Category Archives: Soul Talk

To Be Someone or To Do Something? That Really Is The Question

There are some people that I struggle to like, let alone love.

They are those that preen.

Those who seem so full of their own self importance, strut around like peacocks, and who want everyone to notice them.

You can see it so obviously with some, whilst with others it’s more like a hidden agenda that they aren’t even consciously aware of.

Enter into my reading zone is the book Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday.

There is a story in it that I have been pondering over.  Continue reading

Is Taking A Spiritual Bypass Harming Your Mental Health?

It always happened.

After a relapse he would always say ‘I’ll never do that again, I’m trusting in Jesus to help me’.

Charged up by some sort of white knuckled determination and singing a few Jesus songs off he would go. Sure enough though his grit would grind out and he would crash back into the old behaviours.

You see he delighted in the feelings that flowed when in that place of escape.

Name your poison. Continue reading

I Say ‘Resurrection’ to The Mocker

I don’t think I could ever be a politician.

I look at what politicians have to put up with and know I couldn’t handle it. Adulation one day, then a knife in the back the next.

All those negative voices. People wanting to tear you down, and being ready to do anything to achieve your destruction. It’s a dog eat dog world where the dogs are always on the scrounge for that tasty morsel they can trot out and display. Continue reading

Becoming Fire-Proof: Protecting Ourselves from Burnout

After years of teaching high school in downtown Los Angeles, my wife accepted a job four hours away.

On top of my daily stressors of dealing with students and colleagues and deadlines at the school, I now moved to a tiny studio apartment, commuted to see my wife on weekends, and applied for hundreds of jobs, all while we were desperately trying to get pregnant after years of no success.

On top of that, I was stuck in a negative emotional response to my situation. Continue reading

Why You Need to Welcome Ravens for Your Mental Health

The rawness of the meat was either inviting or disturbingly unappealing. Stories shared, honesty held as holy, the powerless being empowered.

For some it was too raw, too up close and uncomfortable for them to receive the gift God was offering. To take in this gift there would have to be a open vulnerability to the poor, the broken, the unqualified. Continue reading

It’s Time For You to ‘Give it a Rest’

I had never quite sensed that feeling of release before.

That feeling of letting it all go and handing it on to someone else. I had been in ministry for 13 years serving as a Pastor/ Chaplain to people who struggled with ‘Normal Church’, mostly due to Mental Illness. It had been a time of growth and challenge where I along with a team of volunteers developed a mid week church service, ran camps and all the other stuff pastors do.

It was a load though, it was a responsibility, and now Continue reading

Are You In Sync With The Rhythm?

I’m not a dancer, but I am a musician. I believe that our Mental Health is closely linked to the rhythms we keep.

I have played guitar since I was thirteen and one of the little practice exercises I used to do in the early days was to play a piece of music either really slow or really fast, but it had to make sense.

As I progressed on in my learning I began to join with others.

I quickly learnt that if I was going to part of some ‘good music happening’ then I needed to learn the rhythm of not just the music, but the people as well.

Continue reading

How Joy Comes From An Unexpected Place.

I’ve had a taste and now I want more. I’m not being greedy or demanding or ‘push in line’ about it. It’s just that I have had a taste and I long for more.

There are wafts of joy coming from the kitchen. There is a party going on and I can hear music, and the delight of dance. I’m invited, actually I’m their special guest.

It’s a serious party, in the meaning that this is the total focus of all that they do.

Joy is the serious business of heaven C.S Lewis          Click to Tweet

Continue reading

On Being A Weathervane

I loved to watch planes as a child.

On Being a weathevane

On the farm in which I grew up on we would often get fertilizer spread by aeroplane. It was exciting to see that noisy plane swoop low over the fields and hills and see trails of white powder spreading over the landscape.

I suppose it was those planes that gave me the idea to build a weathervane in the shape of a plane. I loved building plastic Spitfire and Hurricanes, but this plane needed to be built of hard-wearing material. No little fiddly pieces and ‘get a headache/ high glue’.

So out of some wood in the workshop I crafted a plane.

I can’t remember what colour I painted it but I do remember putting a plastic propeller on the front. Through the centre of the plane a nail was used as a kind of axle for the plane to spin around upon.

It worked extremely well. With every little shift of wind direction the plane would move straight into a place of least resistance. That propeller would whirr around and fill the air with hum.

It worked perfectly well for the first year, but then under the heat of the sun and the rigours of winter storms the paint started to blister and peel. The plastic propeller got worn and started to wobble on that nail.

The plane still swung around on its pivot, but now the hole seemed honed out. The plane didn’t swivel so freely.

The next wild storm blew in and the propeller broke right off.

What was needed was a rest in the carpenter’s shop. I time to clean off some of the grime, a new paint job, a repairing of the damage and a new propeller.

I tell you this story because I think it is like many of us, if not all.

We head out into life with brightness and purpose. We angle ourselves into the wind of resistance and move ahead. Little shifts of wind and we adapt. Storms come and go, rain, hail, and hot beating sun, we weather it all.

Over time we get worn out without us ever realising the change. We think we are better than we really are. We are star struck by the over achievers so we go on, until we breakdown, burnout, and collapse.

Time for the care of a carpenter. Time for care from others whom the carpenter sends to help.

We all need time for rest and refreshing. For rejuvenation.

This is a serious question.

Are you ok with being loved?
Are you ok with being cared for?
Are you ok with being told ‘You need to rest’.

The very nature of facing into the wind takes its toll on the fabric of your being.

I remember listening to a pastor who was going through basically a power battle between himself and a couple of church members. He was broke. I simply asked ‘How is it with your soul’?

The question cut right through the normal bravado to a place of personal soul weariness. He had run on the fumes of an empty tank for too long.

Is this resonating with you?

It’s ok to rest and restore, and its ok to have others feed into you dollops of goodness, truth and love.

Barry Pearman

Image by Aquilatin