I Am Full Of Love

Jesus Christ statue inside church

Positive Affirmation: Loving Heart

“I am full of love because I was born to heal and spread happiness. I am full of love because God has led me to Jesus Christ who teaches me the correct ways to live by. I am full of love because I was given the holy spirit to heal others and connect with them on many loving planes. I don’t allow my mind’s anger to overtake my heart’s placid stream of love, but rather use my heart’s power to heal my mind in times of testing. When others do me wrong, I don’t attempt to apply the “eye for an eye” concept taught by others; that only brings more pain and division. Rather, I show them love back and allow them to realize that through their hatred, I continue to radiate love so that they too can learn as well. I am full of love and thankful that The Lord continues to bless me every day!”

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Talking To Mental Health Patients

Male psychiatrist sitting on couch talking to patient with hands on head

Holding A Normal Conversation

Many mental health patients are sick of their doctors, friends and family members always asking them questions about their illness. Imagine always being asked the same questions, “Any auditory or visual hallucinations? Do you believe others can put thoughts into your mind? How’s your mood? Do you have any anxiety? How’s your sleep and appetite?” It not only feels robotic to ask them the same questions every day, but it also feels robotic for them to provide the same responses.

Don’t get me wrong; psychiatrists do need to ask these questions in order to assess patients’ mental status, but we also need to learn how to incorporate more normal conversations during our encounters. When we ask mental health patients the same questions every time we see them, it can make them feel like they are less than us. This is because we give them the impression that they are “different” and that we can’t hold normal conversations with them.

At the end of the day, mental illness or not, patients are still human beings who can hold normal conversations and discuss everyday events; we must treat them like so. You’ll bring much more happiness into their lives if you can discuss everyday events without jumping to questions that dig away at their symptoms. A patient will tell you their symptoms even if you don’t rush to those particular questions, because they are the ones suffering from the symptoms in the first place and need them addressed.

So let them discuss everyday events and address their symptoms at their own pace. This applies to whether you have a relationship or friendship with a patient; don’t look at them differently and definitely don’t treat them differently. Do you treat people with diabetes differently? The same applies with mental health patients. Even if they are extremely psychotic but not dangerous to anyone, you can still say something as simple as, “Hi Leonard! Hope you have a good day.”

At the end of the day, let’s normalize mental health and hold normal everyday conversations with each other. Forget the stigma and judgmental ways of the past; those need to be buried for good. Rather, let’s move forward together and create a worldwide platform that will be of help to anyone in need. This platform should be based on honesty, love, sincerity and the desire to improve and help one another.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Gray-Hearted Individuals

Angry brown Indian male pointing finger with open mouth

People Who Get Under Your Skin

We have all experienced being around people who get under our skin; there’s no avoiding it. These individuals roam the world like wild flock, crossing your path at predictable and unpredictable times. Some of these people you have to work with and see them on a daily basis while others randomly come and go. Whatever the situation, almost anyone will agree that they are a pain in the ass to deal with. Not only do they get under your skin, but they get under many people’s skin.

One thing to keep in mind is that attempting to understand where they come from will do you no good in the long run; you’ll often never find out. You may ask yourself why. The reason is because they will not change their perception and attitude towards you; if they haven’t after a month, six months or a year, then they never will. So why bother wasting your energy attempting to under them?

I call these people gray-hearted individuals because it’s not clear whether their hearts are filled with love or hatred. A lot of times, it feels like they are in-between; on some days you are able to sense some love while on others, all you can feel is anger, jealousy, envy and hatred. One thing that you know for sure is that their hearts are not full of love because otherwise, they wouldn’t be rude and mean to you in the first place.

People who carry a lot of love in their hearts do not consistently get under your skin. These are the people who you can feel their love radiate not only onto you, but onto everyone in the room as well. These are the people who even if you don’t have much in common with, you can sense that they are loving human beings. Remember that you don’t have to have something in common with someone who is loving.

