It’s hard continuing this project without painting the entire picture of my healing journey.
I began seeing improvements in my mood after making the decision to create a wholesome and holistic healthcare plan. Therapy alone wasn’t so effective. Medication suppressed my emotions and had me seeing the world in grey. The emptiness in my heart was still ever so present. You know that painful hole we often feel in our heart? Or that cup we either fill up or empty out? Well, that’s the immaterial aspect of our existence and it is hurting. I wanted to tend to this wound. So, I chose to add spirituality to my plan. My counselor at the time was already encouraging me to take daily walks and get back to my yoga practice in order to incorporate exercise into the plan. Getting back into yoga was very hard and I was unsuccessful with that, but I managed to take daily walks. I have a close connection to the Divine– I’m going to use this term, along with Source, to refer to God– but back then, the relationship was dwindling because, for the past couple of years, my life seemed to constantly be falling apart. I was always depressed, closed-off, and lost. But because I had gone through surprising spiritual experiences in the past, I felt that the Divine was real and that without tending to my soul’s growth and its re-connection to Source, I’d continue feeling unfulfilled. Some may dismiss the existence of spirit because what we don’t see with the physical eye is hard to prove. I’m not trying to convince anyone, I’m only sharing my reality.
Soul’s Gotta Eat
The saying, “you can’t pour out of an empty cup” is a metaphor for one’s life-force, or soul. Giving time and energy to jobs, things we may not care for, worries, and people, drains our life force. If it doesn’t get replenished, one feels a sense of lack. It feels like a hole in the chest which we then try to desperately fill with material things and self-harming habits– even less obvious things sometimes. As you know, it doesn’t work long-term. Sometimes, it doesn’t work at all. For me, filling my cup looked like getting back into meditation, which I used to do on a daily basis as a teen. While meditation is now a trend sold as a tool to unwind, its real purpose is to meet the self and develop it. If a meditation practice is done on a regular basis despite one’s goal, spiritual self-development is the inevitable outcome.
As a teen, I had developed an energy healing meditation practice out of curiosity. It was fun, soothing, and it made me happy. I returned to it with stronger intentions this time. My intentions were set on overcoming specific problems within myself and healing from past hurt. I’d ask a question and wait for an answer. The scenario would replay, I’d react (usually tears), then the answer would come. Sometimes, it took a few sessions to heal one issue.
I also prayed. I wrote in a journal I called my prayer book and spoke to Source before going to sleep.
I asked for my depression and anxiety to lift, to find answers to
why this was happening, and I asked for solutions. I also wrote how I felt about the extra 30+ pounds on my body, shame, feeling like a loser, and reaching milestones later than others. I prayed for all those things to go away. Some of it was superficial, sure, but no matter. No one was going to judge me in the privacy of my pages.
When talk therapy began feeling like U-turns from my counselor’s hope-filled sessions back to depression, I switched to spiritual psychotherapy. Spiritual psychotherapy is still given by a licensed mental health professional, and they can combine traditional methods, like CBT. Toronto Psychotherapy Group states that spiritual psychotherapy:
“… incorporates a psychospiritual dimension also emphasizes the journey of the soul, or spirit – which may include the wish to strengthen a connection with a higher power… For some, the focus is not on a higher power or deity, but rather on accessing the wisdom of a higher self, the gifts of transpersonal awareness, or the power of intuition. Others seek to learn more about something that is currently sensed or felt but is as yet unworded or undefined. ”Toronto Psychotherapy Group
We still talked, the new therapist and I, but we also did other things to connect to the Divine. If therapy isn’t affordable, there’s a plethora of self-help material online and in books!
Traditional therapies and medication aren’t the only ways to get better. If you find they aren’t giving you what you need, I suggest creating a plan that incorporates a mind-body-soul connection. It probably shouldn’t involve everything that I’ve done in my own plan. The plan should cater to your own soul’s needs. It can include exploration of new modalities, an open mind, and something you already love doing.