Today's post is a wrap up in my series on getting fit mentally. I began the series with the intent of sharing the main elements, or pieces if you will, that have been fitted together to give me lasting wholeness and peace. The first in the Series, The Pieces of the Puzzle, was about my relationship with God and how that really was the frame that was assembled early on. The second entry, The Pieces Part II, addressed the role medication played in my mental health stability. The Pieces Part III, was last week's entry on how counseling and therapy have played a role in my recovery. Today's entry is exploring the role that a new tool, called Tapping Meditations, has played in the complete picture of finding mental health stability and wholeness.
As explained in last week's post, the most recent therapist I've visited with was the person who introduced me to this tool. She led me to an app, The Tapping Solution, which utilizes this technique. During our second session together, we went through one of the meditations - a meditation on anxiety since that was what I was struggling with at the time. What I appreciated most when we began the meditation was that the opening few minutes allowed me to acknowledge the anxiety I was feeling and to rate how anxious I was feeling on a scale of one to ten. There was no judgement in it. I didn't feel like I had to control the anxiety, it was simply a chance to explore the idea of why I was so anxious.
See, part of the power of the anxiety for me, was the fact that I was constantly condemning myself for always feeling so anxious. After all, as a good Christian girl, I had been taught early on to cast all my anxiety onto God. To feel anxious was, in my mind almost a betrayal of the faith I claimed to have. But in the introduction to this meditation, I experienced a sense of freedom in acknowledging that I couldn't control the anxiety. While I won't go into all the components of the meditation, I will share that the simple process for me was very powerful and effective. I also won't go into the specifics of tapping and the philosophy behind it. I simply want to put it out there in the hopes that it might be a tool that would be helpful for you.
Thankfully, I didn't have to subscribe to The Tapping Solution as a few of the free ones offered were particularly helpful. The one I want to focus on the most was a meditation called, You Are Enough. It is a meditation that I have come back to time and time again over the last several weeks. It has truly been that powerful for me. Again, at the onset of the meditation, there is a scale in which you rate yourself as feeling that you are not enough. Typically I have been rating myself in the 5's or 6's. The first time I did it, I'm pretty sure I rated myself at a 7 or 8.
Here's the deal with coming to grips with the understanding that I am enough. (No one in my life ever told me that. In general, I don't think we encourage one another to see ourselves as being enough. We only acknowledge one another's successes and triumphs. We don't affirm the person we are in this moment of time.) I grew up in a household where I was told I should be ashamed of myself every time I made a mistake.
Mistakes were something to be avoided at all costs. There was no learning from them, there was only the condemnation of knowing you were a bad person if you made one. I carried that baggage around with me for all of my life, because I internalized this belief that if I performed in any way that was subpar or substandard, I was simply a bad person.
When I discovered this tapping meditation, You Are Enough, it was like a lightbulb went off in my brain. I am enough, not because I'm perfect, or get it right in every moment, or always have the right answer, but simply by being who I am in this moment. For those of you who are struggling to see how a Christian can call themselves enough, let me put it this way. In the past, I thought because I was a poor, miserable sinner I constantly had to keep myself in this place of self-loathing. Lately, as I've reflected about the heart of God and why he sent Jesus, I've questioned, does he truly want me in this unhealthy state of constantly comparing myself to others and constantly feeling like I'm missing the mark? Does that sound like freedom to you? If Christ came to set us free, it seems to me He would want us to run in that freedom - to be unshackled from sin and fear and shame.
So there you have it, the pieces of the puzzle, my mental health puzzle. Faith, medication, counseling, and tapping meditations. To be sure, there are other pieces that have played a role in my finding a more healthy way forward, but these are the big ones to be sure. Here's my takeaway for you. As stated last week, if you find yourself living a half-life because you're not in a good place mentally, I encourage you to try one or more of these pieces to get yourself to a better place. It is worth the effort it takes to get there. As I stated in my first post in this series, my hope and prayer is that you won't let stubbornness and willfulness stop you from living the life you were always meant to live. 'Til next time.