But these gray-hearted individuals are bitter and lack a heart full of love. If they feel threatened in any way by you, they are quick to jump on your back to stab it a few hundred times; it’s almost an automatic response for them because they have been doing it their entire lives. On the other hand, if you get on their good side, they decrease their attacks on you, but at what expense are you willing to sacrifice your sanity to get on their good side? If you can do it by still being yourself, then that’s what you call emotional intelligence!

What is your experience like with these gray-hearted individuals?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Love-Hate Relationship

Collection of photos of young blonde woman making many different facial expressions

Having Patience With Mental Health Patients

Whether you are a loved one, friend, acquaintance or healthcare worker caring for a mental health patient, you’ll come to realize very quickly how the dynamic in the relationship is not consistent at all times; think of it as a love-hate relationship. That’s because we are humans and they are humans; in other words, our emotions fluctuate and our tolerance dissipates at times. On the other hand, mental illness is unpredictable and does not remain predictable day in and day out.

We have to learn how to maintain our composure with mental health patients because if we lose it, then sh*t will really hit the fan (pardon my Portuguese). This goes for anyone who is interacting with a patient in a meaningful way; you cannot lose your cool around them! At times, not only will the patient feel defeated but you will as well; this is when you retreat, wipe the sweat off your face, meditate and get back to it in a cool, calm and collected manner.

Mental health patients rely on us because they are temporarily at a disadvantage; their minds are malfunctioning and they cannot afford to have ours do the same. If you have a low frustration tolerance, then you should probably not be interacting with them in the first place. Patients need a supportive system because they lack support within their own selves.

At times you’ll feel like you hate your patients because they are not recovering and are doing just about everything under the sun to piss you off. They may not be compliant with their medications, curse at you or even attack you! Why in the world would you want to continue interacting with this human being who is putting your physical health at risk? Because you should care about them while reminding yourself that they are not in their right state of mind.

Other times you’ll love your patients because they are doing just about everything right under the sun. They are taking their medications, their symptoms are subsiding, they are nice to you and are showing consistent signs of improvement. Unfortunately, this does not happen all the time and you have to be prepared for the other side which frequently presents just as often. It’s a challenge treating mental health patients but the rewards can be amazing!

Remember that at the end of the day, mental health patients are not any less than us and we are not any better than them. Just because we maintain our sanity and they lose theirs, does not make us any better. We also cannot allow them to be lost to follow up, falling through the cracks into a mental health crisis, potentially resulting in suicide. We must remain united and help each other out at all times!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

There’s Beauty In Your Tears

Person's hand holding glass of Jesus Christ on cross

Happy Easter: He Has Risen

We are in the midst of a vicious storm; no tornado, hurricane, tsunami, earthquake or avalanche has seen the power of this one. Many of us are losing hope as every day passes, quarantined in our homes with tears falling down our faces. We look outside our windows wondering if this is how we are going to spend the rest of our days. But one hope remains within our hearts and that is God and His Son Jesus Christ who has risen.

Fear not this storm for God sees its destruction and has a plan for us. Not everything that works through God becomes apparent right away; it takes time, patience and faith to witness His plan manifest. God is all powerful and can defeat any storm risen by Satan, but God acts in mysterious ways which we cannot always comprehend as human beings. All we can do is to have faith; that’s what God expects from us!

Don’t cry anymore my brothers and sisters, for we all live together under God’s grace. As His children, we must remain united, thankful, strong and faithful. We cannot allow Satan’s storms to destroy our lives. The more that you live in fear and uncertainty, the more credit and satisfaction that you are giving to Satan; he wants us to suffer.

One important thing to keep in mind is that as Christians, we do not look down upon those who don’t believe in God or accept Jesus Christ as His Son. Because we know that with the Holy Spirit within us, God teaches us to love everyone in the world, whether they are on the right path or not. As Christians, we pray for those to find the right path to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we do not believe that we are better than others, for what is better in God’s eyes? We are all human beings and God is the ultimate judge at the end of times. Many of us may not be in the best of spirits at this time; we become easily tempted to hate others. But don’t allow this coronavirus pandemic to fill your hearts with hatred; remain tender-hearted and continue to spread love and faith in the world.

