As I awoke, the sound of the falling rain outside calmed my inner most self. I quickly looked at my alarm clock to see it was only 6:45 am on a Saturday. “Oh, this is definitely sleep in weather”, I thought to myself.
With the fresh coolness air of the Pocono mountains flowing in through my bedroom window, I quickly fell back asleep. But it wasn’t long until the racing within my mind… within my soul… took off like a Nascar race - Loud… Noisy… Sporadic… With a side of emotional angst… This wasn’t all too uncommon, so I eventuallllyyyyyyyyy decided to start my day.
And when I say start my day on a good old Saturday morning in an empty house, that means heading over to the new deli I just discovered that is only three minutes from my house. They have a sandwich there called Staten Island. And let me tell you something, this deli is a taste of home in Staten Island, NY. I get too much joy from food… but that is a whole other story…
I ordered the “Lumberjack” – a passionate breakfast sandwich with two eggs, cheese, bacon AND sausage! A good ole Madoneeeeee erupted from the depths of my soul. But I digress… This post is about so much more than a breakfast sandwich.
As I was waiting for my sandwich, a song came on over the deli’s speakers that immediately captured my attention. Through the distracting noisiness of the TV, I listened closely.
“Help me…” “Crawling in my skin…” “Sometimes I feel like giving up…”
Those are some pretty deep lyrics to be heard from a song on the radio and quite atypical to hear too. I immediately google searched the lyrics like I typically do when I find an interesting song I never heard of.
What I found was Shawn Mendes’ song “In My Blood.” I listened to the entire song when I got home and an immediate stirring fire took off within me.
If you have not heard this song yet, check out the music video or at least check out the lyrics before reading more!
“Help me, it's like the walls are caving in
Sometimes I feel like giving up
But I just can't
It isn't in my blood
Laying on the bathroom floor, feeling nothing
I'm overwhelmed and insecure, give me something
I could take to ease my mind slowly
Just have a drink and you'll feel better
Just take her home and you'll feel better
Keep telling me that it gets better
Does it ever?”
I wasn’t aware of Shawn Mendes’ bouts with Mental Health. And I am so happy to see a song like this glare across mainstream media because mental health is affecting the world at an alarming rate.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that nearly one in five Americans over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety disorders and only 36.9% of those suffering seek help. That is 63.1% of sufferers not getting any help or relief from their struggles . Now some of these individuals may be unaware, for sometimes our mind can be blinded to the struggles of the pain within, but those dearest to us may see and experience the effects of anxiety on one’s soul. Still some are most clearly aware of their struggles but many reasons persist for an individual to not seek help.
In recent years, there has been an incredible effort to stop the stigma on Mental Health, and it has proved to be successful, especially across college campuses. Unfortunately, the war on Mental Health rages on.
You see, the war on Mental Health goes so much deeper. In a war the enemy comes in all shapes and sizes. There are different battalions. Different units. Different branches of the enemy’s military itself! We must understand that chemical imbalances are not the only culprit in the War on Mental Health. It is perhaps one “branch” of the enemy we are battling. In other words, pursuing a solution for mental health solely through science is not enough to win this war.
Mental Health is not simply a battle within one’s mind. But it is a battle with one’s mind, emotion, and will. Mental Health is a war on the human soul. It is The War on Passion.
My personal battle with Mental Health started when I was 13. Still more than 10 years in, the battle rages on. And it pains me deeply to see so many around me in this world fighting their battles too in the War on Mental Health.
There has been so much God has revealed to me over the past two years. These revelations have not only given me hope but they have led me on a journey of Restoring Passion. If I had to culminate all of my findings into one point, it would be that there is a strong correlation between human passion and mental health.
Passion is not a hobby. It is not something to be found. It is the depths of the human soul - the human mind, the human emotion, the human will…. Passion is the engagement and activity of connection with God, oneself, and the world & others around us.
Passion is that deep fire within us, lighting our way in this world to touch the lives of others. It is the health of this passion that determines the light of our life and the impact it will have on others around us. A bright passion = a vibrant health of the mind, emotion, and will. A passion burnt out = brokenness within one’s mind, emotion, and will - a loss of ability to connect with those and the things we cherish most.
Through the raging seas of the war on mental health, it is hope that gives us the strength to hold fast and push through. It is to no surprise that the Bible says hope is the anchor to our soul (Hebrews 6:19). There are some serious struggles out there in this world. And there are many things or people we can put our hope in to anchor our souls… But what we put our hope in is perhaps the most important action we take in the War on Passion.
Shawn Mendes ends his song with a plea to need somebody…
“I need somebody now
I need somebody now
Someone to help me out
I need somebody now”
Who is this somebody? Who is it for him? I ask you who it is for you?
When we are fighting our battles within, especially the most trying ones, we tend to be all alone – leading to the complete opposite of hope - despair.
**Now the following is for any of those battling right this second.**
There is a “somebody” out there, even when you are all alone and all seems lost. The battle that you are fighting right now within you….. That has robbed so much joy and time from your life…. This battle that tears at your soul minute by minute… day by day… This battle… Your battle…. It is part of a war that was already won by this “somebody”.
His name is Jesus Christ. And His blood that was shed on the cross some 2000 years ago now covers you with grace. You do not need to struggle anymore. You do not need to fight anymore. I urge you to surrender your battle. And let the grace of His mighty and Holy name reign over your life as the demons within you finally flee – experiencing a victorious life where you are changing the world doing the things you love.
Let the Spirit of God renew your inner most self. And let the Spirit of God fuel the flames of your passion. Let go and let God show you what He can do within you and through you.!
Your fight in the War on Mental Health is over… Not because you lost… But because Jesus Christ won it already.
May God bless you and may He restoreth your soul anew (Psalm 23:3) so that His destiny for your life may be revealed to you.
With Love and Grace,
Child of God & Passioneer