Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2017 Nancy Virden
I was spoiled. Living in the western suburbs of Philadelphia for six years, certain comforts like full-serve gas stations, free valet parking at doctors’ offices, and grocery home delivery are privileges which trickled down to average folks, and I took advantage. Now Cleveland is home again, where none of these are available. Poor me (back of hand to forehead with a pout). I have to pump gasoline, park my car, and carry groceries like most Americans.
Pity party over, truth is, even when change is simple and positive, it is at least a tad stressful. A major move, death of a loved one, leaving home to go to school, getting married… these are heavy challenges. Changing a worldview and lifelong core beliefs is grueling.
Believe the best
Switching out a negative and hopeless mindset to one of embracing life involves daily courage. Due to abuse, neglect, and myriad reasons, some people question their worth from childhood forward. False messages collected from what was heard and seen in a family of origin need to be compared to real evidence. We must confront our ignorance and denial. Beliefs can hold us hostage; beliefs can change.
A therapist said, “…please believe the best of yourself too. If there is another reasonable explanation, take that one, and don’t beat yourself up.” She was referring to a tendency toward guilt and shame when one’s core belief is “I am always wrong.” No one is always wrong. Looking for another reasonable explanation is wise. Taking it in is admirable. Changing one’s view of self is brave.
I am not heroic by shopping for groceries and filling my car’s tank. However, working hard to garner a wealth of insight and newfound understanding is my emotional rags to riches story. With God’s help, patient professional care, and a teachable spirit, my life has turned a full 180 degrees.
Beliefs can change, and so can you.
Today’s Helpful Word
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
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.
-1st picture from Qualitystockphotos.com; 2nd pic from rgbstock.com