There will be a time where we will all be reunited in God’s house, surrounded by forever-lasting peace and love. The ones which we have lost in previous storms and the present storm will come back running to us with hugs and kisses; we will cry so joyfully that the beauty in our tears will wash away our pain. We will all walk holding hands in a beautiful, brightly-lit land called Heaven towards His thrown and meet God and His Son Jesus Christ.

So brothers and sisters, I ask you this on this Easter Sunday, “Do you have God in your heart and mind?” Because God is awaiting to help and guide you and provide you with love and the Holy Spirit; you just have to be willing by believing and opening up your heart to Him and His Son Jesus Christ. Don’t be afraid and take the first step to ask God for guidance in how to pray and reach out to Him.

For me personally, I was blessed to be introduced to God by my grandmother when I was nine years old. During that summer when I first heard about God and Jesus Christ, I had a spiritual experience which I am still able to tell to this day: I was standing in my living room (I may have been home alone) and suddenly, it’s as if time had frozen and I was just stuck in place. My mind then filled with a bright light that comforted me with peace and there was a message which I interpreted to be from God, something along the lines of, “You have found me.” There was no voice in my mind but just a thought or message; it’s very difficult to describe spiritual experiences in words but this is all I got! And ever since then, I have been a believer.

This is the power of God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Redesigning Ourselves

Grayscale photography of black man standing in front of cross smiling

Praying For Each Other

Everyday selfishness is what prevents humanity from coming together to defeat the evilness that rules this world. Human nature, by design, is filled with selfishness but this does not mean that we cannot redesign ourselves. But the problem is that many do not know how to do this . . . many have not yet found it within their hearts the will to redesign themselves.

People wrongfully believe that redesigning themselves comes from within. It does to a certain extent but the percentage is small compared to asking God for help and guidance. That’s because when you attempt to redesign yourself without God’s help, you rely on the power found within you, and that power is humanly-derived; it can only take you so far.

That’s why you need God’s power to more effectively redesign yourself, and that can only be achieved by accepting and loving God in your mind and heart. Don’t bother if you’re going to be superficial about it; God knows you better than you know yourself. You must put God before your parents, siblings and significant other . . . you must put God before any human.

If you disagree with this, then you are disagreeing with the idea of putting your maker or creator before other humans. If it were not for God, you would have never had life and the chance to meet these humans who you call your “family.” God has blessed you with life, so if you want to redesign it, you must go back and reconnect with the source!

Fancy rituals, prayers in public, avoidance of certain foods, animal sacrifices . . . this is not what God is looking for; He does not want religious nuts but spiritual fruits! What God wants is a pure loving heart that is selfless and prays for others to improve as well. In praying for each other, you are not only redesigning yourself but are contributing to the improvement of others’ lives.

This is how humanity will improve and this is how we will better tackle mental illness, substance abuse, hatred, division and worldly pandemics.

This is how we will come together and love each other just the way that God envisions it for us.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Moving On From Lovestruck

Two people in love on beach during sunset

Love Island

We’ve all experienced situations when we meet someone who we really like, only to have it end sooner than we desired or expected. Experiencing lovestruck can happen at any age; you never know when a certain person will push your buttons and unexpectedly activate you. But when certain buttons are pushed, they can provide you with one of the best feelings in the world; however, moving on from lovestruck is important for your mental health.

The worst days are the immediate ones right after the person who you really liked is no longer in your life. The thought of being alone once again quickly touches down in the center of your mind, eliciting a punching bag of emotions, including tears. The connection you had formed with the other person on love island is no longer at play.

But you cannot continue living on love island if the other person is now gone; it’s not mentally healthy. You have to be thankful that God placed that person in your life for whatever amount of time, and happily move on. It’s tough at first because you dearly miss them, but you have to treat yourself with respect, and suffering from lovestruck is not fair to yourself.

The way that you move on from lovestruck is to remain optimistic that you will meet a new person in the future. You don’t have to forget about the previous person. As a matter of fact, cherish the memories that the two of you built together, but don’t dwell on them all day, every day. Be thankful that you met them and grateful for the experience, but move on into the future.

Love is probably one of the most powerful emotions known to man, especially when you share it with someone who you easily click with, and develop a natural connection from the moment that you lay eyes on each other. But love works in unpredictable ways; as quickly as it comes into your life, just as quickly that it can vanish from it.

