Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2014 Nancy Virden
Often I hear adult children who are struggling with mental illness say they were hushed or even punished when they were little for sharing new ideas with the grownups.
Sometimes people do not want to hear anything other than what they already believe, and parents can be power-hungry, too. Real discussions:
1) Woman: “Family members worry when I give them gifts and say they feel obliged to give me something back. They want me to stop.”
Therapist: “Maybe we need to consider treating people in a way that suits them best.”
Woman: “Well, we need to be diligent and not stop loving people just because they don’t like it. I’ll keep giving gifts and not worry about feeling guilty.”
2) Mom: “My child hates it when I run fingers through his hair in public.”
Friend: “Ah, poor kid. I didn’t like that either when I was his age.”
Mom: “It’s a parental right to embarrass one’s children. They embarrass me all the time”
3) Man: “Political correctness is ridiculous.”
Teenager: “A lot of it is basic courtesy.”
Man: “Well, I’m gonna say what I want to say.”
Refusing to listen and learn is one form of ignorance. Yet how can we pass wisdom to future generations if we will not accept challenges to our beliefs? Do we fear truth will not hold up under scrutiny?
Respectfully hearing another’s point of view instead of demanding our way is a first step of compassionate love. Perhaps today find someone of a different generation and start an open discussion.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences 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.
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