Hi! Welcome to spirituality. Spirituality is defined as “the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. ” So, that’s exactly what we do. We’re not just concerned about your mind or your physical health…but your spiritual health too. We’ll be respectful to you and your questions (or answers!). Come check out what’s on our hearts.
There’s an old grandpa tale of pouring coca-cola* on rust and making it new. It’s an old trick that my grandfather would say anytime rust or corrosion was a problem. You pour it on and let it sit, it bubbles and fizzes, then the rust magically disappears *science is cool*. This past week, my car battery’s corrosion reached critical levels that halted my car from starting; a feat that no one wants to deal with on a Thursday night at 830pm (I love sleep). However, my father came to the rescue and we spent the next hour cleaning the corrosion with coca cola and watching it fizz and clean, then fizz and clean, making it all shiny and new. The problem? My car still didn’t start. We had cleaned it, we had washed it anew, we had done everything to get rid of the rust. Why wouldn’t it start? Why wasn’t it all better?
I couldn’t help but draw parallels with life. How we sometimes become so corroded on the outside that we clean ourselves up. We start going to the gym, we kick a nasty habit, we put ourselves on a good schedule and strive for enough sleep and hydration. We stick to a good skincare routine, we have a great instagram aesthetic, and our facebook is glittered with highlights of us living our best life….but we still don’t start. We feel heavy, we feel sluggish, we feel half dead. Maybe you’re there now, maybe you’ve done everything self help culture suggests and you’re wondering why isn’t this working for me?
You haven’t switched your battery yet. See, with my car we cleaned and cleaned the outside, reconnected the terminals, and tightened the screws; even charging the battery for good measure. Yet, it still didn’t work. In life, we can’t expect to clean up our outsides and expect it to be sufficient enough to rejuvenate our batteries; if it’s the soul that is tired. The major problem with my battery was not just that it was corroded, it was that the battery itself wasn’t being paid attention to. How many times do we think that if we cover the surface of our issues with glitter or happy colors that we will get through them? How many times do we clean ourselves up to be presentable when really we’d rather be in bed with pajamas on, ignoring the world? Ignoring the bigger problem that is at the root of our dysfunction is preached to us day in and day out: “keep going you’ve got this, live laugh love it out, positive vibes, positive quotes, spend more money to be happier, get lit every weekend you’ll be happy, swipe right every night, make a picture match your aesthetic, get more followers, more likes, be famous”
Whew. That list just made me exhausted writing it. What happened to being simple and minimalistic? The toxicity of American culture is real. Depression is ruining lives and the suicide rate is skyrocketing; people are dying by their own hand at an incredibly awful rate. We cannot expect to be fully-functioning humans if we cannot deal with our inside thoughts and emotions. We need to get clean of our past traumas, our mini traumas, and the traumas that have altered our life course. I’m not here to tell you a one size fits all approach; there is none. Maybe you need to see a mental health counselor in your area, maybe you need an intensive program, or maybe you need to go talk to your faith leader. Just maybe….you need to talk to Jesus. You see, I hold a master’s in mental health counseling and I am also-a-messed up, need-a-savior human. A savior like Jesus because honey, I am still navigating what that means. I do know one thing though, the parallels between counseling and what the Bible says about mental health throughout is unreal (Seriously, there’s so many).
Alas, this isn’t about me or my faith, this is about you, because you matter. Your heart matters. Your tired, worn out soul matters. Your messy I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing-with-my-life matters. I want you to rest in that today. Out of a million timelines, 7 billion people, you were handed this time period and your community to exist, to function, and to make an impact on others. Wow. Just think about that for a second, out of all the history of the world you were chosen to be HERE at this exact moment in time…to walk this earth and to impact it in some way for a purpose.
But what IS your purpose? How do I create a life I don’t want to run away from? Those questions beg the aforementioned. That, my friend, is a loaded question that will be explored next time (yes, there’s more).
When we finally purchased a new battery from Walmart at 9pm, my father so carefully showed me how to remove the negative and positive terminals in a safe manner. He mentioned how it’s always “negative last, negative first” to remember that we must take off the negative terminal last, but replace it first because the charge of the positive terminal is so strong (seriously, it sparks). My hope for you today is that you choose to allow your strong positive terminals to light up and be stronger than your negatives. Because in life, outside corrosion will affect how we take care and love ourselves–and coca-cola is not going to fix that.
Hannah Smith, M.S.
*not sponsored by Coca-Cola