Mind-Body-Spirit connections: spirit and mind

As I continue this series about the mind-body-spirit connection, my hope is that you will be able to open your awareness to your own body and spirit connections.  I think for most people this is a foreign concept and requires an entirely new way of thinking.  For me this new perspective took time to form and began first by recognizing the evidence that already existed in my own experiences.

spirit connection - when sex hurts there is hopeMind and body are aspects of ourselves that are easy to identify.  We all think and process things in our minds, and we all have physical bodies.  However, the idea that we are also spiritual beings can be harder to grasp.  By growing up in a Christian home and progressing in my own faith journey I have always known that I have a soul or spirit.  But knowing in my mind that I am spirit and experiencing and connecting with this spiritual aspect of myself are two very different things.  Your background is likely different from mine and you may still be unsure about the concept of spirit.  As I share some of my personal experiences, perhaps you can evaluate your own moments to identify if a spirit connection has surfaced in the past.

Possibly the simplest and most common example of a spirit-mind connection is that of your conscience.  Have you ever felt an inner pull towards or away from something?  Aside from the stereotypical “angel on your shoulder” telling you not to do something you know to be wrong, this inner voice can also prompt you to take positive actions.  I have had many experiences where an unexpected thought will enter my mind to do or say something that I normally wouldn’t.

Several months ago I was reading another blogger share about her own health struggles and how insurance wouldn’t pay for certain things.  I didn’t know this woman personally and had only once communicated with her via email, but I had the idea to offer to pay for one of her physical therapy sessions.  When I let my mind focus on this idea, I felt a wave of emotion.  This emotional response has often been a sign of a spiritual connection for me.  I have learned that when I get a flood of emotions with no obvious trigger, I should stop and take notice because my spirit is trying to get my attention.  (Sound familiar?  Last month I described how my body can communicate with my mind through an increase of pain with no physical trigger.)

One of my favorite examples of a spirit connection goes back to the day I received the vision for this website.  You can read the full story on my previous post, How hope began in the darkness, but here is an excerpt.

“…I realized everything had changed.  The day before I couldn’t stop the tears from falling.  I was so distraught, devastated, hopeless.  And in a single day (a single moment, really) everything was different.  I was still sad and discouraged, but I had peace.  I didn’t know yet whether my marriage would end or be saved, but I did know that no matter what I was going to be okay.  I had hope.”

I experienced a peace that day which couldn’t be explained by anything my mind could understand.  In my mind I saw the difficulty of the circumstances which led only to despair, yet it was peace and hope that dominated my outlook. The Bible describes this in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  I had a peace in my spirit which spread throughout my entire being and allowed me to walk confidently through the most difficult season of my life.

What about you?  Have you experienced something that your mind couldn’t understand but you knew deep down that it was real and true?  I believe I have missed out on a lot over my life because I was too stuck in my mind to recognize the spirit connections flowing within me and around me.  Luckily that time has passed and I am just now learning how to be open to experiences that are beyond my mind’s understanding.  I want to experience this life to the fullest and I believe that includes a free-flowing mind-body-spirit connection.  I also believe it is the way toward complete healing of my pelvic pain–and yours too!

Waiting in the wilderness

I am an impatient person and not a fan of waiting, no matter what the context.  I have learned to combat this impatience with everyday waiting through multitasking.  Stuck in traffic?…catch up on the latest podcast.  Stuck in line?…catch up on email.  (Honestly, some days I wonder what I ever did before I had an iPhone.)  But what do I do when the
waiting goes way beyond the waiting in the wilderness - when sex hurts there is hopeeveryday nuances of traffic and long lines?  My iPhone is no
match for the inevitable seasons in life when I find myself waiting in the wilderness.  Multitasking can’t combat the frustration of not knowing when difficulties will ever end.  Instead, I think the constant shifting of focus from one distraction to the next is often what prolongs these periods of wilderness waiting. Continue reading

How hope began in the darkness

how hope began - when sex hurts there is hopeI think it is time for me to share the story of how this blog came to be.  It’s strange, I was thinking that it felt like the right time to finally share this and I didn’t even realize what month it is until I sat down to write.  This month marks two years since the start of this blog and three years since God put the vision in my heart to create it.  Here’s my story of how hope began in the darkness.

