Once we have made the decision to improve ourselves and our lives, changes must be made within ourselves and our lives to accomplish this goal. One of the issues that I have identified with the black community is that we do not take the time to educate ourselves about how the world works. We know that there are obstacles that stand in our way because of issues beyond our Circle of Influences (reference to Steven R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People), however, we should never let obstacles or fears stand in our way of pursuing the lives we want for ourselves. The universal law affects us all. Instead of holding on to the victim mentality, it is necessary for us to change our mindsets and focus on what we want rather than on the things we do not want. After all, focusing on the things that we do not want is a sure way of getting those very things because we get what we focus on.
“And the Lord came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.”
1 Samuel 3: 10 KJV
When I was a child, God was this person that everyone around me prayed to. As most Christian children are told, we should pray to God but never quite knowing why or who this person was. I had my first personal encounter with God when I was 19 years old. I remember having dreams of a voice calling to me; the voice was always quiet but somehow powerful enough to take up the space all around me. It happened a few times enough that I was nervous and shared with my mom. That first exposure to God was the first of many personal interactions with God. But like many people who hears God’s voice for the first time, I felt that I was not ready because of all the things in my past that I was sure to be punished for. I tried to stay put but I must admit that I got scared. And when things started falling apart in my life, well the newest member in my life who was supposed to be powerful was most definitely to blame for it.
Mental health and spirituality are factors that affect our daily lives. Our community has longed viewed spirituality and a relationship to God as the sole answer for dealing with difficult times. However, I am a firm believer that faith without works is dead. Mental health and spirituality share a close relationship. Hence, the push in recent years to include spirituality in therapy. Clinicians are ethically bound to address cultural concerns that affect clients. Spirituality does not relate to religion – which is institution based – but focuses on the broader understanding that humans are spiritual beings and possess a soul that is connected to the larger universe.
“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
I Corinthians 12:7 KJV
As I have been fasting, God has been focusing me on learning about the gifts that He has given to me. He has tasked me with being accountable to Him about how I steward my gifts. Honestly, prior to starting my spiritual journey, I had never thought of what God wanted me to do. I developed a love of therapy at a young age and decided that I would become a therapist. Throughout the last few weeks, I have been praying about goals that I have set for myself and focusing on the steps to achieve the goals.
This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise.”
Isaiah 43:21 KJV
I was reading a devotional (I forget which day it was) and after reading it, I just felt amazed. Sometimes, we are so busy with our lives and distractions, we just forget that God really is good all the time. The service that I went to this past Sunday also reinforced those thoughts that I had. We get bogged down with complaining about everything that we never take the chance to just relish all the small and daily miracles that God gives. It rained for two days this weekend and I’m sure everyone, including me, was complaining, and saying…enough of the rain. Then, I was watching the weather and the meteorologists was reporting how much we needed the rain.