Tag Archives: Politics

Are We Serious, Folks? Insecure People Allow Opposing Beliefs to Determine Their Treatment of Others

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse  (c)2018  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries

Female Student Talking To High School CounselorC’mon! It is bad enough that unstable individuals carry out their hatred in acts of violence. It is terrible when people groups are systematically discriminated against due to lack of understanding or tolerance. All of this is painful to watch. 

What is difficult to comprehend is when supposedly normal, generally intelligent people decide they cannot be in the presence of those with opposing views. Of course we will not enjoy the company of everyone, and differing ideologies can cause friction. It makes sense one might not choose to spend the weekend with Uncle Harry who is obnoxiously pro-whatever one is against. 

It is a different situation when someone in one’s circle expresses a point of view, using respectful tones. Suddenly, Ed from accounting is no longer welcome to sit with the crowd in the lunchroom? Without explanation, members of a church group stop attending? I cannot figure out for the life of me how a point of view is so threatening!

Insecurity

Insecurity seems to swell in those relationships that dissolve because of disagreement over issues that cannot possibly be fixed over dinner or a game of golf. An insecure person cannot remain at the table when everyone does not share his or her opinion.

Here are three reasons we can and should stay in touch with people who do not think like we do. 

  1. No one knows everything perfectly. We are wrong and right often in the same moment. Do we deserve to be heard? If so, why not someone else?
  2. Truth can hold up to scrutiny. Is insecurity the result of a shaky premise? Is that why people shut down communication rather than pursue it?
  3. It is immature to walk away. Grown-ups stay in the room and talk. They work past vocal tones and disagreements and work out the relationship. Then, in a stroke of maturity, they agree to disagree and go on with their lives. 

Stay

As an imperfect and occasionally opinionated person, I fully appreciate when another adult (even an opinionated one) will stay for a whole conversation. Listening to other viewpoints does not mean we have to end up agreeing.  Asking and answering sincere questions is fun.

Picture two people who agree to discuss an issue. They start out reasonably. First person states their opinion, second person counters, first person counters with a new thought, second person walks out. Nothing accomplished, nothing learned. Only frustration remains because the second person never actually wanted anything short of an “you’re right, of course.”  

I know my opinions are not golden no matter how right they may be on occasion. No one else’s opinion is golden either. We share space on this planet. An opposing point of view is never enough reason to treat another person as dirt.  

WINCHILDrgbToday’s Helpful Word

James 3:17 

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere

***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

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.

 

 

 

 

When It Seems the World Might End: Not Your Typical Blog

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c) 2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Greetings Friend,

This blog is usually a faith-based mental health and recovery one. Posts are most often about abuse, mental illness, hope, and how to be supportive. Today I am veering away from the usual, because there is so much uncertainty in the world.

Fact is, life is full of struggles. Focusing on all the not-so-great and could-happens is unnerving at best. Fear and anxiety threaten to undo the most stalwart of hearts. The Bible is where God’s promises are in writing.  Despite hurricanes, rumors of war, wildfires, and political upheavals, we want peace, joy, and hope. God offers them.  

There are myriads of false teachers, misquoting and adding to what God said. So why not go to the source and get it right? “For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.” (Psalm 33:4) 

God’s promises often come with conditions

Psalm 91 (NLT)

Promise: REST in the shadow of the Almighty.

Condition: Those who live in the shelter of the Most High (Jesus is the shelter).

This I declare about the LordHe alone is my refuge, my place of safety;  he is my God, and I trust him… Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday…”

Psalm 32 (NLT)

Promise: JOY, FORGIVENESS, FREEDOM FROM GUILT

Condition: Those wholive in complete honesty. Those who confess sin and pray, those who obey God.

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment…  Many sorrows come to the wicked,  but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord

So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him!  Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure!”

Psalm 33  (NLT)

Promise: WATCHED OVER BY GOD, HOPE

Condition: Those who fear him and rely on his unfailing love

“The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory— for all its strength, it cannot save you.  But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love…

We put our hope in the LordHe is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice,  for we trust in his holy name. Let your unfailing love surround us, Lordfor our hope is in you alone.”