I think I’ve mentioned before about how 2013 was a really tough year for me.  March is when the worst of it began—the beginning of the end of my marriage—and April 1st was my absolute worst day.  I had been given some pretty devastating news the night before and my heart was still reeling from the reality of it all.  I remember that I had to go to work that day due to a number of responsibilities I couldn’t postpone.  I cried as I got ready and I cried as I drove to work, but somehow I managed to hold it together to get through the day.  The next morning I was getting ready for work again and an idea came into my mind about starting a website.  It would be something that could be a resource for others like me—something that could have allowed me to find help sooner. Continue reading

Relax and enjoy the journey

I feel like the recent message God has been communicating to me (in many forms) is all about stopping my worrying. First it was the song and the verse repeatedly coming to me about casting my cares on God. (Finding Favour’s “Cast My Cares” and 1 Peter 5:7, “Give all your worries and cares to God for he cares about you.”) That message continued for probably the past two weeks. But now it’s continuing in other forms. I was just praying a quick prayer driving home from work, asking God to show me how to let go and truly let Him have control of my life. I was feeling like yet another day passed that was out of balance and I was feeling unsure about whether I’m missing the point altogether. After I got home I decided to postpone getting ready for bed a little longer and read my devotional, Jesus Calling (amazing book by the way—I strongly recommend it!). The message I read today hit me as such a direct answer that I literally started laughing. I felt a moment of God’s presence washing over me with the realization of His answer to my practical question of how do I do this life His way.

For those of you who have the Jesus Calling devotional, the message was for February 26th. Here’s an excerpt: “I am leading you, step by step through your life. Hold My hand in trusting dependence, letting Me guide you through this day…When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine…Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me. I will show you the next step forward…” The last sentence is what hit me the hardest, “Relax and enjoy the journey in My Presence, trusting me to open up the way before you as you go.” Relax—and enjoy the journey! Oh how little I stop and soak in the beauty of this journey. Continue reading

Consider

consider - when sex hurts there is hopeThis month marks one year since the start of this blog. Even though it was just an introductory post, it signified the beginning of a vision. And so I couldn’t let this month pass without taking a moment to consider—to consider all that has been accomplished, all that has been shared, and all that is still to come.

An entire website exists—full of lessons learned and messages of hope—that did not exist just over a year ago. And when I consider that, I am amazed—amazed at what is possible. If I can recover from a divorce, deal with chronic pain, work a full-time job, live a full life, and still find time to create a blog, what else can I accomplish? And what can you accomplish? I would venture to say that you can accomplish a lot more than you think or even allow yourself to dream. Continue reading

All things, even the bad things

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NRSV)

We have all heard it, we’ve probably all said it (I know I have)—everything happens for a reason. And while I do believe that many things in our lives happen for a reason, this statement in its entirety is not actually true. Bad things happen, sometimes for no reason at all. I suffer from pelvic pain and painful sex, and I am still healing from the emotional devastation of a divorce, but it doesn’t mean there was a reason that these bad things happened to me.

all things work together for good - when sex hurts there is hope

Everything may not happen for a reason, but God does make all things work together for good. Even the bad things.

Pelvic and sexual pain definitely fall into my “bad things” category. Living with any type of pain, especially chronic pain, can be debilitating. But pelvic pain has the ability to go beyond any other kind in its effects on your life. It is a pain that you hide, that others can’t understand. The emotional pain goes deep and the psychological damage is not easily repaired. Painful sex not only causes broken relationships, but broken individuals—broken to the core of who we are. I have been broken, I have felt the pain of hopelessness and emptiness. In all honesty it was the emotional pain that came at the end of my marriage—loaded down with years of carrying the burden of my sexual pain—that hurt the worst. Continue reading

It’s not your fault

It's not your fault - when sex hurts there is hopeLiving with a disorder that causes painful sex can wreak havoc on your marriage and, as an extension, your life. It is easy to fall into negative thinking and to feel like it is your fault, at least it was for me.

Sex was always an issue in our marriage, and it seemed like it was the cause of all our problems. The sex issue caused arguments and created feelings of loneliness, dissatisfaction and alienation from each other. Even on the days when we were seemingly fighting about a completely unrelated issue, it always had a tendency to go back to the problem of sex (or at least it always did in my mind). Continue reading