challenges vary widely around the globe. Right here in Canada, it’s the luck of the draw whether or not you’ll find a practitioner who is qualified to treat you, let alone to diagnose.
While appropriate treatment and services to support those of us who are struggling with mental health issues may or may not be available, there is one thing all of us share, no matter where we live: sources for faith and inspiration.
Feeding your spirit: part of the multi-modal treatment
In ADHD treatment, a number of approaches are used for the most effective results. In addressing any mental health issue, one component that’s rarely discussed is the soul. How do we feed our soul, our spirit, the source of our strength while we struggle with our mental health issues? What keeps us strong? Surely it is not bread alone (and many have precious little of that, let alone access to specialized mental health care.)
What we do have, is the ability to draw strength from something outside ourselves.
Whether it’s a God or a Grandpa; a Muse or a Mantra, we all need to draw from a source outside ourselves…
Sometimes what makes or breaks us is having just one person who believes in us, or having one person or power to believe in. Whether it’s a God or a Grandpa; a Muse or a Mantra, we all need to draw from a source outside ourselves sometimes to fill the void within. Or, more accurately, to tap into a like source within us; to activate the divine spark in our own lives.
Many sources of inspiration
I’ve been blessed with innumerable sources of inspiration and motivation. I get inspired from the sound of the wind as it blows through the dry fall leaves on the tallest branches. I can restore my hope and faith by a long, lonely walk on a stony shoreline; sometimes it’s a prayer in a church; sometimes it’s a talk with a friend who cares and understands. I’m inspired by Deities and faiths from around the world; by wisdom and philosophies that strike just the right chord at just the right time.
Great personages from contemporary and historical times have faced and overcome adversities much greater than anything I’ve ever faced, or am likely to face, and they have triumphed. When I’m despairing or heartbroken; when I want to give up or give in, I need only remember the Suffragettes, like Nellie McClung, who fought for the legal personhood of Canadian women and thus the right to vote; Rosa Parks and others who fought for racial equality; Terry Fox, who attempted to run across Canada raising money for cancer research after his leg had been amputated as a result of bone cancer; and so many other exceptional humans who tapped into a wellspring of human resiliency. These individuals are reminders that we, too, can tap into – if not our own, then another’s – strength. If we look for them, we can find countless examples for inspiration to give us the courage and determination to forge ahead.
Where do you get yours?
Whether, like me, you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD late in life, after a lifetime of disappointments, struggles, and frustration, or you battle depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, PTSD, or any other mental or emotional health challenge each and every day – at times, most of us feel exhausted from the sheer mental energy it takes just to get through the day.
At those times, remember where you get your strength. Ask yourself:
Who inspires me?
To whom do I pray?
Who believes in me, even when I don’t?
What symbol personifies the values, strengths and qualities I want to call into my life?
Where can I go to draw from the well of hope, faith, and courage?
We’re here for you
You are never alone. There is church, synagogue, the mosque, the forest, the ocean, the mountains, the great blue sky and the many, many friends here at Psych Central.
We are walking this earth, at this time, together. That’s pretty special. WE ARE NOT ALONE!
Over the next two weeks, I’m going to share a few personal sources of inspiration from my life, in the hopes that you’ll think about your own. Let’s drink deeply together from the waters of inspiration, from the belief in something larger than ourselves, from the knowledge that we are part of a great and beautiful planet and we do matter – just as we are.