2 Peter 3  (NIV)

Promise: NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH AFTER THIS ONE IS DESTROYED; WORLD FILLED WITH GOD’S GOODNESS

Condition:  Those who believe on Jesus and are on guard, not carried away by lies and meaningless musings of people who reject God

On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames.  But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness… 

And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him—  speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different, just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction.”

Why this post

Some might say writing a post like this is bad for business. I know it will not make me popular.  Nonetheless,  “success” is not my priority, and popularity, while nice, is often based on telling people what they want to hear. What matters most is that readers know their eternal options.

I’ve said many times in different ways that Jesus promised we will have trouble. Followers of Jesus are not alone. He said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”*

 

*******COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.

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

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

In Political Turmoil Love is a Moral Value

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness   (c)2015 Nancy Virden

politics, heartsSo how did politics slip into a blog on mental health? Our values guide us and our politics. Even in political turmoil, love is a moral value. and we all know that without it we cannot be whole.

First, a definition of love

Love is action. It is caring enough about a person or nation to sacrifice for their wellbeing. When a war veteran says he or she loves America, it means something different than corrupt leader’s glib, “Gotta love America” as he or she rakes money into their greedy arms.

Love is superior to romance.  Romance is often only lust and warm fuzzy feelings. These are focused on one’s pleasure.  Romance matures when love is the overseer and leads to kindness, patience, acceptance, honesty, and consideration of each other’s feelings and needs. 

Love is a choice. In minor interactions as well as deeper connections, it is our decision whom to love.  We can treat waiters and cashiers as persons worthy of respect or as nonentities. It is up to us to forgive family members or retaliate. Applying effort to know someone is an option as is making superficial judgments. 

Politics and love

Valuing love will guide political opinions and votes. Of course I have political opinions but am much more concerned about how Jesus’ words, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”  are ignored in this world.

Plenty of self-love is evident from political leaders to the average citizen. For example, why does a populace vote on economics rather than moral character or skill? Why are innocent people in prison in the era of DNA testing? Why is there homelessness in this affluent country? 

Love is not voiceless and demands I stand up against injustice whenever possible. Nonetheless, while speaking out, my job as a follower of Jesus is to accept those who disagree and to refuse hate. Love tops politics every time.

Love and Learn

Respectful dialogue is vital. Truth on either side of an issue can withstand scrutiny. Hollering, arguing, and stubborn close-mindedness drive people further apart until no progress can occur. Learning from each other does not change the truth, it teaches us how to love each other as we love ourselves.

 Today’s Helpful Word

Matthew 22:37-39 (NLT)

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

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Comments are always welcome.  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.

 *picture by LUSI from rgbstock.com

 

Hope For All After U.S. Presidential Election 2016

CompassionateLove Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

LET'S TALK white stamp text on red octagon

Everyone knows this election in the U.S. was divisive. Extremists and moderates alike have been afraid, and fear leads to anger. Accusations, and even acceptance of the intolerable, unmasked mass terror that the other side (or either side) may win.

Today some people are traumatized by all the fear-mongering, splits in family and friend relationships, a newfound or refueled mistrust of the next door neighbor, and many are scared.

Many are down and sad. For people with mental illness, this election may have been a trigger. Stress levels are high. I know personally 2 people whose symptoms have worsened into dysfunction because of the results.

Will we talk about that side to things? Can we discuss the effects on mental health? The election is not the only divide in this country.

Since becoming vocal about my struggles with major depression, one person learned of  my story and walked away mumbling, “I don’t like to read.” Another appeared to take pleasure in being the one in the know, and so repeatedly told people in our social circle that I was “too sick,” and a “nutjob.” 

Does this sound anything like the presidential election of 2016?

My message, and that of thousands of voices in the mental health advocacy arena, is that contact without judgment is the most precious and priceless and helpful act anyone can do for a person struggling with mental illness. 

This morning, a search on Google brought a desperate person to my website. The search was, “cant get out of bed, im depressed”.  They found my post titled almost the same words, “I’m Depressed and Can’t Get Out of Bed. What Am I to Do?” At the bottom of that post is a link to a page headlined, “Gain a Mindset of Hope.” Both articles were read today – presumably by the one who did the search.

This is why, despite painful consequences, I am grateful God pushed me to go public. As for those people who choose to remain distant or unaware,  I pray they listen and grow.

Today’s Helpful Word

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
-Saint Paul

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COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

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.