Nowadays, people are restless – searching for meaning this pandemic.
What’s the purpose of life with all these crises and uncertainties? Where do I go? Are my priorities still holding? How should I feel?
“It’s almost 2 years now, this Covid thing. Times when I just stare at anything. And freeze. I can’t figure out what still matters in my life,” says Ravi, a teenage mental health patient on Skype session.
Across ages, searching for meaning this pandemic can make people spin. Many act crazy. No longer normal.
Moods fly or fluctuate. Anxiety. Overthinking. Depression. Even addictions, of all kinds.
Dr. Lisa Miller, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University, has this to say,
“There are two pieces of good news … The first is that there are passages in life when we are primed to grow spiritually. One of them is adolescence. Another is midlife. The other good news is that there are specific life events that help us develop spiritually. If someone dies. If someone gets ill. A divorce. The birth of a child.”
Dr. Miller uses spirituality as a deeper reference point for finding meaning in life, including this time of the pandemic.
She points out the mental health benefits of spiritual thinking.
“Spirituality can boost our mood and help protect against depression,” Dr. Miller continues.
A body of scientific research knowledge and studies confirms this truth. It shows the concrete benefits of spiritual thinking in creating meanings.
The call then is to develop and deepen our spiritual core to find meanings during this pandemic.
We find it within the faith tradition, such as Christianity and Scriptures.
For others, they seem to find it outside of a faith tradition, such as in music, art, nature, poetry, and other creative pursuits.
In all of them, the search for meaning is actually a God-void in our hearts for mental health care.
“Scientists don’t define spirituality—we identify threads within human spiritual life. Two threads stand out. The first is our capacity to have a relationship with the sacred. People may call this God, the universe, a higher power or the force of life. It is the capacity to feel loved, held and guided, that we are never alone. The second thread is to share this with others.”— Dr. Lisa Miller