Desoto County News

McNary: Calming the storm within with inner peace, compassion and connection

By Loretta McNary

In the quiet corners of our minds, there’s an ebb and flow of emotions and thoughts. Some are good, kind and peaceful, some are toxic, negative and hurtful. Some days, it feels like a gentle breeze guiding us forward, while others, it’s a storm that threatens to engulf us whole. 

Loretta McNary

May is Mental Health Month, a time to shed light on the dark shadows in our mind that too often go unseen. It’s a month to embrace the battle within, to acknowledge our struggles, and to find solace in the journey towards healing.

This month and beyond, I hope we find:

The Courage to Confront:  Mental health is not a sign of weakness; it’s a testament to our strength. It takes courage to confront the demons that lurk in the shadows, to face the darkness head-on and say, “I will not be consumed.” It’s a journey of self-discovery, a path paved with resilience and hope.

The Power of Connection:  In a world that often feels disconnected, reaching out can be the greatest act of bravery. Whether it’s a friend, a family member, or a professional, seeking support is a powerful step towards healing. It’s in the moments of vulnerability that we find strength, in the shared experiences that we find understanding. Together, we can rewrite the narrative of mental health, replacing stigma with compassion and isolation with connection.

The Beauty of Imperfection: We are not defined by our struggles; we are shaped by them. Our scars tell stories of resilience, of battles fought and won. It’s in embracing our imperfections that we find liberation, in accepting ourselves fully, flaws and all. Mental health is not about perfection; it’s about progress, about the journey towards self-acceptance and self-love.

Here are three of my top book recommendations on mental health to help guide you:

 1. “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk – This groundbreaking book explores the effects of trauma on the body and mind, offering insight into the healing process and practical strategies for recovery. 

 2. “The Happiness Trap” by Russ Harris – In a world obsessed with the pursuit of happiness, this book offers a refreshing perspective on acceptance and mindfulness. Through practical exercises and engaging anecdotes, Harris guides readers towards a more fulfilling life, free from the constraints of unrealistic expectations.

 3. “The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brené Brown – In this transformative book, Brown explores the power of vulnerability and the importance of embracing our imperfections. Through personal stories and research-backed insights, she encourages readers to let go of shame and cultivate self-compassion.

Mental Health Month brings peace and inspires us to carry the spirit of awareness and compassion with us throughout the year. Let us be gentle with ourselves and with others, recognizing that we are all fighting battles that are not always visible. Together, we can break the silence surrounding mental health and build a world where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued. 

In the words of the poet, Rumi, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” May we all find the courage to embrace our wounds, to let the light in, and to journey towards healing, one step at a time.

As we navigate the complexities of mental health, may we not overlook the importance of nurturing our spirits. Whether through prayer, meditation, or acts of kindness, let us tend to the needs of our souls with the same care and compassion that we give to our minds and bodies. In the embrace of spiritual nourishment, may we find the courage to face our struggles and the resilience to journey towards healing, one step at a time.

Here are two of my favorite quotes that remind me of the importance of spiritual nourishment:

1. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3 

 In moments of despair, when our hearts feel heavy with sorrow, we find comfort in knowing that there is a divine presence that can mend our shattered pieces. This verse speaks to the healing power of God’s love, offering a beacon of hope to those who are struggling.

2. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 

In the midst of life’s storms, when worries threaten to overwhelm us, this passage reminds us to turn to prayer as a source of strength. It speaks to the transformative power of surrender, of releasing our burdens into the hands of a higher power and finding peace in the midst of chaos.

Loretta McNary is our Lifestyles contributor. Catch “The Loretta McNary Show” on her channels, including broadcast TV, YouTube, Facebook, her website, and elsewhere.