Compassionate Love:Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2014 Nancy Virden
Confession time. I have a flaw only my family plus the few people who have allowed me to drive them somewhere know about.
I get lost.
Ask Asanka, my passenger to church each week. Asanka has stories about the varying number of miles it takes us to get from Point A to Point B even though the points do not move.
Ask my aunt who rode over a curb with me because I thought I was supposed to turn right. Ask my sons who spent the bulk of their childhoods in downtown Cleveland while their mother drove for hours trying to find a way out! Ok, so that last one is exaggerated.
Still, the little English lady in my GPS once told me to navigate off-road, I suspect because she was getting dizzy. I thought satellites were going to start dropping from the sky whimpering, “I give up!”
Well, now that you know my secret flaw, what do you think of my response to people who would suggest I just use my GPS, or read a map? My response until recently has been, “My mind is busy. I’m distracted, that’s all it is.” However, in the past few years the term “mindful” has been repeatedly presented to me. Another confession is I didn’t know what it meant when I first heard it.
Worrying about our jobs, or watching our children in the backseat – these and more can distract us. When we focus on the task at hand and choose to keep our thoughts present and in the moment, we are likely being mindful and feeling better about our situation.
Yesterday didn’t have to happen as it did. In the morning I left early to be on time to a meeting and took a wrong turn as my mind wandered. Early afternoon I lost my Google map printout (my GPS gave up the ghost, and yes I can lose papers also). I was late to meeting number two. Ready to return home in early evening, a twenty-five minute drive became two hours. Why? Let’s just say I now know more about this area of the country than I did when I woke up yesterday.
It’s annoying being lost. Trying to make it into an adventure did not work this time because I have a work deadline Friday. Still, I knew fretting in slow traffic would accomplish nothing but to make me miserable, and so I practiced mindfulness by focusing on and singing along with happy music.
Mindfulness. One of the keys to peace, calm, and mental health.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.
*picture from Quality Stock Photos