By Nancy Virden (c)2021
A recent television show called “Pooch Perfect,” shows off grooming designs done by expert dog groomers. Trimming, dyeing, combing, and washing took about 2-3 hours per dog. It was fascinating to see how carefully the show’s directors had chosen pooch models with calm and patient personalities. These cute dogs seemed proud to show off their new looks.
Our furry friends give us the wag of a tail, enthusiasm, forgiveness, and often, protection. We love our dogs. As mentioned in the previous blogs, No Dog is an Island and Dogs Need Mercy, these extra family members have much to teach us about mental health and self=care.
(3) We feel better after grooming
Seezer was stunningly beautiful. His long pumpkin-colored coat glimmered, and when it did not he got a bath. Fresh after rinse and repeat, Seezer would vigorously shake himself dry and run in happy circles. Like the groomed dogs on the TV show, this orange-red huggable pup liked feeling clean.
When we struggle with depression or anxiety or any other mental health challenge, our feet may drag as if in cement blocks. Depression D, an advocacy group’s website observes, “Sufferers feel like it just does not matter how they look because they feel so unacceptable within. It is an outward manifestation of the internal depression.”
Forcing a shower and wearing clean clothes is one of the kindest and most helpful deeds we can do for our recovery from depression. It is doubtful that shaking ourselves dry or chasing our tails will be of much benefit! Yet who knows? Moving about even a little gives us a tiny surge of energy!
While severely depressed, I discovered that small successes brought on a sense of worth that was missing. Cleanliness has other benefits, too. It lifts our spirits. Appearing our best defeats the argument of staying home due to being underdressed. Deciding to care for ourselves in small ways will bring us to value and want more positive changes. Most of this is not overnight. One day may seem more successful than the next. Nonetheless, each small step is progress.
The Creator of our brains has a plan
Jesus does not promise life without struggles. What he does guarntee is an eternal life with him where no more pain or tears exist. Our side of the bargain is simple: believe. Believe God is real, that he sent his only Son to earth to take our punishment on himself, that Jesus died for us and resurrected promising that we too will avoid death if our faith is in him. This hope, no matter how we feel on any given day, does not disappoint. Our troubles here cannot compare to the joy we will one day know. Clinging to these truths will get us through anything knowing that what we have today is not all there is.
Jesus cleanses us on the inside of guilt, shame, condemnation, and a low sense of worth – if we believe what he said and still says through the Bible. Find him, find a BIble and read it, find a gospel-teaching church and listen. Therapy may be helpful as long as it agrees with the light of God’s Word. ask him for help. -COMMENTS WELCOME
Today’s Helpful Word
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
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Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are 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. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
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