A few weeks ago, my cousin started her podcast (Uncut with Judean) and if I have learned anything, it would have to be that transparency is confronting the deepest and darkest parts of your being or exterior relations with truth, love and honesty even if it may hurt or disturb the growing nature of a façade.
I have realized that humans do not necessarily share what is the root of their problems nor do they acknowledge this problem as something to be fixed. I know by now you might be evaluating yourself and your different relationships to see where your transparency lies, but my question is “Are you really being true to yourself, or are you ignoring challenges?”
Unveiling the Truth
My grade 3 teacher would enter our classroom and bellow to us, “TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE.” Weeks ago, I got caught in the web of my ambition, pride and fear. Ambition because I was exposed to amazing creatives that I wanted to emulate, pride because I thought that no one could conceive my vision towards something and fear because I was afraid that my plan would fail.
Whilst one of these three could be beneficial under a different circumstance, I felt burdened by my performance meeting my expectations and the level of expectation from everyone who knows me. I could not realize that I was pushing myself into overdrive, close to the place of a mental breakdown or even madness.
No one truly realized because I had mastered balancing each challenge without ever seeming overburdened. However, upon one encounter with a dear friend of mine, he could have identified that I was trying to hold my world together. After great denial, I finally accepted what had felt like bitter medicine that I was the juggler on a unicycle juggling darts of expectations.
The devil had posed obstacles to frustrate me and push me away from God. He was indeed successful because even in doing God’s work, my heart was uncertain and my faith had withered like dried leaves. Then God said, “No ma’am. I am the Living Water that never runs dry. Restoration time!”
Restore, refresh, & renew
Days ago, I made a tweet stating, “You're everybody's superhero until your body can't take anymore and you have a breakdown, whether physically, emotionally or mentally.” This followed another tweet encouraging persons to “take care of yourself. Take a break when you’re feeling overburdened.”
Breaks are not sinful, or illegal. It is okay to take a break and refresh your mental, emotional and physical status.
I believe that society has encouraged us to push ourselves beyond borders till we become numb to the blood we spill on others because of our drive to achieve and elevate in life. I beg to differ. We are more than capable of taking care of ourselves. Mental health is also important.
In the words of Judean Graham, “we think professional help is good for diabetes and pills for high blood pressure, but mental illness can only be treated with exorcism.” No, sometimes you need to unwind and dine with yourself.
Even Jesus isolated himself and that’s not in a cliché way but 6 instances in the Bible are as follows:
1. To prepare for a major task: Luke chapter 4 verses 1-2 & 14-15.
2. To recharge after hard work: Mark chapter 6 verses 30-32.
3. To work through grief: Matthew chapter 14 verses 1-13.
4. Before making an important decision: Luke chapter 6 verses 12-13.
5. In a time of distress: Luke chapter 22 verses 39-44.
6. To focus on prayer: Luke chapter 5 verse 16.
Honoring the season of obscurity
During isolation or pulling back, you may be overlooked, forgotten or even not missed, but be reminded that this recharge is not only for you. This recharge serves others who you continue to pour into their lives. You cannot pour from an empty cup.
This season will require the following toolkit attributes:
1. Be PATIENT in this season and with yourself
You will be seeing elevation all around you with family and peers, but you need to channel God to recharge you and elevate you like a seed into blossom.
2. Be CONSISTENT on this journey
Create a routine that will aid your unwinding being purposeful like a prayer schedule, begin a Bible Plan on YouVersion or even fast for a few days. Physically, try exercising and meditating.
3. Be PERSISTENT towards your established goals
Within human nature, the stumbling or lagging comes, but you must be determined that no matter if you have a bad day today, you will get up and try again tomorrow. Be as persistent as the woman with the issue of blood (Mark chapter 5 verses 25-34).
4. Be OBEDIENT & exercise Self Control
Listen to the voice of God during your isolation and follow the instructions given with great urgency. Your obedience depends on the fulfillment of another man’s purpose. Therefore, move according to the appointed time. Also, identify what is worth participating in and excluding yourself from to preserve your mental space.
5. Be COMMITTED to the Journey
Your mental health deserves to be prioritized and never feel guilty for detoxing.
Jesus says to his disciples in Mark chapter 6 verse 31, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” Remember to love yourself by taking care of yourself!
Anneque Bennett is a vying, industrious, persistent and gallant young virtuous woman of God from Jamaica, West Indies. Her dexterity births creativity cocooned by flexibility. She possesses an eye for complexity and a magnitude of focus to complete tasks and assist others in every possible way. She loves to communicate and interact with youths on different levels and share in their experiences and serves as a mentor and youth empowerment leader. She engages heavily in promoting and marketing different products: where she also serves as a host/emcee and at times, public speaker. She finds outdoor very amusing and love to bask in nature as she puts pen to paper. She enjoys road trips, hiking and documenting each moment through fun pictures and videos and her best friend – a purple journal. #Adventure