Tag Archives: mind-reading

If Only …. Then I Would Be Happy

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

adult art awakening black and white
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

An unfortunate belief helps feed negativity and lack of productivity. It is simply this: something external must happen to make positivity possible.  

  • If only someone believed in me and supported my efforts – I’d finish a project.
  • If I won a million dollars – everything would be great.
  • If hiring managers recognized potential – I’d have a good job.
  • If only my parents had pushed me – I could be somebody.
  • If someone paid off my school loans – I’d have options.
  • If friends came around more I wouldn’t feel so isolated.

Reality is that rescue and strong support don’t come around often. Rarely do generous souls offer to pay off a person’s debts. Hiring managers generally want educated applicants, and when childhood is past there is no reason to linger on what might have been.

Most importantly, no one can read another’s mind. It is helpful to say what is needed.

I told my son I needed someone with whom to talk it through before daring to focus on art and trying to sell my work. He volunteered and had wise advice. Afterwards I expressed a need for motivation because I was paralyzed with doubt. He asked if his personal investment would be motive enough to begin.  It was, and two months later my apron is covered in paint and adhesive.

Anyone who wants change can speak of needs and wants.  Perhaps a supporter or two will respond. 

An isolated person can call friends and ask them to come over. 

School loans are difficult. However, there are second jobs, paying a little extra each month, or creating something to sell. 

The point is that we are in charge of our attitudes and responsibilities. External events cannot supply what is needed, and waiting for them is equal to setting life aside.

Today’s Helpful Word  

Proverbs 9:12

You are the one who will profit if you have wisdom, and if you reject it, you are the one who will suffer.


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

If you are 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. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!







Tuscan Wings, Mascara, and an Embarrassing Lesson

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

Bertuccis’ pizza restaurant will never be the same for me. 

A local favorite in southeastern Pennsylvania, one could stop by for fire baked pizzas with a gathering of friends or grab a few Tuscan wings on the go. During my six years in the area, I did both.

One afternoon, a young host greeted me with slight hesitancy before he smiled and warmly took me to my table.  I thought, what a nice, shy young man.

He sat me in the back of the restaurant facing a wall. It seemed strange because smaller tables in the open central area were available.  His eye contact was intentional, not the obligatory kind, when he smiled and said,  “Have a good lunch, Ma’am.”

I thought, he is sincere! How nice!

Another young adult came by to take my order. I was texting, and apologized for not being ready. 

“It’s no problem,” he said.  However, it was the way he said it.  I thought, Bertuccis has hired a great crew.

He paid unusually careful attention to me.  After ordering Tuscan wings, a salad, and a box, he hung around an extra moment and asked twice if I needed anything, “anything at all?”

My bill was shy of ten dollars. Placing twenty in the folder he provided and expecting change, I took advantage of the wait to freshen up in the ladies room.  

There, I stared at the mirror, face reddening in embarrassment. Desperate ideas for saving my pride failed to present a viable escape. No option was left but to laugh!

A few minutes before arriving at the restaurant, life’s stresses had broken out into a brief flood of tears. In turn, mascara painted my cheeks in streams. An attempt at wiping tears away made it look as if I had black eyes! 

Immediately, the extra nice service, warm looks, and added, “anything at all?” made more sense. No wonder I’d been seated in a private area! This time, it was laughter making me cry.

Considering  I would have paid anyone ten dollars to get me out of there, sight unseen, the choice to not return to my table for change was an easy one.  Face washed and head down, the trip to the door seemed unending. Finally, I stepped outside having left a 110% tip. Good thing Bertuccis isn’t a five-star restaurant.

This story gently and humorously reminds me to not make assumptions based on superficial evidence. If Bertuccis employees guessed I was sad, they were right. If they feared I’d been punched in the eyes, they were incorrect. Of course, there is no way of knowing what they thought. 

For those who live with a mental disorder or illness,  addiction, and/or abuse, the danger of assumption is two-fold:

  1. We who are mind-reading and guessing do not learn anything.
  2. The one who is judged superficially is harmed by unmet actual needs (and gossip in many cases!) 

The solution is to ask questions. For our loved ones who struggle with mental illnesses or situations that confuse us, a simple  “Will you help me understand?” makes a positive difference.

Today’s Helpful Word

Genesis 16:13

[Hagar] gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me…’  (Hagar had been abused and left to die with her son in the desert, but God never left her.)


NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from my 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.

*wings picture by TOME213; sky by REFRI – both  from rgbstock.com