6/8/2018: I am updating this post to add some words after the saddening high profile suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. May they rest in So Much Love and Peace.
Below are the powerful, honest, and incredibly healing words from my favorite poet, Andrea Gibson, shared from their Instagram post today, on the subject of mental health and wanting a world where we don’t feel shame in sharing our struggles:
Stay here with me, Precious Life.
You are So Needed.
You are So Loved.
You are So Cherished.
You are the Ultimate Gift.
To all the people who’ve told me to keep quiet about my mental health challenges—I say to you—I will not keep quiet. Life is too Precious to hide or to feel Unnecessary shame.
The World is crying out for Love, and Connection through the honest sharing of our challenges, traumas, and inner struggles.
We need to offer our compassion, support, acknowledgment, and hold safe, nurturing spaces to release and heal.
And again, here is my Mental Health Transparency:
I have been coping with symptoms of social anxiety and agoraphobia since 2008, just after graduating from high school. I am empathic, and highly sensitive to the energy moving through me and around me. I feel things deeply. I have happy days and sad days. I honor those energetic, emotional fluctuations of being a human on this planet.
It is okay to not feel okay. And it’s okay to talk about not feeling okay.
We need mental health transparency.
We need to share, and listen to each others’ stories. We need to connect and support each other. We need to collectively heal, learn from one another, and understand we’re not the only ones going through challenges and times of darkness.
I will continue to shine my Light out of Love for others. I will continue to speak truthfully and authentically from my Self. And I will continue to hold healing space on this blog for my Self, and all of you Beautiful Souls.
You are a Precious Life. You are So Loved, Cherished, and Valued.
If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts and feeling helpless, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, below:
NSPL Phone: 1-800-273-8255
NSPL Online Chat: http://chat.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/LifelineChat.aspx
Below is Jessie J’s music video for “Who You Are.” I remember watching the video for the first time and was so moved, especially when she sings:
It’s okay not to be okay
Sometimes it’s hard
to follow your heart
tears don’t mean your losing
just be true to who you are
– Jessie J, Who You Are
You can watch Jessie J sing “Who You Are” while on a subway platform, and watch the touching reactions of passerbys, here (warning: healthy tears may flow):
Sending So Much Love and Blessings to You.
I often wonder why there seems to be a taboo on speaking openly and honestly about mental health. Is it because others do not want to appear “weak” or “less than”? Has society taught us to suppress core parts of ourselves that are anything other than what it deems “normal” to function in a fast-paced, corporate, commercialist culture? Is it healthy to give up parts of ourselves so others can feel more comfortable? Do we deny others the chance to get to know all sides of ourselves because we are afraid of what they might think, say, or do? Is this all based on an illusion that we are all distantly separate from one another in this life?
To me, this taboo on speaking genuinely about our mental health journeys denies the true magnificence of humanity.
Each of us holds a palette of beautiful, unique colors that make up our mind, body, and soul painting. Our unique canvas brings an abundance of positive qualities to our environments—new perspectives, observations, ideas, and changes.
If we deny or hide parts of ourselves, we may also inhibit our growth potential. Years later, our shadow-selves may eventually come up, no longer hiding in the light of the moon. This integration process, if allowed, helps us become more whole, happy, and healthy human beings.
Sometimes though, it can feel lonely if we are around others who are not very like-minded or supportive of our mental health and healing journey. When you connect with people who are of like-mind, it can feel safer and more comfortable to authentically express our core being and can make all the difference in remembering we are all connected, in one way or another.
These are the simple secrets to true, authentic living:
- Know Thyself
- Love Thyself
- Express Thyself
When we know ourselves deeply, and express ourselves outwardly, we lovingly create our splendid reality! (Did that all surprisingly rhyme?)
The truth is, life is too short and spectacular to hide in the corner. It is too temporary and special for us to be concerned over what other people could be thinking about us. We are only responsible to ourselves—our mind, body, and spirit—to reflect our Inner Painting outward, and share collectively in the glory of an honest and full life, together.
And this year, I promise to do my part and not hide any part of my Self in the corner or be overly concerned with others’ assumed judgments at the expense of expressing my true being-ness.
I will think, speak, and act with Integrity to my Self.
The world needs our integrity more than ever now. It is time to show up for ourselves and shine our unique, honest, and brilliant lights outward. By doing so, we simply inspire others to do the same.
And here’s my transparency: I have been coping with symptoms of social anxiety and agoraphobia since 2008, just after graduating from high school. And I accept and love all parts of myself, including the challenges which help me to appreciate life even more.
Have a Soul-Full day,