I’ve been having a hard time articulating this topic but it’s one that keeps coming up for me and how I approach my life, especially my thought patterns (which is important to my mental health). I grew up in a Christian household, attending church most Sundays until I was about 13 years old. I used to pray more consistently, but admittingly now only do so when times are rough.
These days when I find myself at a crossroads I tend to look at it two ways, Jesus/the universe is trying to give me a sign and direct me on a path OR I need to direct myself on this path that is presenting itself. A fun recent example of this is my romantic life (this is literally happening right now). Having dated a few guys I didn’t click with 100% followed by a classic Toronto fuckboy, a part of me is like okay “Jesus/the universe does not want me dating right now. They want me to focus on my book and career.” Sidenote: I am also working part-time right now, which also allows me more time to focus on the book and what I really want in a full-time job. My point here is, I also have the thought “Forget Jesus/the universe I need to grab life by the balls and make this time my bitch!” I need to take responsibility for my own success! I don’t think there is anything wrong with claiming signs from God, don’t get me wrong love the guy, but for me with my depression I cannot be passive in my destiny or day-to-day care. I cannot hand the reigns to someone else.
There are so many things wrong with this thinking for me personally. Not only does it allow me to kind of pass my responsibility to someone/thing else but it also makes me think everything is up to Jesus/the universe which isn’t always a good thing. At certain parts in my life my depression arose from a lack of stability and control (having a stable place to live, stable support from caregivers etc.) but what I realized as an adult is that I have to create this stability for myself, whatever that means, house, home, spiritually etc. I have to take control. And I cannot have that stability and control if I am handing off the keys to a higher being for everything. I need to choose this time for me. I need to make this decision and stick with it. It won’t be the universe who has made my achievements happen. It will be me.
How has religion affected your mental health? Has it been helpful or hurtful at times?