We are past the halfway mark of Lent. The weather, at least in some parts of the world and the United States, is betraying a hint of spring. The picture I posted here was taken yesterday in our front courtyard. Look carefully and you will see there are tiny little leaves poking out of green vines among the seemingly dead ones.
Sometimes we are so caught up in the events of the world around us, things we have to do, or the pain we are experiencing that we forget to look, listen, and believe that spring is coming. Our lives can often use a bit of spring.
One of the key aspects of overcoming mental illness or keeping mental health is learning how to pay attention to what’s going on around us rather than within. We can’t even realize our thoughts and behaviors are off kilter or that we need treatment if we don’t first see that we are not right in comparison to the rest of people. Likewise, we can’t reduce the intensity of anguish, anger, pain, frustration, embarrassment, or shame if we don’t look outside ourselves and take action, forcibly if necessary. Such feelings can’t be eradicated with just a pill, though it certainly can help in some cases. You see, I hope, the spiritual parallels to this.
If you want to take a short respite from anything that is difficult or troubling simply stop for a minute, notice, and say a prayer of gratitude that spring is coming. Jesus suffered and died but the core and essence of our faith is the belief in His Resurrection. There is good out there, and within. Our good Lord made it so. Look beyond yourself and your pain to God and the spring that will inevitably come.