I'm Not Qualified To Write About Mental Health But I Still Do
Lately, I haven't felt qualified enough.
Instead I've felt a deep awareness of my lack of authority to speak on certain issues or voice my opinion on what matters to me. The world can be quick to shun theories that are different and even quicker to reject experiences that stray from certain realities. Yet, I always feel inclined to blog about what I know won’t be readily accepted.
I also have this profound guilt for wanting the things that I want, for dreaming the dreams that I dream and a sense of shame for not knowing how to pursue them— ultimately lending to me not pursuing them at all.
For instance, the subject of mental and emotional wellness is very important to me. I am not a psychologist. I have no formal training in counseling. I’ve never sat a course on providing therapy.
Not having certain letters behind my name makes me fearful to open my mouth; as if what I have to say — based solely on passion and experience — simply isn’t enough.
I’ve been blogging for roughly four years and though I’ve received favorable responses to my writings there are a few who subtly try to undermine my efforts. Unfortunately, none of these efforts have been constructive. Nonetheless I frequently evaluate what I put out into the world: my energy, my speech, my work.
Should I share links for online resources and forums, support groups and platforms for mental wellness journeys? You bet. Should I post disclaimers on all my blog posts indicating that I am not a therapist and one should always seek professional counsel for their demons? Absolutely. Do I shrink my experience because it makes someone else uncomfortable? Do I squirm under the critical gaze of the "could never be me" movement? I shouldn't. But I do.
That which makes us brilliant isn’t what always makes us brave. Bravery is often independent of our calling and passion and gifts. They don’t naturally coexist. Meaning, having gifts doesn’t automatically mean our gifts will be put to proper use. We have to get naked, uncomfortable, be awkward and fall in order to fulfill our purpose. And that’s terrifying because we are all brilliant within our rights, but shrink our intelligence because it doesn’t look like what’s around us, because it’s not what's exalted around us, because it’s not medicine, or law, or engineering.
Our brilliance might look like full time philanthropy, theater, music, photography, YouTube, entrepreneurship; you know, the unconventional and uncertain paths.
Today I encourage us to not be afraid of the gifts sitting within us, the ones we’re too afraid to admit that we have, the ones that we’d never make money from, the ones that make our conservative Caribbean/African parents squirm.
Do not fear the gifts that consequently change the world, or would have, had we not sat on our laurels hiding our talents from the wolves.
Face the wolves. You’re stronger than them, and your stronger than you’re fears.