‘Am I doing ok?’ was the question I was most frequently asked when I was a pastor/chaplain. ‘Is this Church safe’ was another. Keeping pace were other limping souls …
- ‘Am I welcome here’
- ‘Does God really love me?’
- ‘I can’t seem to get it right’
- ‘… keeps telling me that I need to do … if I am going to be ok and be part of this church’
- ‘I keep going back to my addiction, I feel so guilty, God is angry’
At this point nice gentle Pastor Barry feels like getting a whip, going to certain churches and people, overturning pews, casting out tithing bags and shouting…
‘Stop laying heavy burdens on broken backs’
Continue reading “3 Ingredients of a Safe Church for your Mental Health”
It was only a small little torch but when I flicked the switch and pointed the beam of light at the ceiling the whole room filled with light. It doesn’t take much light to chase the darkness away. Moods can change when we flick the switch.
The brain takes the shape of whatever the mind rests upon. Dr. Rick Hanson
When depressed, a dark mood can become like a swamp holding you in its grip. You want to break free of the suction but you are held firm.
You need to get up. You’ve got things to do, commitments, relationships that rely on you but the gloom of a dark shadow grips you.
Then someone says Continue reading “Black Moods of Depression Lose Their Power When YOU Turn The Light On”
Do you think mental illness is God’s way of forcing us to slow down and change our behaviour or is it the Devil messing with our minds?
I recently received this question from one of the readers via the anonymous question survey.
It’s an interesting question and one that I think has many questions under the question. It also demonstrates a type of belief about God and Gods relationship with us.
So here is my answer. Leave a comment below to let me know what you think about this question. Continue reading “Does God use a Mental Illness to Slow Us Down?”
Just outside my window, I can see a beautiful yellow rose.
It wasn’t there last week, well actually it was but it was just tightly bound up under its green calyx.
A lot can happen in a week, in a day, in a moment.
I can see the beauty but to deeply experience it I must stoop, smell and breath in its beauty. Slowly, gently, letting my brain cells savour the moment.
Do you take time to smell the roses?
You don’t need roses
Continue reading “Smelling the Roses Grows a Healthy Brain”
Around the hillside of the sheep farm where I was raised were grooves worn into the soil by hundreds of sheep following each other. It was the easiest route.
I also have routes in my thinking patterns that have become ruts. Familiar paths that have been worn deep into my thinking.
A thought gets triggered then another one and another one. Then within a few milliseconds, you are down in that old familiar cesspool of negativity. Continue reading “7 Steps to Regroove Your Thinking Patterns”
She walked into my office in a long, flowing skirt. She always had loved long, flowing skirts. But she blamed them and herself for both of her rapes. “Maybe if I hadn’t worn a skirt,” she thought.
And she hated herself.
The man read from his journal. Almost 20 pages detailing every abuse he had ever experienced. His anger had turned from others onto himself. He thought of himself as nothing. Worthless.
And he hated himself.
I could write pages and pages of stories just like these. People I have known and sat with for hours, listening to their pain. Some call it low self-esteem, some prefer other words.
The semantics of self-hatred doesn’t really matter.
In the end, it comes down to a pain that seems impossible to bear and even more impossible to be rid of.
Living in this broken world breaks us. Continue reading “Becoming the You God Sees: Guest Post by Kristen Kansiewicz”
If you were to open my mothers Bible the first thing you would notice would be the handwritten verses and quotes that helped her mental health.
Dig a little further and you would come across underlined verses, cut out sections from the church newsletter and notes from sermons. I’ve just realised I do much the same in writing this blog.
Mum had her favourite verses that kept her secure in God.
I recently asked the Turning the Page facebook group what their favorite verses were for their mental health.
14 Verses to help your Mental Health
Continue reading “14 Proven Bible Verses to Help Your Mental Health”
It was election day here in New Zealand last Saturday and as I stood in line to cast my vote I started a conversation with an elderly English gentleman.
He had come to New Zealand in 1968 on a world trip.
Running out of money, he decided to stay.
‘Well, why wouldn’t you?’ he commented.
We both discussed how wonderful it was to come out on Election day and express our democratic right. It was part of being a citizen and a member of the community.
To know that your opinion mattered just as much as the next person.
Democracy – love it. Continue reading “Have You Voted For You Yet?”
When I was on a 6-hour road trip back to university I picked up a hitchhiker.
It was cold and wintery as I turned a corner on the Desert road and I saw a young man with his thumb stuck out. Thin, short hair and poorly clothed for the winter, I felt concern for him.
I pulled my little Mini over and offered him a ride.
I asked where he was going off we went. He didn’t say much but eventually, we arrived at my student flat.
After dinner, I then offered him a bed for the night which was gratefully received. In the morning he was off and I let him have my jersey.
I thought nothing of it, then things started to fall into place, Continue reading “The Day I Picked Up An Escaped Convict That Helped me Find my True Self”
The shame of an attempt at suicide can cling onto you like the odour of some dirty old socks.
You would do anything to get rid of that stench. Is that a good description of shame? That feeling of embarrassment at what you have done. You want to hide, run, cover it up, but it’s still there. Those smelly old socks still stink.
Recently I was asked a question by one of the readers of Turning the Page about how to help someone who had recently attempted suicide. In the midst of their crisis, they had posted their intentions out on Social Media. Now they had a deep sense of shame and embarrassment. They feared that people would treat them differently.
So how would you help someone like this? Continue reading “18 Insights to Heal the Shame of an Attempted Suicide”