They were so caught up in themselves and their selfish desires that they got lost to the concerns of others. Without recognising the wealth of love around them, they were the prodigal, a child of abundance squandering it away. What drew them back was a memory of love, faint and small, when the soul hit rock bottom.
We all at times suffer levels of naivety and ignorance. We don’t know what we don’t know. In our prodigal pride, we wander away until we remember that allure of love and we wake up.
We can be so blind that we miss the obvious. Everyone around can see what is happening, but we blindly go on. Warnings given and dismissed.
‘I don’t have a problem; it’s you that has the problem’ Continue reading “It’s Love That Wins The Blind Prodigal Back”
‘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”
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”
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 “Mental Health Grows When we Have a Routine”
I want to do it my way. I don’t need others help. I can rebuild my life and recover in my own strength. To admit that I need help is a sign of weakness. That I am just like them.
No, I am better than that. I will continue to hold on to that pride and resist any exposure and vulnerability to others lest I be considered weak and incapable.
Are you like this too? Continue reading “and next to them”
The old saying is true. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. It’s also true that you can take the water to the horse, put the water in a china cup and sprinkle rose petals over and it still won’t drink.
In my years as a pastor/ chaplain/ mental health worker the ones who made the progress and saw recovery were the ones who did the work. They didn’t sit around smoking all day, regaling the old days. They were the ones who made the effort to change. Continue reading “In Recovery YOU Have To Do The Work”
Walls have weakened, crumbling,
sinking low to ground, sagged
like our spirits as they view
the sorry edifice before us Continue reading “Rebuilding – Poem by Joy Lenton”
Something happened here but it didn’t happen overnight.
As a gardener I have been working on an old homestead garden for two days every week for around two years. When I first started, the garden was in bad shape. Over grown with weeds, dead trees and sick looking plants it needed a program of consistent attention and recovery. Continue reading “Mental Health Grows Bud by Bud, Brick by Brick”