Category Archives: forgiveness

Who do you Want on your Mental Health Recovery Team?

There is no ideal community. Community is made up of people with all their richness, but also with their weakness and poverty, of people who accept and forgive each other, who are vulnerable with each other. Humility and trust are more at the foundation of community than perfection. Jean Vanier

Lars and the Real Girl
Lars and the Real Girl
It was one of those movies that you wonder if you should really watch, but then you’re so glad you did.
A guy buys an anatomically correct blow up doll on the Internet.
There is a very good reason for Lars to do this, he has a Delusional Disorder and sees ‘Bianca’ as being real, totally and utterly real. I have known people with various types of Delusional Disorders and they are so fixed about their beliefs its heart breaking.
Lars and the Real Girl is humorous, but it has a very serious side to it.
It challenges the viewer as to how they treat others who are different to themselves.
This was the challenge for Lar’s community.
How do we help Lars.
They embrace him, and Bianca, and over time with therapy and support Lars changes.
It’s pretty idealistic, but it has to be one of the best portrayals of what recovery from a Major Mental illness requires.
A community of people all supporting the individual in their journey. 
Who is on your team? 
         Whose team are you on?

The better the people on your recovery team, the better the outcome. 

I have seen this time and time again.

The team hopefully will involve specialists such as Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, Counsellors, Support Workers, Pastors, Chaplains etc. All generally paid to perform a vital function with the skills and knowledge they have.

Then there are the other team members. Those that unpaid, have no formal qualifications, and are just there because they are. Family, friends, workmates, neighbours, etc.

These are the ones that are going to be there generally in the long-term. Relationships here are probably more crucial to long-term recovery than those with the professionals.

What do safe relationships look like? 

Safe relationships are where Grace overwhelms Judgementalism, Wisdom replaces Technique, Hope eliminates Pressure, and the listener resists the urge to merely empathize, give quick advice and provide a “religious” fix. Larry Crabb

As I said, ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ is idealistic, but not unrealistic. 

The first step in forming safe relational communities is to be a safe relating person yourself. 

Questions to consider and share a comment?

  1. Larry Crabb lists 6 requirements of a safe relationship. Which holds the most difficulty for you and why? 
  2. How have you felt when you have been judged, processed through a technique, pressured, listened with ‘Oh you poor thing’ empathy, given quick advice and or a religious fix? How could they have done better?
Barry Pearman 
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How to Release the Pressure of Jealousy, Anger, Bitterness, and Hatred

You have been hurt, badly. You are angry and want revenge and retaliation.   

Picture of pressure gauge

Photo Credit: iammikeb via Compfight cc

It eats at you day and night. Hatred boils up and threatens to overflow with vengeance. 


What are you to do? 
        Hold it in or let it out? 

Transform jealousy, anger, bitterness, and hatred rather than give them back in kind: Any pain or tension that we do not transform we will retransmit. Ronald Rolheiser (Tweet it)

What do we do with those poisons though? 
          How do we transform them? 


Currently I am spending time each morning reading aloud some of the Psalms in the Bible. Many of them written by King David, a man of passion and emotion. He often vents his poison and anger about his enemies to God . 


Let their supper be bait in a trap that snaps shut; May their best friends be trappers who’ll skin them alive. Make them become blind as bats,
Give them the shakes from morning to night.
Let them know what you think of them,
Blast them with your red-hot anger. Psalm 69:22-24 (The Message)

Wow, David lays it out doesn’t he!

Now lets be honest here, do you ever feel like David? Do you ever say those sort’s of things. Perhaps you may even feel some shame for even thinking in such a way. Yet here we find a worshipper venting and voicing his pain to God. Full throttle!

Praying like this releases the pressure valve. 

Notice though that in praying like this David asks God to take action. He ask’s God to retaliate and to take action on his behalf. He places the need for justice into the hands of God. He hands the bag of hatred over to God to deal with. 

I wonder if just handing over the bag of hatred enables God to do something that we never could. We have given God the right to do what God wants to do. God knows the big picture, the whole story, will judge accurately and has the perfect course of action to take. 

We give up the idea that we know best. We now rely and trust in God to work Gods will, Gods way, Gods timing.

Paul writes this

Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”

Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. Romans 12:17-21 (The Message)


Most likely you will need to give the lust for vengeance to God many many times. That’s ok. Whenever those thoughts and feelings bubble up, hand them over to Jesus. He has big hands and broad shoulders. He can handle any thing.


Question to consider and leave a comment.

  • What would it take to just give it over to God? To let God be the ‘avenger’.
  • Is it truly ok for you to let God handle things in ‘Gods will, Gods way, Gods timing’ or do you still want to play God?  


Barry Pearman

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