‘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”
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”
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”
Life has a tragic way of repeating itself. It seems at times that we just go round an endless loop of repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Then someone says ‘forget what lies behind’.
One of my favourite classic movies is Groundhog day with a very young Bill Murray.
Weatherman Phil Connors is sent to cover the first day of spring in a small town called Punxsutawney. At night he goes to bed and then wakes to the alarm going off at 6 am.
It’s not 6 am the next day, but weirdly 6 am of the same day. He gets the opportunity to live the same day over and over and over again until he gets it right. Continue reading “To Heal You Just Need to ‘Forget What Lies Behind’: Toxic Faith pt. 4”
We are all like druggies, wanting that quick fix to kill the pain.
Be it a drug, some porn, a sale, a comfort food, an altar call, a dose of the ghost (Holy Spirit), or a faith formula to get what we want. Anything, just anything to avoid going deep, facing our sinfulness, repenting and making the change.
Maybe they had seen too many telly Evangelists. They told me they had been to multiple healing services and now they had come to me and wanted me to ‘pray the demons out of them’. When I said that I would like to know more about them, they stormed out of the room and asked the passing caretaker to pray for them. He looked kind of shocked and puzzled. Continue reading “Just waiting for an ‘Anointing’ to wash my problems away: Toxic Faith pt 2”
You have an Unbearable Feeling, let’s gets some help and find out what it is.
I was in one of those novelty gift stores the other day and there it was. A button that needed to be pushed. It was a big red rubber button that when pushed it said “NO” in the voice of Homer Simpson. I had to push it. Just had too.
We all have buttons that when they are pushed they get a reaction. Continue reading “Just Don’t Touch That Button – Your Unbearable Feeling”