Our society expects us to maintain a facade. We must never seem broken or fragile. Society sees this a weakness. Underneath all of that the reality is that it is frightening. If you are shattered maybe that will happen to me.
Think about how we greet people. “How are you? I’m fine.” We may be suffering but oh dear we better not share it. I have heard people respond “not okay” and the other person doesn’t even acknowledge what has been said. Too often we don’t want to hear it. It might draw us into the pain and suffering that we don’t want to see.
In truth, most of us are balanced on a precipice and feel that a little shove might push us over. We wouldn’t want anyone else to see this as that would diminish us in their eyes.
Most of my life people have sought me out to share their fears and their pain. I don’t think I am at all special. It is because I have never hidden my own wounds and am willing to open myself to others. I’m not sure why I am this way but it is who I am. Being this way is not always comfortable but it has given me the opportunity to show compassion and love.
Never be afraid to share your true self. Some will turn away but it is their own fears that cause that. Showing others how you have learned and continue to move on will give them hope.
Life is uncertain; in the end we control only a single thing: our own thoughts. From the book “Pandemic”
While reading the book this jumped out at me. It is so true. There is very little that we can control and sometimes we have trouble controlling our thoughts. And yet, it is one of the things we most need to learn. Our thoughts can take us on a wonderful journey or send us into the deepest depths.
For those who struggle with issues such as anxiety, depression, bipolar etc. it transpires daily. Our thoughts control how we feel. Sometimes the problem can begin with a trigger such as stress caused by the life we deal with or by physical issues such as IBS. Whatever sets off the thoughts can bring us down in a minute.
Most of the coping mechanisms we learn have to do with changing those thoughts. If only it were easy. We can learn the coping skills but we have to use them for them to work. This means making them become habits and that is the hard part.
Whatever helps you to override the thoughts that bring you down work hard to have it become natural as breathing. It is a struggle but one that is worth the effort.
Never give up on finding and using what helps you calm those errant thoughts!
One day, a while back, I was at the beach and in the bright sunlight I happened to look at something with only one eye open. I saw the color of the object clearly. For some reason I closed that eye and looked through the other one. The object’s color was a different hue. It could still be called the same color but there was a remarkable difference. That’s when it hit me that not only do we each see color differently but our eyes can see things differently.
None of us sees things in the same way. Each of us brings with us our lifetime of experiences. The things we have seen and been through have given us our own perspective. So how can I expect someone to grasp a problem in the same way that I do?
Years ago my husband and I went to marriage encounter. It is a wonderful program to enhance good marriages. We were taught a tool for getting closer to what someone else is feeling. It is hard to describe but is like bouncing back and forth “Does it feel like” until you find a common emotion to describe an event or issue.
For example I might say: does it feel like going to a friend’s funeral and the other person might respond no but it feels like your beloved dog died. I might then say I know what that feels like. It is frequently is a longer process but that is the idea. The whole things is based on discovering feelings.
I once knew someone who had great difficulty accepting a male image for God. I later found out she was abused by her father.
Getting to the root of someone’s feeling helps us to understand them. We can develop a bond with those who have suffered similar problems. That is why support groups work.
Here on Word Press we find support from others who really understand. The community is important. Thank you to all those who share feelings openly and offer support and understanding. You are important!
People often don’t want to admit to a mental illness because of the stigma attached. One of my physicians said “I don’t want to put down anxiety on your chart.” It made me think that until we are willing to take on that diagnosis the stigma will not stop.
There are so many people with mental problems. There are so many who know they suffer with it but cannot reveal it. If we could accurately count the people who are out there I’m sure the numbers would be staggering.
Maybe some problems are longer lasting (maybe forever) and other are transient. I almost wonder if there is anyone who has not suffered in some way. I mentioned before that my daughter, when working as a psych nurse, was asked how you tell normal said: “Can you get up in the morning, eat, dress, work, sleep some and start over the next day? If you can you are normal.” All the trials and peculiarities of each life do not affect the ability to function. Yes, there are those who can’t and God willing, they can find help. The rest of us may feel that our life is erratic and up/down but still manage to get through most days.
We continue to live and will not let our issues define us. Who, from the outside, can know what transpires in each person’s life? Who is arrogant enough to label anyone else? Only those who think they are “better than.” Their opinion does not define anyone at all. It only let’s us know the shallowness of their own psyche.
