Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2016 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry
This afternoon, dozens of birds landed in my city-size backyard. They were different types; I saw a bluejay, robins, a downy woodpecker, sparrows, brown thrashers, what I think was a brown-headed cowbird, and grackles. My yard must be a buffet of worms and bugs following yesterday’s rain. They also seemed to enjoy the berry bush, especially the robins, who lingered long after the party was over, cautiously dangling from its flimsy branches.
I stopped counting at sixty-two. They were jittery. One wrong sound and they scattered as a mass in every direction. There was no actual danger, just what seemed a birdie panic following one bird’s flighty reaction to fear.
Fear weakens us. It may on the outside be covered up with pride, bravado, or confidence. Life seems manageable. We can often live in relative strength, not understanding how deeply fear affects us.
Then someone nearby says the sky is falling, and we flee, emotionally, physically, financially, and spiritually along with the panicking crowd. What we thought were our values fall by the wayside in the pursuit of survival. We leave loved ones behind for the sake of escape. Escape!
Society-at-large is pandering to fear right now. Some are screaming for laws and regulations to protect us. Others are shouting for politicians to step up to the plate. A few loud mouths resort to bullying as they promote themselves as ultimate power. The world is noisy. Some men, women, and children hide.
Fight or Flight is a human response to fear. (And sometime Freeze). Fear weakens us. Look around and watch how susceptible we are to following what is popular or loudest. In a moment of panic we may just follow the crowd off a cliff.
And the 1?
After the birds’ great exodus, one young deer ventured into the yard. It saw the berry bush close to the house and dove into red, lush pleasures. Branch after branch, the reckless deer munched, oblivious to how far he had wandered from the safety of the woods.
It too was jittery, and now and then the deer’s whole body shook. Instinctively, it knows the answer to danger is to run. I have no idea what it heard, thought it saw, or smelled that caused those legs to jump, change direction mid-air, and sprint so fast from the berry bush. It’s too bad, because no one would hurt the deer in my backyard. Everything inside his being told him to flee.
He missed out on a great dinner with seconds and dessert. How many times fear interrupts our joy, too! We love only to a point, receive love cautiously, trust at arms’ length, and believe we are always in danger of a broken heart. So we run before we can experience the best parts of life.
62 plus 1 reasons to challenge and overcome our fears. Look around and inside yourself. Observe. Ask God to show you what are your fears and the way out of them. You can know inner solidity and deep peace.
Today’s Helpful Word
Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
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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.