Tags: mental health, mental illness, peer support, spiritual emergence, spiritual emergency
[this is an excerpt from a recently published booklet entitled “Multicultural Competence, Intense Spiritual Experience, and Mental Health: A Self-help, Peer Support and Service Provider Technical Assistance Tool,” written by Lauren Macuso.]
This letter was written by people who have lived through these [intense spiritual] experiences. We were called together for a reason: to create information that will help others through these experiences. Your healing and support has already begun!
What’s going on? What is this? I’m scared and don’t know what to do.
Be aware this is a process. Trust the process. It is a chance to let go of some things you no longer need and to explore and find new parts of yourself. You can make meaning from this experience. Find spiritually sensitive people to talk to.
Find someone safe who will respect your experience. If someone treats you like you are “crazy” or “mentally ill,” seek another person who is willing to be with you. There are people who are experienced in this and who understand this territory. It is important to find someone who will provide acceptance, understanding and reverence for your process. Someone who will not label your process, or stop it or “fix” it, but will hold witness without any agenda other than to hold sacred space and honor your innate wisdom and wholeness.
Even though your experience is powerful and special, be sure to take care of yourself—sleep, eat nutritious food, breathe, use centering practices, walk in nature. Be respectful of your body even if you feel good. Find a place of beauty and serenity to be in.
Find a way to express what is going on with you: painting, journaling, writing poetry, movement/dance/music, etc. Find a way to express yourself that feels authentic to you. Consider finding a culturally appropriate healing model that uses ceremony, ritual, or traditional counseling that feels authentic to you.
Trust your intuition to find the right help if you encounter any dark or negative energies, spirits or fears.
– from Multicultural Competence, Intense Spiritual Experience, and Mental Health, by Lauren Macuso