Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2016 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry
Grieving, lonely, angry, anxious, and otherwise dreading that family get-together? Here is the good news. We are not victims; we have control because we have options.
Yes, we do! We have opportunity to choose what we value and who we want to be.
Think about it, and possibly write your values. What is important to you? Then write what kind of person you want to be.
I value honesty. I want to be an open and transparent person.
I value calm. I want to be an even-tempered person.
The list can be as long as you like. What do you want?
We can struggle, sometimes very hard, against pain brought into our lives at the will of others. Maybe you lost yourself long time ago. Remembering your values might take some time. That’s ok, go for it anyway.
Waves of grief can strike us during the holidays when we least expect it. A conversation yesterday changed my demeanor from smiles to sobs. It’s not a character flaw to feel sad over loss! Denial is not the answer. What do you value? What kind of person do you want to be?
Maybe this season you question if you have enough stamina to go on. Pain, physical or emotional, may be due to terrible relationships, stressful jobs, or that all-time king of suffering – loneliness. It is always your choice how to respond. What kind of person do you want to be?
We may find we lack the know-how, or the strength to finish a list like this alone. Perhaps the concept of being the kind of person you want is a bit mind-boggling. That’s ok, too. I’ve been there. Support groups and therapists tend to be safe; church groups, good friends, and teachers may have insights into who you are that you have missed.
It is always our choice to seek support or not. We can decide to pursue antidotes to the status quo and Bah Humbug thinking. It is in our power, regardless of our feelings, to live on purpose and believe for hope.
I decided yesterday to fight what I’ve experienced as an annual holiday emotional torture. I did this for the first time two years ago, and it changed everything for me. Spontaneous invitations went out to a few friends, new and old, for a game night between Christmas and New Years Day. I do not know yet who can come, but the point is I am pursuing my values. I love treating people! The kind of person I want to be focuses on honoring God by loving other people. It sure beats feeling depressed.
To all, I wish and pray for a happy holiday season. May you live by your values, and experience peace in striving to be who you want. Maybe your greatest blessing will be admitting you cannot do this by yourself.
Today’s Helpful Word
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
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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.