10 Powerful Quotes for Your Mental Health Journey

1. "In our rush to fix our problems, we neglect to allow space and time for our wounds to teach us." -Richard Rohr

Having problems isn't the problem. It's our inability to sit with the problem and allow the problem to guide us to deeper reflection and understanding. That's what causes the pain. That's what creates the confusion. That's what prevents patience in our healing journey. 

What might your wounds be trying to teach you? 

2. "Choose everyday to forgive yourself. You are human, you are flawed, and most of all worthy of love." -Alison Malee

Sometimes it a lot more easier to forgive others than forgive ourselves, but in order to experience true peace, we MUST learn how to compassionately accept ourselves and allow grace to touch our own hearts- no matter how broken, flawed, or unworthy you may feel. 

What might you need to forgive yourself today? 

3."You must learn a new way to think before you master a new way to be." -Marianne Williamson

We can't really change ourselves without first examining our thoughts. 

What is your personal schema? How do you view yourself? How do you view others? What automatic thoughts circulate for you? How do these thoughts get reinforced? 

Once we figure out what are thoughts are and how they shape us, we can then discover how to change them. The old saying stands true, "Change your thoughts, change your life."

4. "Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength." -Sigmund Freud

So Sigmund Freud may get a bad rep from the general public and even within the psychology field, but he had some genius ideas and amazing ways to conceptualize human experience. Here's one of his revolutionary ideas that challenged the status quo: Our vulnerabilities are not weaknesses. When we are able to see the truth embedded within this belief, without shame, we can courageously embrace our vulnerabilities and use them as the source of our strength. 

What are your vulnerabilities? How can they be used as strengths? 

5. "I am not what happened to me. I am what I chose to become." -Carl Jung

Believe it or not, you're entire past doesn't have to define you. Although it shapes your current perceptions and experiences, it doesn't have to make you who you are. We can learn from our past and make a decision to take what we want from it to shape and mold our present and our future. 

What do you want to choose to become? What parts of your past do you need to let go so you can become who you want to be? 

6. "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." -Viktor Frankl

It is always extremely frustrating and debilitating when we feel like we can't change our circumstances. Nothing feels worse than feeling stuck. However, Victor Frankl, a man who survived the concentration camps and knew suffering well, understood that we have more power than our situations may make us believe. The truth is, power is given to us from within and we can use that power to change the way we perceive our lives. We can create profound meaning even in the most terrible circumstances. 

How can you change yourself so that you can feel liberated in whatever difficult situation you find yourself in? 

7. "Stress, anxiety, and depression are caused when we are living to please others." -Paulo Coelho

Often times the chaos we feel within are not matters of trying to please ourselves but trying to please others. We are relational beings. We seek to be accepted. We seek to be cared for. We seek to be known, to be seen, to be valued. Much of our hearts yearnings come from what we seek in other people. However, it is a dangerous trap to live to please others simply because people will disappoint, will fail to reciporcrate or always want more. Therefore, we must live to please what is true, good and beautiful about ourselves and higher than ourselves, to be in full communion with what is most authentic and fulfilling. 

Who might you be trying to please? In what ways has it created strife in your life? How can you practice pleasing yourself and what's greater than yourself?

8."You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it. "-Maya Angelou

You've heard it many times. Struggle and defeat make you stronger and wiser. But we must let this truth really sink in. Our ability to encounter our defeats, our brokenness, our shame, our struggle, helps us to learn a lot about who we are, where we've come from, what breaks us, and how we can use all of it to make us the people we desire to become. 

What are the defeats in your life that you need to encounter? What can you rise from? How can you still come out it? 

9. "Our brokenness reveals something about who we are. Our sufferings and pains are not simply bothersome interruptions of our lives; rather, they touch us in our uniqueness and our most intimate individuality." -Henri Nouwen

What hurts you, what moves you with tears and fills your heart with sorrow, matters. Without knowledge of this, you'll never really know what you live for and what you can do to make an impact on your own life and the lives of others. These sorrowful disruptions in our lives, although painful, are very necessary. Each time it happens, we are invited to make something beautiful out of the pain- whether it be art, new awareness or consciousness, service to others, new music, new friendship, etc, we can be stirred in a powerful way to make something positive with our unique strengths and individuality. 

In what ways is your brokenness revealing something about who you are? How is your suffering touching your own uniqueness and most intimate individuality? What can you do to make something beautiful with your suffering and pain? 

10. "What we don't need in the midst of struggle is  shame for being human." -Brenee Brown

Nothing hurts more when you're struggling than being shamed for struggling. "Why are you being so weak?" "Can you stop being a baby?" "Just pick yourself up and keep going, what's wrong with you?"  Sometimes, it's not even other people who do the shaming, sometimes it's our very selves. How terrible this is! When there's no room for compassion, there's no room for growth and healing. When it comes to strong mental health having compassion for others and self-compassion for ourselves is paramount. Shame disrupts all of this.  Although shame is a common response due to a variety of different reasons, it has no room in the mental health journey. The truth is you're going to struggle, you're going to mess up, you're going to take two steps forward and three steps back, and that's okay. It's a part of the process and it's a process to be accepted and validated, rather than shamed. 

So how you might be plagued by shame? What does shame tell you? How can you let go of shame and allow yourself to be imperfectly human?