In both good and bad times one of my saving graces has always been to read scripture. Reading the bible gives me peace and comfort. When we pray, we talk to God, when we read the bible God talks to us. One of my favorite verses is Mark 8:36 which says, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” I have interpreted this to mean if you spend your life chasing after pleasure, position, possessions, prestige, personal wealth, or power it is meaningless. Even if you secure these earthly desires, they are temporary and cannot be exchanged for your soul. This verse makes me think of what is going on in the world of sports with two Black female superstar athletes, the world’s most decorated and gifted gymnast, Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka, the number two ranked women’s tennis player in the world. My sanctified imagination created this version of Mark 8:36 which reads, “For what shall it profit a woman, if she wins gold medals and tennis championships and loses her own wellbeing?” These women have made the difficult choice of not competing in sporting events and have been found guilty in the court of public opinion of letting us down. These two wonderfully gifted athletes do not owe anyone anything, especially at the cost of their lives. Because of the prolific power and influence of social media they may have lost control of the narrative surrounding their decisions not to compete, but they must not lose the decision to take responsibility for their mental health.
The topic of mental health is difficult to discuss for most people but exceptionally difficult for high-profile athletes that have the eyes of the entire world clocking their every move. These two women have shown remarkable courage in making the decision not to compete. Too many athletes have taken a seat when it comes to social issues plaguing our country and these two sheroes have taken a stand, to say no athletic event will take precedence over my mental health. The fact that these two women came forward to share their current situations helps others that may feel scared or embarrassed to tell their truth. By sharing their voices, a shift is occurring at this very moment in the mental health industry. The stigma of mental health has not disappeared, but it is becoming more acceptable to openly talk about.
According to Medical News Today, mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave. People sometimes use the term “mental health” to mean the absence of a mental disorder One’s mental health can affect daily living, relationships, and physical health. Looking after mental health can preserve a person’s ability to enjoy life. Doing this involves reaching a balance between life activities, responsibilities, and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.
Situations such as stress, depression, and anxiety can all affect mental health and disrupt a person’s routine.
What cost are you willing to pay for your peace of mind? How can we help end the stigma of mental health and help those that suffer to have the confidence to come forward to get the help they need? One way is to start being honest regarding our own situations. If we feel we are suffering or struggling with mental health issues do not be afraid to tell someone. If you know someone that struggles have the courage to be their ally and help them get the help they need. There is no need for any of us to suffer in silence. #mentalhealth #simonebiles #naomiosaka
Healing Without Hate: It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on.
Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.