I decided a while ago to look at age as levels instead of years. It makes it more fun, doesn't it? Instead of being 46, I've now reached level 46. If I were to live to 100, it's a respectable level to get to, but not so much so that there isn't more to learn or to grow from. So as you can imagine, my lovelies, at this level I've got some interesting life travel observations to impart. And I call them "observations" because I am bearing witness to life, I am not deciding for others what wisdom is, or impeding life's flow, nor am I telling others how to live. I believe that each of us has to walk our own path and find what brings us peace and wholeness. And so, I will only share my own experience, in this moment in time, at level 46, with the deep knowing that my human mind may limit my ability to fully express the intangible knowledge within my soul. That got deep, quickly, eh? Ok, shaking that off, now :)
More than our minds
We live in a world that values science, logic, reason and the individual. At level 20, I too found comfort in these things. Knee-deep in my first major depression, I turned to psychology for help. I had no idea at that time that I was suffering through a flashback from early childhood trauma and that this is what had landed me in that dark place. I didn't know that depression was part of my spiritual journey to developing compassion, reclaiming my power or to becoming whole. I just knew I wanted (no needed) the pain to stop.So I went on the medication, did the counseling and found my way out of the darkness temporarily. And I continued to see psychology as the panacea for the inevitable brokenness I must contain. I mean, we're all broken according to psychology, right? We all have some sort of damage. Common, everyday conversations amongst friends, family and on social media have us diagnosing one another. We have attachment disorders, we're projecting, we're emotionally stunted, we're self-sabotaging, we have imposter syndrome, we have abandonment issues. And the common thread that ties us to one another within this system is that we need help indefinitely. There is no end in sight because we're works in progress and we'll never be completely whole.
And I want to tell you something, this is a lie. The human mind is not stronger than the human spirit, both of which (by the way) are extremely resilient. We were made for adversity. Take that in for a moment. We are designed to heal. It is in our cells. What we aren't made for is swimming in this narrative of brokenness or this endless shame cycle of being "bad" because we've landed in a space inside of ourselves that needs love, compassion and healing. Our fuel is hope and knowing that the ones before us have walked and then run through difficult times. Not only can we bounce back from adversity, but we can thrive.
I know why the caged bird sings
It's interesting, because when I was going through that dark night of the soul the medications and counseling weren't doing what they had promised--a complete return to normalcy. I wasn't crying as much, sure. But, the light inside of me was dim. And guess what changed that? If you guessed a gospel choir, you've either heard this story before or you're psychic. Either way we need to have a chat soon. For the record, I wasn't raised Christian, I was raised Jewish. In that faith, we aren't allowed to even step foot in a church. But for whatever reason, my mother decided to use unorthodox methods to help me get better. I didn't even care at that point. I was willing to try anything. I sat down in the pew with everyone else and half-listened to the sermon. Blah, blah, turn to page one. Blah, blah, do unto others. And then the choir started singing and something inside of me soared. My light started shining again. It felt like magic. Somehow, being connected to that joy and faith removed my self-hatred, shame and fear. Being in the presence of such love is what my soul needed to remember where I came from. Is it logical? No. Does it follow the psychology narrative? No. One song lifted me up in a way that nothing else could because psychology isn't the whole answer to what ails us as souls having a human experience. And don't get me started on how many in the psychological field view spiritual beliefs as "simple errors in reasoning". I just can't today.
What I can do is tell you that wholeness is absolutely possible. Psychology doesn't have a fraction of the answers. And ultimately we are made for this human experience. So, if you or someone you know is struggling tell them this: You are not broken.You can and will heal. Tell them there's a woman named Jenna who's walked those same hallowed halls and now sings at random times with a fervent passion she never knew possible.
Have a beautiful day everyone!Sending so much love to you!