Tag Archives: life on life’s terms

Love, Circumstances, Regret, Eternity: 4 Contexts Where Accepting Life on Life’s Terms Changes Everything

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2018  Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

What’s sadly amusing is that people (let’s be honest, it is each of us) who need to learn life lessons often do not believe they have a problem.

I heard a notorious complainer and backbiter announce that she had once attended a conference on negativity.  One man struggled with coping and  refused therapy. He had never entered a professional mental healthcare office, yet claimed it would not help.

Accepting life on life’s terms is tricky. Instead, we often try to control circumstances or other people, and strive for comfort.   

Personal Power

Reputations, health, and safety are subject to events outside our control. No matter the wisdom or lack of sense behind our choices, good  and not-so-good will result. Jesus said God sends rain on the just and on the unjust*.  Life’s terms are reality.

Nonetheless, we have control over our behavior and responses. That is powerful!

I switched from railing against difficulties and fighting to improve the past, to focusing on changing me. Now a matured worldview, attitude, and belief system provide a deep sense of hope and purpose that eluded me before.

Do you see how far you’ve come since one to ten years ago? Change happens in truth. Honest introspection is not difficult. Simply by asking, “Why do I feel/believe/behave this way? Am I the person I want to be?”,  your escape from endless cycles begins. 

Life’s terms 

Relationships:   No human loves unconditionally and no one stays forever. These are not true because people are uncaring, rather it is that we are fallible, and incapable of perfectly meeting another’s needs. These are life’s terms.

Accepting these terms allows for rejoicing at how many people care sincerely and imperfectly.  Shared happiness and pain create a sense of community and personal fulfillment. This replaces the anguish of manipulating or insisting relationships match our design. Grace and freedom reign.

Circumstances:  Events outside ourselves are often confusing and seem to have trajectories of their own. It is impossible to slam on the brakes and stop all the nonsense. These are life’s terms. 

Accepting life’s terms means no set of circumstances has to complete our story. Looking for  options and focusing on what is next, spares us from paralyzing fear and hopelessness. We can create, share ideas, pray, and involve ourselves in a message of hope.   

Personal history:  The past is full of regrets and “can’t believe I did that”.  Consequences of poorer choices are not always avoidable. These are life’s terms. 

Accepting those terms allows us to make needed amends, and jumpstart the present.  How many of us would spend days hiding if we constantly stared at all our mistakes? Knowing the past cannot be fixed, we transfer energy toward influencing today for the good of humankind. 

Salvation:  No past choices determine our eternal future. Zero.  Starting now, putting faith in Jesus means we can believe our gifts, strengths, and weaknesses have purpose in the hands of a sovereign God. He sees his beloved (if somewhat confused) children through eyes of forgiveness and delight.

These are His terms, for which we can feel relief and gladness. 

Today’s Helpful Word

Proverbs 19:21 

Many are the plans in a person’s heart,  but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness, abuse, and addiction. 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, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.

*https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+5&version=ESV

When Life is Puzzling, Simple Answers Fail. Here are 4 Substantive Ones

 Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2017  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry
25493412 Overwhelming DepressionYou already know life is full of struggles. Life is also full of happy experiences like nice weather, finding a bargain, and being greeted with a smile. If distrust and pain focus our energy at times on the negative, positive moments may surprise us or go by unnoticed.
 
The opposite is also true. When life is going well, we can be shocked at pain as if it is a stranger forcing its way into our home uninvited.
 
Confusion is rampant. Why do I feel so empty now? How can I laugh minutes after my mom’s funeral? Why do bad things happen to me or my family? How can I feel good when others hurt?
 
Simple “answers” are easy to come by. We can blame anyone or anything for our discomfort. Parents, spouses, doctors, religious leaders, government officials, even God or ourselves. It is comforting to believe confusion can be resolved so readily.
 
I talk about psychology, hopefully only in the sense that it can provide insight into why we feel as we do. Behaviors, false beliefs, and feeling trapped in an inexplicable cycle can be addressed with options once an issue is recognized. However, psychology cannot answer all our confusion. Science and the study of human behavior leaves us with more questions sometimes.
 
If I am a victim, am I responsible for my behavior? If someone hurt me because they were hurt, do I have the right to feel angry? My emotional needs are great. Why can’t I find the support I need? WHY DO I STILL HURT???
 
There are answers. Some would say, “Just read the Bible.” I agree the answers are in there, but confusion cannot always make them out. We need four, somewhat more complicated answers. They definitely require us to take action.
 
1) Reach for the Higher Power.  Know God is benevolent and firm simultaneously. He loves us with passion and pours out mercy constantly. He has created us with purpose regardless how life (or death) treats us. He sent His only born-to-God Son, Jesus, to sacrifice his life for our eternal one. When we believe that, trust him as the way to God, and obey God’s instructions, we can know we have a connection to the Almighty. Our Higher Power is the Highest Power. We are never alone.
 
2) It’s important to receive wise counsel. For spiritual guidance, the source needs to understand God’s love, grace, and commands. They have to be people who believe the Bible is God’s Word. For mental health, a therapist ought not ridicule or belittle your faith in Jesus Christ. They must be knowledgable about your psychological condition and experienced with positive results. Support groups, Anonymous 12-step groups, some friends and family (if they get it) are places to discover you are not alone and can make positive changes.
 
3)Accept that life is a bouncy ball and cannot always be explained. Embrace confusion as part of the experience. If we can say, “I don’t know” and be okay with that, we will have more peace. By letting go, we cease trying to control everything and everybody. What a relief that is!
 
4) Buy into hope. At times we feel 100% certain there is no hope. The first three of this list of answers may seem a mockery of reality. However, hope is only hiding behind a curtain of pain and confusion. Eventually this blockade lifts and hope is ours to grasp again. Meanwhile, buy into the idea of hope. I have hope, many others have hope, your supports have hope, doctors and therapists have hope – why not choose to believe it exists? It’s a torturous wait sometimes hanging on to that thread. Yet desperately holding the hope of other people can get us through to the other side. 
 

Simple answers are so empty they rarely offer permanent solutions. I highly recommend substance. Believing and obeying a benevolent God, seeking wise support, accepting life on life’s terms, and reaching for hope will provide a solid floor to stand on. All four together surprise us with joy.

Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 32:22

Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.”

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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.

pic from kozzi.com

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.

photo-24769120-old-man-standing-and-looking-at-the-camera

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.

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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 can be yours.

*pictures from Qualitystockphotos.com