Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
The rubble of ancient, conquered, and razed Jerusalem lies under and around the modern city. It was rebuilt on its ruins. About 2600 years ago, a prophet said this would happen. It is recorded in the Bible book of Jeremiah. “Jerusalem will be rebuilt on its ruins” (Jeremiah 30:18).
That can happen for you and me, too. We can rebuild on our broken pasts of abuse, addiction, or mental illness. See Find Joy: You Can Rebuild on Your Ruins.
5 of 10 building blocks for the precious rebuild of your life.
1. Forgive. Letting go means admitting what hurts. Look thoughtfully at the responsibility of all concerned, and forgive yourself if you played a role in causing harm to yourself or others. Allow people to be human, wicked, thoughtless, and careless. By this I mean, do not carry their burden of guilt.
Make amends wherever doing so will not hurt someone else. Anger and resentment keep us stuck in the middle of our ruins.
2. Accept the losses and acknowledge your emotions. Trying to convince yourself that something does not hurt, or that it shouldn’t hurt, is to do yourself a huge disfavor. Please take this advice from a woman who buried emotions for 50 years. Emotions teach us if we will listen. Then it becomes possible to deal with them and move on.
3. Do not isolate. Do talk about your challenge and listen to another perspective. Your thoughts can be unsafe and may need interruption. Listen to warnings. When you will not open up, what you perceive remains your only understanding of truth.
4. Refocus on present positives. There is good happening all around for which to be grateful. Life offers up profound moments of joy and inspiration, and at the same time, sometimes devastating news. It may be cold and bitter weather, and simultaneously clear and beautiful. It takes some practice, nonetheless, focusing on the present good helps you to find today’s safety and withdraw from your past.
5. Develop and utilize boundaries. You cannot control external events or another person’s choices. Therefore your boundaries are meant to stop you, not someone else. You can change your “I’m stuck in this problem” to “I’m not going to allow so-n-so to abuse me, or a substance to ruin me, or a mental health challenge to hold me back.” You decide what to let in and what to keep out of your life.
You do not have to do this alone
Rebuilding is possible and doable. It may be difficult and require much time. You may have ruins, nevertheless you are not ruined.
There are people trained to help. Mental health professionals, organizations to help abuse victims, rehabilitation centers, and other qualified resources. Check out my pages of references for Abuse, addiction, and depression and anxiety.
Remember too, the same God of the BIble that Jeremiah knew is Who is on your side today. In my next blog, you will receive the other 5 of 10 building blocks.
Today’s Helpful Word
2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
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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 are yours.
Construction workers pic from kozzi.com; building walls pic by COLINBROUGH on rgbstock.com