Friday, January 11, 2013

Mental Illness

Along with the obesity epidemic in America, I think there’s a mental illness epidemic.

As I continue on my own spiritual journey and draw closer to God, he has opened my eyes to how seriously messed up many of us really are. And how blessed I am to be as sane and stable as I am. Relatively speaking, of course. I have plenty of my own issues and struggles.

So in trying to assist others now that I have secured my own oxygen mask …

I find a lot of people living in fear. They freely admit they don’t like the status quo, but they are so afraid of change or failure, or both … they change nothing. They stay stuck in the status quo. Honestly I don’t understand.

And it makes me sad.

What I do for a living now that I’ve escaped Corporate America is help people get healthy with better nutrition. An unexpected side effect of better nutrition for me has been better mental health. I think more clearly. I’m optimistic. I’m more alert. I’m happy. I just feel better. Calmer. More at peace.

And I have example after example after example of others who have had the same experience.

I see people in their chicken nugget and Diet Coke fog, and I think, “I can help you feel better!” But the message, no matter how it’s delivered, doesn’t always get through. And wanting change isn’t enough if action doesn’t come with it.

And don’t even get me started on obesity, regular consumption of certain unhealthy foods, and a sedentary lifestyle all being risk factors for depression. They are! Look around you! Maybe even look in the mirror. I have been there.

Maybe God has sent you a helicopter and a rowboat … while you’re sitting on the roof of your house surrounded by flood waters … and you’re refusing to get in because you’re paralyzed by fear, or you imagined your rescue looking differently, or I don’t know, someone enlighten me please.

God could, if he wanted, change your life completely. He could make you the picture of fantastic mental and physical health. But there’s that free will thing and his grand master plan thing at play. He has things for us to do, things for us to learn.

God is the ultimate coach, and when I remember to acknowledge that and act accordingly … peace, love, joy, and happiness dominate my life. When stress and angst start to enter in, I’ve got something out of whack and/or maybe he’s nudging me in a different direction.

When I’m serving as someone’s coach in my own little nook of the universe … and they ask for my help, but then they ignore my advice … at some point (after moving through compassionate, caring, understanding, encouraging, motivational … and eventually to tough love) … I have to throw up my hands and say oh well, I tried. I imagine God does much the same with me at times.

I’ll save the ones I can. J

Unlike the ultimate coach, I don’t get to know ahead of time which are which. It’s a surprise.

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