Repression leads to depression

Jeremiah 17:9. . .”The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But God searches the heart and examines the mind and gets to the heart of the human, the root of things, and treats them as they really are and not as they pretend to be.” (Message Bible)

The Apostle Paul said he became all things to all people so that he may win a few. I learn more about my faith by relating to non-believers and seeing what it is about my faith that they are really rejecting. The biggest thing that comes to mind is they see Christians as repressing their desires in an attempt to live for God. I learned in 12-Step groups that repressed desires are the leading cause of mental health issues. This could explain the Religious Trauma Syndrome that many people suffer from when they leave the Church.

Repressing our desires is not the freedom that God calls us to in Christ. While our desires are natural, they are not always Godly. When we turn from our own path and seek out the path of righteousness that God laid out for us, He begins to show us a new path to take; aka being born again, or a fresh start in life.

We don’t have to struggle with our desires. Maybe they are something good that God wants us to have. We should go after these as long as the Spirit doesn’t convict us and we put God first. Every desire is basically good at its starting point because it serves a basic need that we have. Our relationship with God meets every need that we have at its core.

We don’t struggle with or repress our desires. We simply rise above them and become fully human and live the life that God calls us to live. This is what Jesus meant when He said our faith is the victory that overcomes the world.

All things bi-something in the 21st century?

In the last few years, I have grown weary of hearing the word bipolar. For a rare condition it seems as if over half of the mentally ill people in the United States have this label. Then I started to realize maybe all of human nature is bipolar; what with the ups and downs of life.

The word bisexual is another word that I hear a lot of. The magazine Psychology Today even had an article that read something like 80% of humans are bisexual, with very few of us going entirely one way or the other. I would venture to say that since this pisses people off hearing it, there must be some truth to it.

The great Philosopher, Kurt Cobain, once had a song back in the 90’s where he said “What else can I say, everyone is gay.”

Next up we have bi-vocational. As a writer, I realize very few writers can support themselves off of their writing alone. Most are either educators or businessmen. Most people in general have two or more jobs. This includes some people who make six figures a year. The latter may have one full-time job, one side business and be partner in one or more businesses which generate passive income in addition to the other two.

When I think about that last sentence, I almost get tired just thinking about all of those hours.

So we have bipolar, bisexual, and bi-vocational. What’s next? Bifocals?

Confusion makes the world go round

In the beginning God made them, um, not really sure what they are now.”- Paraphrased Politically Correct Bible

The Bible says God isn’t the author of confusion. But no one really knows what they are doing and we are constantly running around, acting confused but trying to hide it, and telling people how smart we are. If you have to tell people how smart you are, then you aren’t. It’s kind of like a true prophet will never call himself a prophet.

I once saw a trans person running back and forth at a fast food place. The shift manager told him/her to choose one I think he was talking about the restrooms.

Facebook has an option for custom under the gender section of your profile. Maybe if I customize myself, I can start dating myself. I may find out that I am the person I have been waiting for all these years.

Where have I been all my life?

Gender: 1) Male 2) Female 3) It’s the 21st century, we have more options than this!

Last count we were up to 75 genders now. How’s that for evolution? You can study this in college. Along with the science of Batman. Anything to get people to enroll.

The nature of chemical dependency

Chemical dependency goes a lot deeper than just drugs and alcohol. Although if you have a drinking or drug problem you’re guaranteed a free place to stay while you work the program. There are other forms of chemical dependency other than drugs and alcohol; Just not as many damaging effects.

Caffeine is the most widely abused drug in the world. The best part of waking up? I always thought it was interesting that any chemical dependency group I visited always had a big ass coffee pot in the center of the room.

Do you ever really overcome an addiction? It seems when we stop using one drug of choice we merely replace it with something else. For example we become addicted to work, religious activities or even the groups themselves.

Relationships can be an addiction as well. Codependency is when we become too dependent on people to fill some void in our lives.

Pharmaceutical drugs are also a chemical dependency. This is why I never liked taking psychiatric medication. It takes months before it really works. It is almost like they are designed that way so people become dependent on them.

In closing I once heard a pastor say there are no addictions. Addictions are merely strongholds. My dad quit smoking after 35 years when he found out he had spots on his lungs. He even said if you really want to quit then all you need to do is just make the decision to.

Since we tend to replace one addiction with another, maybe the healthiest addiction is life’s most important relationship. Everything addiction outside of that is merely just a form of idolatry.

But then again what do I know? I am not a licensed addictions counselor anyway.


Emotional intelligence and the spiritual life

As I reflect on how I lost my ambition over the last ten years, I can’t help but wonder if is a sign of spiritual growth or mental illness.

It has been a whole decade since I made the decision to abandon all conventional medicine. I replaced it with a wellness kick. For a while my wife was into it as well. It was the closest we had been in a short five year relationship.

You might ask if I consulted my doctor before I made that decision. I consulted the Great Physician. I was seeing a Christian counselor. It took me awhile to find him.

If you knew how the healthcare system worked, you would understand what led to my decision. Doctors will never condone a mentally ill person weaning off their medication due to the safety risk and possible loss of license.

Also once you are diagnosed with a mental illness, you may likely never be diagnosed with any physical illness. Any symptoms could easily be attributed to being depressed or manic.

I pretty much lost most of the friends I had then. We pretty much became unequally yoked since they still believed in modern medicine. I just read a verse in one of the books of Chronicles about how King Asa died because he trusted in physicians rather than seeking God for healing.

To sum up the healing process, I learned to value myself more for one thing. I also practiced meditation and staying present. This isn’t a new age term of you are meditating on the things of God in the Bible.

Over time I became more aware of my emotions. I confess I do still have minor episodes. Maybe they are right in mental illness being a lifelong condition.

However through mindfulness meditation I am able to ride out the episodes within a very short period of time. I just have to avoid people so they won’t freak out and contact the authorities.

The fruit of the spirit is self control. In addition to managing the symptoms of mental illness I became more resilient to the pressures of life. This may make me look poor on paper, but it is called discovering one’s true wealth within.

Some scientists have proved the body can heal itself. These scientists can’t figure out why we even have to die in the first place.

Modern medicine was designed to treat symptoms. Most illnesses are rooted in stress, anxiety, and other emotional problems. Many of these underlying issues may never be treated in a profit based system.

The good news is they don’t have to be treated by the system. True freedom is found in a personal and intimate relationship with the Divine. Even Jesus asked the man at the well if he wanted to be healed.