Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2015 Nancy Virden
You’ve seen them; there are those people who seem to know from a fairly young age what it is they want to do. They take the right courses in High School and college, graduate with good grades, and step right into their future. Their passion and drive steer them to meet goal after goal.
I’ve envied those people. Have you?
Then there are some of us who for whatever reason cannot seem to pinpoint a target. We flit from one idea to the next, experience success intermittently, and our motivation wavers. It’s possible we have a specific dream circumstances do not allow us to chase, but more likely we don’t stick to passing fancies.
What I am describing is a confused identity, a loss of self. If anyone asked me what I wanted to do to make a living, for most of my life I would have said “I don’t know” or named the most current project. I really didn’t know. How could one choose who to be when she does not know who she is?
This blog is not about blame, however clearly there are influencing factors. If parents and other significant people neglect a child’s basic physical and emotional needs, the child will grow up without a definition of ‘need’ or how to fulfill it.
During the Ferguson, Missouri riots, television showed man-on-the-street interviews. One of those questioned said, “Broken people break things.” That is not a moral excuse, yet is too often true. Brokenness breeds brokenness breeds brokenness.
Not until the big 5-0 was staring me down did an idea of who I am begin to emerge. Then I had to find out what my needs are. Failing to understand these concepts had allowed for little development of purpose or goals, and no reason to be.
Quite simply, having truth explained in a way that made sense changed everything.
“If you aim at nothing you will surely hit it.” is a paraphrase of a quote from an unknown source. It’s meaning is as old as time. Here are 4 goals to help kickstart discovery.
- Ask God to lead
- Find wise, knowledgeable, and experienced counsel
- Dig in to apply suggested changes
- Practice self-care
Life has purpose. Having a sense of who you are makes the journey much more fulfilling.
Go ahead, look for you.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with 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 is yours.
*picture from qualitystockphotos.com