Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
How often do you feel significant? I mean, do you wake up each morning knowing your life matters? Do you doubt that your efforts, personality, or place in the world are important?
This four-part series offers four choices within your control that can lead to a meaningful existence.
(1) Choose how you want to feel
A retired woman who I will call Phyllis, feels lonely and left out. Her days are spent reading romance novels and playing Candy Gram. Overeating helps numb her emotional pain, which in turn makes her self-conscious about her weight. She hides from public view as much as possible. Her husband is socially active, a diligent volunteer in the community.
I do not know what she wants, however it is probably fair to say she does not enjoy feeling lonely and left out. She, like each of us, has options.
Try an experiment. Think about the worst day of your week. Notice your mood. Did it lower? Now think about the best moment of your week. Did you smile or laugh a little? Did your mood rise a bit?
If we have that much control over how we feel, then we can do and say the things that help us feel better.
For example, ice water is my favorite drink. When discouragement and a sense of uselessness override my thoughts, I do not want water. Self-care loses its standing on the priority list and I drink less healthy beverages. In turn, this decision often adds to my feelings of negativity.
Ice water is not magic. What I believe about it and myself make the difference. Regardless specifics of the thought pattern, ice water makes me feel better. What makes you more light-hearted? Big deal or not, you can choose to incorporate it into those tough days when questions about the purpose of your life seem to rule your mind.
You have to decide. Do you like misery enough to stay in it? Would you rather feel more pleased each day? Until you know what you want, motivation to change will be hard to come by.
Stay tuned for the next three parts of this series.
Today’s Helpful Word
Psalm 32:8, 9
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”