They say that everyman goes through a Mid-Life Crisis, well I tend to agree. However, I did not go through the new car, an affair, the change in style/fashion, the new hobby etc.. I have been given a Mental Health diagnosis. Yes, I had a couple of "acute stress episodes" (formally they used to be called 'a breakdown'), following a dark period in my life, over a couple of years, I have been diagnosed with Endogenous Depression. So being in my 40s and having attempted suicide, you could say it was a true crisis, in my mid-life. However, was it, is it, will it be? I have begun to question myself, who I am, what have I achieved, what am I, what am I going to do, what is my purpose? At this point I am not going to be discussing my full personal journey, or be to detailed about me, my past, or current state. However, my personal and professional experiences have drawn me to my current conclusions and hypothesis of the Tripartite me.
Some people may not know the term Tripartite being. This term refers to the concept that the human individual is made up of 3 elements, that being the Body, Mind, and Soul, also referred to as the Physical, Psychological (Mental Health), and Spiritual being. 3 historically has always been a hugely significant number, dating back centuries. Buddhism, has the 3 circles, Christianity has the Trinity, Japan has the origins of the 3 wise monkeys, the Nordic symbol of the Valknut is now the symbol of the Nobel Peace Prize (3 triangles interlinked). Throughout history, the symbolism of 3 has been evident, in religions, mythology, cultures and sciences across the globe and times. Even in todays modern cultures and societies, the 3 parts of humanity are still readily accepted across many parts of the World. So I ask myself, what are we missing? I am educated and living in Britain, having been trained and worked as a nurse, clinical trainer & assessor for over 20+ years. I have gained a wealth of experience, knowledge, and skills all relating to both the Physical, and Mental Health care of the individual person, and even how both elements can, and often do interact. However, in western care settings we lack the acknowledgement, understanding, and training in relation to a fundamental element of Humanity, the Soul or Spiritual nature. But why? Why does western philosophy, psychology, biology, and sociology etc, ignore and dismiss, on the whole , this fundamental element acknowledged throughout history across all cultures and traditions? (a broad generalisation I admit, never the less in the majority, true).
I will admit at this point, that I am a Christian and brought up in a church family. However, as a nurse, I have worked with impartiality, and had many interesting discussions about spirituality with colleagues, friends, associates, and many others I have interacted with over the years. I have always been open to other peoples views and intrigued by their beliefs, lack of, or denial of anything beyond the physical and psychological person. I have, myself questioned my own faith, the validity of the history, the teachings, the need for adherence, the person(s) upon which it is centred, even the variations of it. However, at No point did I ever doubt the spiritual nature, that which was and is, an essence within, connected to something beyond my own mortal understanding. For many, this may be a union with the universe, a connection with nature, a belief in a higher purpose, a deity, or a god. This union with nature, a trinity, or trilogy of elements exists in Kabbalah, Tibetan traditions, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism, just to name a few, including Amazonian tribes and their gods. So, I ask, if all these major religions and belief systems for centuries advocate a spiritual element, why do we ignore it. Even so, despite our advanced scientific knowledge, multiple psychological/psychiatric theories, and access to international media, and resources etc., we still can't answer so many questions, such as "Why?". Wiser individuals than myself can answer, how, what, where, and when; take for example a Rose, science can tell us how it grows, how it creates scent, where the different elements fit together, what part the sun, rain and seasons play, and they could probably even tell us when the origins of that specific rose first came into existence or first discovered. However, with certainty, they can not answer why? why does that rose exist, why that colour, why?
This "why?" question is, for many, the trigger that draws them to question what else is there, "there must be something more!" So, for me as a Christian, I may have doubts, I may wonder many things, but I know that there is something/someone more than me, someone that I can seek to align myself with, a source upon which I can draw when I don't have an answer (see last blog "the 'Why me?' question"). If I did not have this spirituality/faith to draw upon I would drive myself mad, with my ever enquiring mind. After all, faith, and spirituality extends through and beyond current knowledge, and answers. It is that part of me that provides a sense of belonging, being part of something greater, participating in a purposeful life, having a security in my future, a future beyond that which governments, wall street, and science can offer. It is, a sense of Hope that transcends my own mortality, a greater belief in Love, not the transient, mood related love of humanity, but something greater and more consistent that supports, encourages, and motivates me. All these, in turn, can provide a sense of Peace amidst the turmoil's of this current life, a life filled with restlessness, uncertainty, distrust, selfishness, untruths and individualism. I am, me, I am Body, Mind and Soul. I have physical health issues, I have mental health issues, I live in a World of change, but I have a Future, I have a Hope, I have a Peace that passes all understanding, something tangible, yet intangible, that drives, encourages and helps me when "I don't know" when "it hurts" when "I wonder why?"
Maybe today is the day you begin a spiritual journey, and look beyond what you currently know, and seek out a 'constant' that provides a certainty for you that brings Hope, Peace, consistent Love, in and through a faith, a spirituality, a belief in something, or someone.