Meeting with others on a regular basis builds strength and resilience in our Mental Health. Friends build each other up to be strong.
I wasn’t expecting any great life changing moments happening in this small group of three people. As they talked I could see that they were increasingly feeling comfortable with each other. They all had similar backgrounds and struggles and as they shared, the privacy walls dropped and they started to talk deep.
One of the quieter ones felt safe enough to ask a question, and then another. Soon others felt safe enough to ask ‘silly questions’. There were huge moments of life changing discovery. Continue reading
That little phrase ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness’ is not actually in the Bible. In fact, Jesus had a rant about those who equated having the body externally clean with being close to God.
In Jesus words they were like ‘manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it’s all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh’
And yet I have a body, created by God, for a purpose and I believe how I treat my body does have an intimate connection to my wellness.
I’ve seen the extremes. Continue reading
It was my routine that I had built up over the years that got me through the dark morning. Do you have a routine?
Ever had one of those mornings where you just don’t want to face the day. You’re sort of glued to the bed. It’s a safe, warm and secure place, and you just want to go back to sleep if possible because well it’s better than listening to the depressing or anxious thoughts trawling through your mind. The black dog of depression is cuddled up beside you and you don’t want to face the day. It’s a routine that can so easily become a rut. Continue reading
Spiritual Formation that changes our Mental Health is found through ‘Little by little’ dance steps with God.
‘Superficiality is the curse of our age. The doctrine of instant satisfaction is a primary spiritual problem.’
With these words, Richard foster begins chapter one of his classic best-selling book ‘Celebration of Discipline’.
I remember reading this classic 37 years ago. That superficiality, that desire for instant satisfaction is still with us and is still a primary spiritual problem.
Are you ok with going deep?
I remember as a child watching my parents have daily devotions together. They would read a portion of The Reaper, a daily devotional put together by various lecturers of a local Bible college, then I imagine they prayed together. Continue reading
There is a time for everything, including rescuing, but let’s focus on the rebuilding through empowerment.
It was one of those lightbulb moments for me.
I had just discovered something new that threw some new light on an old struggle.
Ever had one of those?
What I learned is that Jesus did for us what we cannot do for ourselves and that Jesus does not do for us what we can and should do for ourselves.
I outline these and 8 other principles of how Jesus demonstrates empowerment in my eBook So you want to help.
The first two principles. Continue reading
When you’re helping others you need a self-care plan for yourself
It was a major storm. A lot of rain had fallen and I had witnessed flooding like I had never seen before. A few days later I was in a drain clearing some of the damage.
I was up and over my knees in silty mud. It wasn’t nice or comfortable as I waded in the mud for probably half an hour. The only thing that really kept me going was the thought of a hot shower and some clean clothes. That mud sure was sticky. Continue reading
Compassion moved my gut, then my heart, and then I received a notification from my mind.
Not every story creates gut moving compassion.
But as I listened it wrenched open my heart, soul and stomach till I was totally gutted and laid bare by what had happened to my friend. Being vulnerable to others can do this in you.
They open a door to what is really going on in their soul. They feel safe enough to share and then they vomit out tightly held stories of pain.
Compassion, the suffering together with someone, asks you to get in the ditch with the struggle. Messy as it is.
There is always that moment of decision. Will I listen deeply and groan, or be antiseptically clean and Teflon it away. Continue reading
You need a ‘but’ to enter your narrative of ‘and’s’.
The large leather strap slammed down on my primary school desk and made my 7-year-old body freeze with terror.
Mrs G was the one teacher every child in Wellsford Primary School did not want to have. I had been quietly writing some sentences out when the tyrant crept up behind me, strap in hand. She looked over my work and asked me ‘What’s the margin doing there?’ to which I innocently replied ‘It’s always been there’.
That strap came down so hard on my little desk that I think the whole class shook. I wasn’t being smart or cheeky, I was being honest.
I wonder now if that was my first experience of being shamed. Continue reading
We feel safe enough to heal when we experience a shared humanity.
I only went to see this doctor once. His personality, or lack of it, made me wonder whether under his smooth shaven skin was actually an android. No sense of empathy or human compassion for my sprained ankle could be seen.
He treated me, charged me, and then sent me on my way.
I’ve met others like this too (Yikes, I wonder if they are breeding) and sadly all too often in the helping professionals.
They are all professional and programmed up to the latest model of ‘care’.
The ones that I have found to be truly helpful are those Continue reading
We’ve been robbed in more ways than we know.
It wasn’t the usual snatch and grab. This was more a subtle insidious taking of life.
In the early stages of their depressive illness, they had been put on the new wonder drug Valium. With strong tranquillizing effects, life was muted.
Then after 30 years, Continue reading