Are you finding satisfying and meaningful purpose in your life? Have you seriously checked out all the health benefits of a well-rounded, spiritual lifestyle? Lisa Miller, Ph.D. of Psychology and Columbia University professor, has been researching this idea for twenty years, offering a great deal of sound advice and convincing evidence whereby we may find sufficient help in healing ourselves by acknowledging our soul’s needs and the power of the spiritual aspect of life.
Over many years, we have ever-so-slowly become more aware that mental health is as important as physical health; and yet, spiritual health is still mostly absent in our discussions of all-around well-being – especially in the context of spirituality and depression. Doctor Miller contends that when we ignore our spiritual lives, we limit ourselves from a fulfilling sense of connection, guidance, and “mystery” (for lack of a better term). She believes that for years therapists have tried to help patients search their past for insights that might be addressed to help them find release from their present suffering. Such as, “She was abused by her father and uncles when just a child; that’s why she mistrusts and continues to shy away from all men.”
“According to that model,” says Miller, “the bad things that happened to you define you, and even if you can articulate them, you’re still shaped by them. To me,” she said, “that felt like a death sentence for these patients…but within us there’s a spirit so strong that it can renew itself.” She goes on to tell how this particular kind of patient wasn’t given the chance to renew themselves and move on. That’s exactly why I believe we should take advantage of our being created a gregarious and sociable people. We need each other, like, “with a little help from my friends.” But there’s a catch here, an exception: why would we expect or allow any other person to try and help us when it was other people who hurt us in the first place?
You’ve heard of others speak of a “higher power.” That is a legitimate and war-ranted intuition placed within us by a wise and compassionate Creator.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God.” (Eccl. 3:11–13, NLT)
So yes, the totally honest person, at the least, senses the possibility of something greater – something or someone wiser and more powerful “out there.” In God’s divinely-inspired Word – the Bible – we learn that we are “created in His image” (it has to do with a spiritual intelligence – a spiritual connection). Since that’s true, it makes sense that we may safely be open to another person who is most familiar with that “Higher Power” – a Spiritual power that works through them to successfully reach and help our aching heart and sooth our searching soul! Dr. Miller calls a spiritual brain an “awakened” brain…and states, “The awakened brain is our hardwired, innate capacity to see into life at a deeper level and know we’re never alone and opens us up to possibility in the future.” This statement from Dr. Miller:
“People with a strong spiritual life are 80 percent less likely to meet clinical diagnostic criteria for addiction, and 60 percent less likely to have deep recurrent major depression. We took MRI scans and discovered that the brains of highly spiritual people were healthier and more robust. Their brains were thicker and stronger in exactly the same regions that weaken and wither in depressed brains.”
Here is some enlightening instruction that I get from the Holy Scriptures:
‘If we listen carefully to God’s words and don’t lose sight of them;If we let them penetrate deep into our heart, they will bring life and healing to our entire being.’ (see Prov. 4:20ff)
-John V. Driggers