Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2015 Nancy Virden
I came home a few days ago angry. It was the quiet kind of angry that sneaks up on a person slowly. Or does it? More likely, I had managed to stuff it for a few minutes before it could not be denied anymore.
My stomach roiled. Typical tension and pins and needles sensations were there, too. Most obnoxious were the thoughts – racing toward nothing and refusing to leave. Food, busyness, social media, online shopping, and television were some of my favorite escapes when strong emotions would not take a rest.
This time though, I exercised a new technique and sat with the anger. Literally, I sat down and asked God why I was so upset. Over a few minutes, an idea occurred. A friend had offered criticism while interrupting and talking over my explanation. There was good reason for annoyance, however was there truth in what she said? Anger was rising from my fear she may have been right.
Studying the situation more critically, I concluded her assessment of my motives was incorrect. Anger still agitated my stomach, and all the physically uncomfortable symptoms were active. Then the unimaginable happened.
I sat some more.
It felt horrible. I wanted to hide, to bury this struggle under something more pleasurable. Nevertheless I stayed, acknowledging God, the hurt, and discomfort.
Sure enough, it subsided. The whole exercise had taken about twenty minutes. In that amount of time I could have eaten that leftover beef roast or checked Twitter dozens of times, and felt and resolved nothing.
Taking the time to ask God for insight and ride out a strong emotion had actually made it go away. Annoyance disappeared as reason and forgiveness took over. Not relying on my limited understanding had led directly to peace.
Today’s Helpful Word
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
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 can be yours.