Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
Ancient Jerusalem is not the only city built on its ruins. Another example is how the people of Warsaw, Poland responded when their metropolis was destroyed by WWII. To rebuild, city planners used historical paintings as guides. Citizens collected tons of rubble to mold into usable brick. They even incorporated ruins from other destroyed towns.*
What great inspiration! Abuse, addiction, and mental health challenges do not have to define you today. You too can use your ruins to rebuild.
5 more building blocks for the precious rebuild of your life.
6. Embrace a greater purpose. Ruins brought me to despair until I realized hope thrives beyond circumstance. Hardship can grow emotional muscle. Your life struggles are worthwhile when the part of you that survives emerges from the rubble carrying new tools. With these you build a stronger faith, a wiser mind, and insight so you can meaningfully help others.
7. Live by your values. Too often, pain from brokenness seems to take control over a person’s ability to make choices. While memories, scars, and disability do affect how we face life, they are not dictators.
You are in control – you decide how you want to respond. Write down what character traits, relationships, and goals are most important to you. Ask, “What kind of person do I want to be? What steps will I take today toward becoming that person?”
8. Accept your humanity. Life is full of struggles. We each experience loss. At the root of common confusion and hurt is this one factor: we are human.
Accept that as a fallible human being you are supposed to feel weak at times. It is normal. Needing support is reasonable. Guidance from a mental health care professional or trusted mentor may be vitally helpful. Allow yourself the right to take only one step at a time. Slow progress is progress after all! Allow mistakes, failures, and strong emotions. Yet also embrace your triumphs no matter how small. As a human, overcoming tough challenges is amazing. Be kind to yourself.
9. Accept the HIghest Power. On the other hand, as a mere mortal, you cannot hold the wisdom of the ages. Tomorrow is a mystery. Guidance and peace come from a relationship with the Creator of wisdom. As the christian story goes, God’s love redeems your past. You are why he sent his one and only birth son Jesus to die on a cross. Jesus rose again so you can have connection with him forever. That is love worth considering.
10. Appreciate the present season. Urgent or painful circumstances may pressure you to adjust long-term goals, and you can feel as if life is out of your hands. Truth is, life passes in seasons.
Remember, this too will pass. Moods change. Situations change. Time proves that most of what we worry about never happens. Try to focus on the present and not be in too big a rush. Patience is peaceful.
You, yes you, are able to rise
You may believe that abuse, addiction, or mental illness has destroyed you. You have given up on the coulda-beens. I have felt hopeless and victimized by people, circumstances, and depression. This list of ten building blocks came from that destruction.
Struggles teach. With willingness to take the first step, you too will rebuild on your ruins.
Today’s Helpful Word
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
**********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.
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.
*From Story of cities #28: how postwar Warsaw was rebuilt using 18th century paintings, retrieved March 9, 2018 from https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/apr/22/story-cities-warsaw-rebuilt-18th-century-paintings
Warsaw pic by MZACHA on rgbstock.com; Jerusalem by MICROMOTH on rgbstock.com