As I see it from my front porch swing- Post 4

I love people and it never ceases to amaze me how much I learn from them! For one thing, it makes me realize how little I really know. I have become acutely aware lately of how much suffering there is, of how big some people’s hearts are, and that there are a lot of creative, inspiring ideas and thoughts swirling around just waiting to burst forth!

God is so magnificent! He designed and created us each so uniquely. But there is a common need in all of us.  Needing Him is the first, but we also need each other. And as life would have it, there are times we run into a wall. We have mountains we think are too big to climb and what happens next - more times than not - is we keep these struggles bottled up inside.

A few days ago, I was talking to a family member about mental health and how so many are suffering. We were talking about how to approach our loved ones and friends about their mental health AND how to open up about our own. We even rehashed my anxieties and panic attacks. Then, without warning, this person told me they had struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide for years. I was stunned. As close as I thought the two of us were, I had no idea. It really shook me to the core. I realized then that this is just another reason of how important it is for each of us to reach out and check in on one another.  We all need to know there is someone we can reach out to and that we are not alone.

I admit I love how I get to participate in some meaningful conversation with the people in my life.  It keeps me on my toes.  It also feeds my curiosity, not to mention that it feeds me emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Being in such conversation — being in community and being in connection with others of all ages — is important to my mental health, my emotional health, and my overall well-being.

In case you did not know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. One in five children and one in five adults suffer from some form of mental illness, and this includes addictions of all kinds. That is why it is so important every day every one of us should do ourselves a favor and check in with our own mental selves and our emotions. Yes, our spirituality, our relationship with God, plays a huge part in keeping us mentally healthy. However, there are times we need professional help, as well.

Doing life together and inviting people into your life not only opens your mind, but it keeps you connected and feeling less alone. Social connection and feeling in community with others are critical to our emotional and mental health.

God created us all uniquely different. We are wondrously made. But He did not create us or expect us to do this thing called life alone. He promised to never leave us or forsake us. However, He wants us to be in community with each other, as well. So, reach out. Expand your horizons and enjoy the people God places in your path. You will be blessed…and so will they!  And don’t forget… #checkin