Dear Open Mind: I spent a lot of years suffering from what my therapist called an adjustment disorder with mixed emotional features. All I know is that I was generally unhappy, ashamed, and undirected. After six or seven months of working on some long-buried family issues, I could hardly believe how much better I felt about myself and what level of inner happiness I had found for the first time in my life.
Right around this same time, a friend of mine from my youth, whom I spoke with only once or twice a year, called me. She had gone through a similar change, but hers was due to rediscovering spiritual faith. Through different processes we both found inner peace, acceptance, self-esteem and happiness. How big of a part do you think faith plays in someone's therapy or in someone's mental health?
Renewal in one's spiritual faith can have a profound impact on a person's mental health. Therapy aided by the use of spiritual resources (Bible reading, prayer, meditation, worship, and fellowship) has been found to enhance not only a person's spiritual life but also the emotional, mental and physical aspect.
Rediscovering spiritual faith from the Judaic Christian perspective means that your friend has come into a truly profound and deep awareness of who she is - created in the image of God.
Millions of people spend a lifetime searching for love, acceptance, and success without understanding the need that compels them. Your friend has found that this hunger for self-worth is God-given and can only be satisfied by Him.
Her value is not dependent on her ability to earn the fickle acceptance of people but rather its true source is the love and acceptance of God. He created her. He alone knows how to fulfill all of her needs. She does not have to be successful or pleasing to others to have a healthy sense of self-esteem and worth. That worth has been freely given to her by God. With this rediscovery of who she is in …