Ever have a pain in your body and you try to figure it out? You move your leg around to figure out the source. You stretch and you research your pain. Later you talk to the doctor, and it gets diagnosed. You are told what to do and what to watch out for. As we get older, there are more prescriptions for self examination. We are to poke and prod ourselves from time to time and make sure we are well. Get the blood pressure checked and other things: daily practices to keep us alive and thriving with our body.
It amazes me how many, myself included, do not do this when it comes to our spiritual and mental health. During these times of COVID, I have seen more and more talk about mental and spiritual health. Lamentations 3:40 tells us, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord” (NIV). I love this! (Lamentations, for the record, can be so deep and inclusive of so many things, I highly recommend the book to study during these odd times in life.)
Ok, back to this self examination of the soul and mind … I have learned over the past two years, through a mental breakdown, that it is very important for self examination and perspective.
Many times we view the world as it revolves around us. Try this exercise. Look forward and turn your body around. You will see how the world revolves around you! In order for us to self examine ourselves, we need to take a moment and move the camera angle outwardly and look at ourselves from an outside view.
This can be done in a couple ways. One is to just sit and pause. Take a moment to write or speak how you are feeling. For instance, at the time of this writing, my morning has not gone as I had hoped. I am having to be very flexible and focused on tasks at hand. My stress is rising. I am going to need some space to breathe later today and get back to a solid state of mind. I can tell you this because I have learned how to self examine.
Taking a pulse of how I am… looking at what makes me stressed or not stressed… how do I release all this? Self awareness is something I am learning more and more. Being vulnerable with others in how I feel and where I am at with life has been crucial in all this.
“Risking vulnerability and love is what takes courage.”
― from The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Cron & Stabile
Author Ian Morgan Cron has really inspired me on this journey. This quote has been a heartbeat for me. I am constantly being vulnerable with those around me so that they too can be loved the way I would want to be loved.
Today I am imploring you to take some time and sit. Sit with yourself and just breathe. Realize you exist and you are alive. God created you so beautifully. Do we not owe it to ourselves to tend to our soul and mind?
I do not have all the space to tell you all the tools and tricks, but try reading Lamentations or The Road Back to You. Of course you can also talk to me too. I am on this journey of self discovery. It has been fascinating to understand how God made me and how he gave me the tools to live an amazing life with HIM!