But don’t be sad! The most important thing is that you are happy that you had another taste of love island. But you cannot always live on love island forever. Sometimes you have to get back on your boat and return to sailing the deep blue sea.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Addiction Is Stronger Than Love

Drug addict using syringe on yellow rock on spoon

My Strange Addiction

For many people who first start using drugs, the thought of one day becoming addicted does not cross their minds. It all starts with in the moment curiosity, excitement and even fitting in. Some feel initial nerves about trying the drug, but the adventure of exploring new territory is greater than the fear. Once they cross that invisible line, for many, addiction becomes stronger than love.

Once someone is hooked on a drug, the necessity to acquire more of it becomes greater than the love that they have for themselves or others. At first it’s the high: something out of this world that they glorify and start to believe is the greatest thing in their life. They start to chase the high because it provides them with a more entertaining and pleasuring mindset, than they would otherwise experience from other activities.

But the problem with drugs is that tolerance quickly develops, requiring higher doses to achieve the same high. But with higher doses come more consequences: more money is wasted, more time is spent acquiring the drugs, changes in personality, increased exposure to dangerous situations, ruined relationships, withdrawal symptoms, etc.

Once withdrawal symptoms are experienced, most addicts come to the realization that they either have to stop and seek help, or continue using. Many continue using out of shame of seeking help, “If I seek help, then it’s official that I’m an addict and everyone will look down on me. I can’t let that happen. Gotta keep using.”

At this point, the love, responsibilities and feelings for others are placed aside, and the mission of acquiring more of the drug to prevent withdrawal becomes the aim. Once the drug is acquired, the relationships resurface on their minds, but their family and friends start to notice their change in behavior, questioning what is driving it.

But they cannot divulge their addiction because of shame. So they continue using in the shadows, getting high and maintaining their addiction that becomes stronger than their love for others. The drug has become their new love and nothing can break them apart. They’ll continue using until they’re burned out, overdose, die or hopefully gather the strength to seek help.

Addiction overtaking love is not uncommon in the world of drug addicts.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Appreciate The Time Spent With Loved Ones

Couple in love sitting and facing the city at sunset

Crazy, Stupid Love

Nothing compares to the quality time spent with loved ones, especially when it’s spontaneous and unexpected. Appreciating the presence of your loved ones is very important, because you never know when they may go away. One minute you’re planning something for the next weekend, and the next you find out that they are moving to another state. Enjoy and appreciate every moment spent together!

When you take the time spent with your loved ones for granted, you’ll feel much worse when unexpected scenarios play out in the future. One of the worst feelings is experiencing disappointment in relation to a person or event that you took for granted. Not only does it feel like you’re dying from 1000 paper cuts, but you feel ashamed and embarrassed about your foolishness.

Whenever you feel like you’re taking people or events for granted, remind yourself to snap out of that mentality. If you don’t, it’ll become automatic and you won’t catch yourself doing it in the future. You want to appreciate every single moment that you spend with your loved ones, even if you feel like repetition is at play.

The thing about “crazy, stupid love” is that we can’t understand it; it’s like a pot full of unknown ingredients being stirred inside of us, not knowing what is causing us to feel so connected to our loved ones. Perhaps love truly has no definition; it’s just a set of powerful emotions that drive us in circles with no clear destination in sight.

Whether it’s crazy, stupid or both, love should never be taken for granted; it’s not worth the pain that follows when a loss presents itself. Even if you do not take love for granted, you’ll most likely still experience a loss with accompanied pain in the future; it’s inevitable. But at least you’ll know in your heart that you fully enjoyed and appreciated your time with your loved ones, while they were still present.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

The Seperation Of Mind And Body — Thought Catalog

He told me I was like an angel, with beaten and battered wings that glistened in the sunlight, a voice ever-so-soft, and a touch ever-so-pure. I lit a cigarette with his name on it and said, “Haven’t you ever noticed the good people go through horrible things? It’s because we’re the worst of them all.…

The Seperation Of Mind And Body — Thought Catalog