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"There is something deeply hypocritical about praying for a problem you are unwilling to resolve."

Mental health is at an all-time low as a collective in the world. 

For spiritual people, I have found this to be the most troubling: our spiritual practice/tradition/culture has given us space to bypass mental health needs with spiritual quick fixes (either by praying your problems away or meditating them away). And if we are honest with ourselves, they don't go away no matter how much we pray or meditate about it. 

Then what is it that we really need to do: Face them, of course. 

I tell people this: if you're not willing to resolve the issues or to work through them, don't bother praying about it. And theologist Miroslav Volf said it so well: "There is something deeply hypocritical about praying for a problem you are unwilling to resolve."

Are we lying to ourselves or feeding our illusions when we so easily reach out for our spiritual ammunition to deal with our life's problems?

The irony is we avoid the bad feelings, only to constant feel them in the core of our being. The core feeling fuels our decisions and choices, we want to avoid feeling them or facing them, and we end up also avoiding people that make us feel this way, which includes our family and friends. I have seen and observed so many people using work as an excuse to avoid their family, their spouses and even their children because seeing them brings up feelings they want to avoid. They are triggered constantly. 

The thing about mental health is this: people think the way out of it, is to avoid the bad feelings. How misguided they are. And the misguidance really comes from the quick fix Instagram, and Pinterest posts that give evidence to people that they are on the right track. 

But people never thought that these could be wrong evidence. Just because the majority of the world thinks a certain way, doesn't make it right. 

Mental wellness is much more complex than just avoiding and replacing them with positive or good thoughts. There is such depth to the work, and time and dedication to self are certainly important. One must have the commitment to self to see this through. This means working THROUGH the bad feelings with a professional who can hold space for you.

Friends though well-meaning are not equipped to do this, and you will probably feel gaslighted by them when they are not interested to hear your woes (though it is not their intent to gaslight you in any way). Everyone is coping with their stuff, so they can't possibly help you cope too. And more likely than not, because they can't hold the space and the energy of your stuff, they will spill them. 

So my sincere advice to all of you is this: seek professional help and work through the issues, and the bad feelings/thoughts. Now is not the time to stuff them, bypass them or pretend they don't exist. As a collective, the group think has cracked. And the cracks are becoming deeper and wider, and you, on a personal level need to seek help before you fall through the cracks and find it hard to get back up. 


©2022 Shamala Tan

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Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly levels.

Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.


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