Tag Archives: learning

Follow this Plan for Stronger Emotional Health and Relationships

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

You live inside a cube with a window and door. Each of us does.

With you in your cube are what you value, and what makes you who you are. Your family, church, job, and hobby are in there. So are your favorite entertainments, and deep thoughts. In one corner is a dark spot of flaws and selfish behaviors.

All our cubes are filled in the same manner.

As you go throughout your day, bumping into other cubes, maybe annoyance grows.  Inside your private space with unchallenged ideas, you feel safe.

It is simple to dehumanize others we refuse to see.

Observe and connect

Open your window and watch from a distance superficially.  Possibly some faces look back at you making assumptions. You presume to know what they are thinking.

Communication is empty of understanding.

Ah, the door. Swing it wide and invite others in! Expose the real you. Take responsibility for your decisions. When you and at least one other person are welcome to enter and leave each other’s cubes freely, your basic human need for positive, meaningful connection will be met!

There is joyous give and take, generous communication, forgiveness, and honesty about darker egos. That is how we learn and grow.

Be emotionally healthy

You have no control over whether other cubes open. Let them go. You will not have freedom with everyone. However, it is not healthy to stay hidden inside, never reaching out, sharing, or helping.

It is not healthy to allow someone else to live in your cube trying to meet all your needs. It is equally not healthy and is dangerous to stay in another person’s cube, living for his or her happiness.

Whether family, friends, or romance, choose relationships wisely.  Within a positive and meaningful connection you need validation, to know someone values you enough to be involved, and genuine acceptance. Look for these.

A connection is ready 

Jesus offers all three.  He knows every second of your existence. This validation and acceptance is proven in Psalm 139. Jesus also showed how much he values you when he left heaven to sacrifice his body for your eternal soul.

If people in your life refuse to connect, remember you have One who always wants you to know him as he knows you.

Today’s Helpful Word  

Psalm 139: 1, 16 

“You have searched me, Lord and you know me… Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” 


NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S.  (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.

Maturing in Our Old Age: Why Bother?

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2014 Nancy Virden

photo-24706337-old-womanPrime. What does that word mean to you?

Prime seats at a Celine Dion concert?

Prime rib at Brown Derby?

Prime of your life?

Marie is 73 years-old. She identifies herself as a non-practicing Jew. She is a retired lawyer, divorced, and living near her daughter for the first time since her daughter moved out at 18. When I met her she had recently overcome cancer and was trying to put healthy lifestyle practices into place.  

Since I am not a mental health diagnostician or doctor, I will not try to guess what drives Marie to make the decisions she makes. Part of me wants to respond to her free-thinking with a loud, “Go girl!” while another part questions if she is actually happy with herself. Why did Marie never align herself with her faith? What makes her now want to develop a closer bond with her child? Perhaps even Marie does not know the answers to these and many more questions. Still, at her advanced age she appears to pursue life.

Or is she running from something else? Marie cries, bellows in anger, is often fearful, and struggles to get out of bed in the mornings. She wonders if she can face death, and fights desperately to avoid it. On the surface it seems she is just now giving death any thought at all. Perhaps denial and escapism have failed to protect her.

Marie is hearing for the first time in our support group what all of us in serious recovery have to learn. We are powerless at controlling every facet of living. Instead, we must cope with truth. Life, on life’s terms.


Even though this lesson is coming to me in my early fifties, it still improves my thinking. By the time I reach 74 I will have had twenty years of knowing what emotional freedom actually means. Peace is settling over the fight to create a future my way. 

Maturing in our older years is worth continued effort. Each step forward we are better than in the past. Tomorrow may not come. The prime of life is today.


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.

*pictures from Qualitystockphotos.com