Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness, Addiction, and Abuse (c)2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
The following was written in 2011. It is taken from my book Called to Live: A Chronicle of Recovery After Attempted Suicide
There is a story about a father whose young son was trying hard to move a large rock in their path. The boy tugged and pulled, pushed, and groaned. Placing his back on the rock and planting his feet firmly against a tree, the boy grimaced, straining every muscle to no avail. Quitting, he sank to the ground.
His father asked, “Son, did you use all of your strength?”
“Yeah, dad! I used all my strength.”
“Did you try everything you knew to do?”
“Dad, I pushed, I pulled. I tried everything.”
“You didn’t use all your strength or available knowledge, son. You didn’t ask me for help.”
Dust is settling today. It is partially because of my choice to stand still. Instead of allowing emotional chaos, I am reaching for one speck of dust at a time, looking it over, and doing what needs to be done with it. Many beliefs and vocabulary words are up for inspection. Negative ones are destined for the trash pile.
Well, some will remain. This is going to take a while.
There seems to be a mixture yet of courage and fear, hopelessness and yearning. I feel determined one moment to face life with dignity, maturity, and responsibility. Then the next I am nursing ideas of escape.
There is always the proverbial man with no feet to consider. While I cry about having no shoes, he struggles. Depending on the care of others for his basic needs, he calls out and people come. He is not afraid to admit, “I have no feet” or “I need your help, would you carry me today?” If he is afraid, he is doing it anyway.
What does he have I do not have? Nothing, except a wherewithal to keep on living with hope. So maybe I will wind up always barefoot, hobbling over a stony path and challenged by pain. Still, I can walk. I have been given the tools to build a whole new mindset, a blueprint for a “Can Do” attitude that includes developing the willingness to ask for help.
There is a path to walk. Whether or not I can see around each bend and ascertain why I am going there is moot. Walking is my purpose. The path’s existence is enough reason to strive.
Allowing others to walk with me is my goal for today.