Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who fight mental illness, addiction, and abuse (c)2018 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministries
Circumstances cannot choose for us how we think about ourselves. What I mean is, whatever is going on in life is not powerful enough to decide for us how to interpret our value or hope.
That is because we are complex beings maneuvering through complicated lives. There is no all-this or all-that perception of the world that actually works.
Wouldn’t it be easy if it did? Imagine if everything was categorized into right/wrong, healthy/unhealthy, and wise/foolish. What if all decisions were a simple matter of looking in a textbook?
I don’t know. Sounds boring. It certainly takes the joy of freedom of thought out of the equation. One such freedom is the ability to choose how to perceive our value and hope and the value and hope of others.
In answering a podcast host’s question today, I mentioned that the measure of our value and hope never changes. God’s love is constant, and his eternal promise is for all who believe on his Son Jesus. What flexes is our beliefs about ourselves, God, and the world around us.
Here’s a challenge I try to do and invite you to join me. When confronted with a sense of failure or lesser worth, or when hope begins to fades from view, ask 3 questions:
Who is speaking this message to my brain? If it is a person, seriously, what is their problem? They are wrong. If the culprit is negative self-talk, challenge the message.
What is the meat of the message? Is the worthless feeling coming from loss? Is the lack of hope coming from fear? Knowing and focusing on the root issue helps us find ways of dealing with it.
Is this who I want to be? I was asked once if I wanted to be valued for being depressed or for finding something worthwhile to offer the world. Awareness of the choices we have – how to see ourselves, others, and God; who we want to be, and what steps we will take toward becoming that person – gives us power. Change is a possibility. Will we go for it?
What is happening to us or around us cannot determine our value or hope. Value is inherent. Hope is always present. Believe it.
Today’s Helpful Word
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.
*forest path pic by MIMICA; autumn sky by TACLUDA: both on rgbstock.com
For more on today’s topic, see How to Gain and Maintain a Mindset of Hope