Doctor, Doctor, give me the news.
Welcome to sick season. Flu, strep, bronchitis, allergies, they’re all here! There’s 2 ways we could get sick: #1 We’re doing something wrong, like eating the wrong foods, not exercising, running into inanimate objects (shout out to my sister), etc. or #2 We’re being affected by that things we might not be able to control, like germs being passed to us, allergies irritating our sinuses, wonderful genetics given to us by our lovely parents, etc. Either way, we see the symptoms, and if we don’t already know a remedy, we consult a doctor. The doctor tells us not just what’s going wrong but WHY it’s going wrong. The doctor specializes in healing the hurts of life – at least physically. He looks at the symptoms and figures out the cause. Sometimes he doesn’t always know exactly what’s going wrong, but has a ballpark guess. Sometimes it takes tests and research and study to figure out what the problem is.
Something about that system is very comforting. To know that if you don’t have the answer, there is a specialist who can help you not only suspend your symptoms, but cure the cause. What an underrated and incredible experience it is to be healthy! But if you ignore the symptoms, a simple problem can turn into something very serious. No doctor can help us in healing the hurts of life if we don’t share our hurts with him. Or I’m sure you know someone who has a problem that the doctors are clueless about. They have no idea what the cause is, and in extreme cases, they might not even be able to treat the symptoms effectively. In those cases, especially with young children, we, as a group of humanity, bind together in extreme loyalty and support to help each other emotionally and sometimes financially to help with the physical.
But when we are sick spiritually, what do we do? Do we keep it inside of us festering with symptoms flowing out until we can’t hold them in any longer? If so, when we refuse to let them out, we don’t have the chance to examine the symptoms. The unknown problem panics us. But instead of going to someone for help, we act like it doesn’t exist, trying to ignore it, justifying its progression. I can’t say this enough, no one can help us in healing the hurts of life if we don’t share the hurts with someone who loves us. We must be honest with ourselves as well.
Because like little children, afraid of shots, we’re scared of what learning the cause of our sickness could be. The temporary pain of the shot keeps us from being permanently well.
Instead, we should face our symptoms, evaluate and research to find the cause, and treat the cause instead of just the symptoms.
Doctors for your Spiritual Self Exist!
That’s what friends and family are for! Go to them. Rely on them. And counseling is not scary. It is not just for “the crazies” and your mom will not be blamed for everything. Calm it down.
Seriously consider the turmoil inside of you right now. The things you try to ignore. The lies you tell yourself. Now imagine all of it is resolved: the happiness, the complicity, the honesty, the peace. Is your relationship with yourself suffering? Imagine it like a relationship would if it were with your best friend. If you lied to them, ignored them, put them down, etc., would you have a healthy friendship? Your relationship with yourself may not be healthy. Evaluate how you treat yourself. If you can’t do it on your own, ask for help! Counseling changed my life, and it could change yours. Either way, if you don’t start taking action now, you’ll deal with anxiety, loneliness, fear, selfishness, pride. If you wait too long, it could get extreme. You could end up making it worse and giving yourself very serious problems. Depression. Low self esteem. Arrogance.
May you evaluate your relationship with yourself and allow God to be your doctor. Go to him for help. He is, after all, the Great Physician and Great Counselor. Healing the hurts within us at times may require the assistance of the One who loves us the most. Rely on him and use the resources he’s blessed us with, like earthly counselors that can help you with your communication and confidence. The more you rely on God, the greater you’ll trust him.
Take it a step further.
But not only for yourself, but for others.
When your friend is sick, stuck in bed, you don’t hate on them for not being there for you. Instead, you stop and care for them. Or if a random person in Wal-Mart is being annoying, but is obviously sick, don’t you have more patience with them, knowing this has been a rough day for them? We need to treat the spiritually sick as if they were physically sick, with patience, love, and respect.
I heard this quote the other day, and it’s really stuck with me, “The kids who need the most love ask for it in the most unloving ways.”
How profound. May we see ourselves and others for who we truly are and become more and more honest with ourselves. And may we let our fears go one at a time and give them to the One who can cure all ailments.