Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2014 Nancy Virden
Just as mental illness will affect 1 in 4 persons this year without prejudice, so recovery does not depend on religion, gender, social status, race, lifestyle, age, education, financial stability, or any other divider of persons.
My message to those who struggle emotionally has been, “Stay alive! There is hope!” To supports and potential supports I’ve said, “Learn to understand! Be present without judgment!”
Myriad educational resources on the topics of mental illness, suicide prevention, addiction, and abuse have come to my attention. None has come up with a solution to school shootings, mass murder, inexplicable traumatic events, war, or any other human atrocity.
Have we settled for less than the complete answer to our pain and hopelessness? The human race is suffering from a mortal wound. We can learn to think more clearly, behave effectively, and manage our emotions. What we cannot do is change the state of our powerlessness over evil.
Hope has to be eternal if we are going to face this fact with peace or joy. When I attempted suicide, pain was defining my life’s value. Past and present suffering served as ‘proof’ that the future held no good worth facing inevitable agony.
I was wrong.
Value in living is found in something far greater than me or my few years on earth. There is a divine plan I can choose to participate in or reject. God made a way for eternal hope, a forever-with-him-in-paradise hope. He sent his son Jesus, who professed publicly to be the only way to God, truth with a capital T, and our source of life itself.
Through his utter absence of wrong-doing as both fully God and fully human, Jesus became the only one ever eligible to take the punishment for human evil by paying with his life. Because of his compassionate love for us, we can choose to believe and celebrate our future. Will life get easier? Not likely.
Yet our mortal wound will be forever healed.
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 from qualitystockphotos