Never let other’s labels define you. Every person is valuable and important. Every person’s life has meaning. Show the world that everyone matters!
It is difficult to face each day thinking that whatever chronic problem you have will never change. Yet, there are people who do and live fully each day. Their “fully” may not look like yours and mine but for them it is enough.
How do we learn to live in the “enough?” I do wonder. Could I do it? I don’t know and I have to say I don’t want to find out. Maybe the stressors that have been present in my life would have swamped someone else. Maybe each of us can best manage our own problems. I have mentioned before that at a conference the leader asked everyone to write their biggest and most pressing problem on a sheet of paper. Those were passed forward and put in a jar. She then asked if anyone would like to come and draw one out and take it on. There were no takers.
Our expectations of life can be so extravagant and unreasonable. I know that those who grew up in problem homes may not have seen things that way but many of us did. We want everything to go exactly the way we want. We don’t look for life to knock us down. When I grew up with IBSD I thought it was normal. In those days people didn’t talk about it. For that reason I just accepted it and moved on with my life. Fortunately, I had some breathers between episodes so I coped pretty well. I just battled through when it caused anxiety and depression. I guess in some ways ignorance was bliss.
I know so many people who are living with issues that seem insurmountable to me. I think I would be crushed by them but they are living each day. On Word Press I read someone who has ALS and writes about his faith and love for his family. I used to visit a lady who had lived her whole life with Cerebral Palsy, in an electric wheel chair. Part of it was spent in a nursing home as a young adult. (imagine having to live with only the elderly for company in your youth) She was able to live in an apartment after changes were made in disability coverage. She was always cheerful and grateful for her life.
It is people like them who help us to see that life is about choices. Will I choose to live a life of “poor me” or one that is grateful for each day no matter how difficult. We are entitled to get down but not to stay there. We have to learn to continue learning, being grateful for life, coping and growing.
None of us is perfect. No matter how hard we try. We are human and humans make mistakes. In the Bible Paul says I do the things I ought not and don’t do the things I should. This is true of everyone.
The things that most of us do wrong are usually not serious but can hurt others. Hopefully, we don’t really want to hurt anyone. The thing that is hard to take is that there are some who really do want to do harm. There are many explanations why this happens. Most of us want to believe that they are damaged in some way. Many of them are. The shooter in New Zealand may have been taught the hatred he exemplified.
There are those that were damaged by the treatment they received as children. The things that happen to us in the early years can leave some terrible scars. Some people are able to recover and make peace with themselves. Some are not and that past pain is reflected in their treatment of others.
In my lifetime I have had the experience of meeting a few whose earliest lives created true monsters. There are theories for why this happens… some about early bonding. One of my friends adopted two infants from mothers who were addicted to crack cocaine. One of them did well but suffers from some physical problems. The other was diagnosed as a sociopath. ( I think now called antisocial disorder) As early as preteen the rooms of the other family members had to be locked in fear of his actions. They tried everything they could to help but to no avail. This very loving family was able to keep him until his teen years and at that point safety for the family required letting him go. I know he was in treatment for a while but I don’t know where he ended up. God help those where he is.
Every one of us has done things we regret and wish we could fix. We would like to go back and change everything. We may not be able to do that but we can go forward with a desire to do better. Doing our best to respect and understand those around us can make a difference.
If you have things you need to let go confess them. Whether to God, your own higher power or even to yourself. Acknowledge your mistakes and move on. Forgiveness heals.
Today I hauled some of things I have cleaned out to the car. It was mostly art supplies that I will give to a local place that offers art opportunities for children. it is so nice to be able to help with things that have stood useless in my closet.
While cleaning I also found knitting projects that I haven’t finished. I now have them in order and I will begin finishing them. It is sad for me to realize that I have done that. It makes me wonder how many unfinished things I have left in my life. Not projects like knitting but relationships or important people. Are there those out there that I hurt in some way by not following up with them?
I hope that I have not left too much undone. At the moment I don’t remember anyone but life can take strange twists and turns. I send my plea for forgiveness out to the cosmos. I am sure that I also have been left undone by some but my forgiveness is sent out also. We can’t go through life without encountering others and sometimes mistakes are made. Knowing that we are all frail humans and not perfect can bring peace.