Spirituality and Mental Illness
I have begun a new FaceBook group just for the discussion of this very topic. Go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/711963932514226/ and become a member of this group if you would like to actively participate in a discussion around the many aspects of this conversation. This is a private and closed group. Welcome!
We tend to look at people who have experienced trauma as somehow damaged. We hear therapists or psychologists insist that the trauma of childhood sexual abuse "never leaves" those who have been abused. We look at PTSD as a fate worse than death; and, indeed, it can be deadly in the most literal sense. But people who have faced great trauma are not damaged; and, they are not doomed to live perpetually in "hell" until they are released from this plane. No indeed, they are, more than likely our greatest teachers when it comes to learning to be both human and transcendent simultaneously. They have entered the depths of another's depravity toward them; and, instinctively know the gift of love and compassion toward each other. Many, though not all, have been given the opportunity to share their great knowledge with those who would wish to show them compassion. Their receiving of the gift of our compassion leads us to depths of Spirit of which we never imagined. This is the wonder of it all. Nevertheless, there are still many who wander deep in their own world of trauma and we not only fail them; we fail ourselves when we miss, either deliberately or inadvertently, to reach out and both give and receive.
It takes great courage for those of us with profound mental illness to tell our stories. Judgment and stigma run run rampant and "coming out" to those who may never understand can be difficult and, sometimes painful. However, I believe that the greatest act of healing that I can give to others is to live my truth, tell my story, and do the work for which Spirit has chosen me to be a pathway.