Make us whole!

Finally finished 3 days of training to be a mediator for the state court system. My state has a non-profit center that does mediation. Mediation helps people resolve issues so they don’t have to go to court and spend court fees and have a judge decide. Mediation works to get the parties to a reasonable settlement. The training was good and I will now observe some sessions and them begin to do them.

It is so strange. The three days that I was in class I had no stomach issues but today it’s back. It just lets me know that when my mind is totally occupied there are no problems. It clearly shows that I am the problem.

dividedI have been thinking a great deal about how connected are mind, body and spirit. When science became at the forefront only the body was considered. In recent years we have begun to see that you can’t treat one part. In some ways we have moved forward and in other ways not. I think we see the connection but medicine has become so specialized that each part of our body has a different doctor. They don’t always communicate well so not only have we forgotten about the other two but the body is divided up.

It seems that the best of all worlds would be to have a clinic where every part was addressed. There would be physicians for everything, mental health people, alternative health providers and the option for spiritual guidance. How wonderful that would be. The whole team would sit down and consider the care of each person. Holistic medicine at its best! It’s not going to happen but what a healing thing it would be.

holisticI guess we have to try and pull all the parts together ourselves and seek out the best helpers that we can.

Infinite intimate God

moses chI have been pondering images of God. How do we see God? If asked I am sure many people would see Charlton Heston (too old for most of you) coming down the mountain with the ten commandments. Some might say the softer image of Jesus in the garden. Our image as children usually changes as we become adults.

There have been interesting books written about this in recent times. In the past I read Models of God by Sallie McFague a theologian who was at Vanderbilt University. She offers some different images than what we normally think about: God as friend; God as lover; God as mother. She says that if we can’t move away from the masculine patriarchal God as our ONLY image that we will never have peace in the world.

Today I read some thoughts from Richard Rohr, A Franciscan  who writes many thought provoking meditations. He wanted us also to think of God as mother. He quoted Marcus Borg, a controversial theologian who died just recently.

“Marcus Borg points out many other good reasons to identify and honor the female (as well as non-gendered) images of God throughout the Bible:

  • Male images for God are often associated with power, authority, and judgment. When used exclusively, they most often create an image of a punitive God. God must be appeased or else.
  • Male images for God most often go with patriarchy—with male primacy and domination in society and the family.
  • Male images of God most often go with domination over nature. Nature is often imaged as female (“mother earth”) and domination over women extends to a rapacious use of nature.

Female images of God suggest something different. God is the one who gave birth to us and all that is. God wills our well-being, as a mother wills the well-being of the children of her womb. God is attached to us with a love that is tender and that will not let us go. And like a mother who sees the children of her womb threatened and oppressed, God can become fierce.”

infinite-GodI think Borg has some thought provoking ideas about embracing more than one image of God. We have to expand our thinking and stop putting God in the “masculine” box. God is so much more than that. God is much more than we can ever understand

Work, Love, Dance

Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching. Satchel Paige

bubblesAre we really living life? What does it mean to do this? I really don’t know the answer but have been thinking about it. The thoughts in the quote above do give some answers. Without work life can have little meaning. I think some kind of work is essential to humanity. I see the results of no work in people who have lived their whole lives as welfare dependents. No matter how complete they seem there is something missing. It is as if a puzzle piece has been left out. There is something enriching about work. It gives life purpose and can bring a sense of accomplishment even if we only put a cog in a wheel.

I can’t imagine life without love. I’m not talking about the romantic emotion that draws us to another but the deeper connection that reflects unconditional love. It can come to us in many forms: parent-child, friend-friend, lover- lover. If we are blessed we will have many kinds of love in our lives. Knowing that we are loved gives us a sense of self worth. Love adds such meaning to life.

step outNow we come to dance. There is so much meaning behind this statement. He doesn’t just mean dance but live! Live without fear of what others think. Follow your dreams. Explore ideas. Learn all you can. Dance.

These are some thoughts on living life. Am I doing it? Are you?

Help us find caring

mentalI was watching a story on netflix this morning. It was the true story of a family who lost the father to suicide. I had many questions while watching this. It seems that all of the children had major issues. I think several of them were Autistic although, if so, their affect on the show did not show it. The family seemed loving but overwhelmed. Just watching it I found myself diagnosing each of them…right or not. The father seemed manic depressive (I forget what the new name is). The family took many videos over the years and maybe that’s why they were chosen for this.

It reminded me how mental illness (and many other illnesses) run in families. Sometimes I wonder if we had a clear view of our own problems would we chose to have children and pass our issues on to the next generation. However, I think it takes living for us to discover how we will react to life. Knowing our mental issues is much more difficult than the physical ones. It is not so obvious especially to us. That is, unless it is a critical and obvious problem.

There is help for so many issues today but to seek them is to admit that they are there. That is the hardest part. Add to it the fact that mental illness has been such an avoided subject and those who suffer have been outcasts. There is also the problem of affording treatment. The family I viewed seem to be British so I am thinking they had some access to care. Here in the US mental health is the least funded of any illness. Insurance companies only understand dollars and cents and it is difficult to show that no treatment initially will be more costly later.

Having done Case Management, that is how decisions are made regarding treatment. If we don’t treat this will it cost us more money in the long tun? Can you show me that it will? This is a terrible way to determine care.

There are not as many people who have acute mental health problems as there are those of us who have episodic or milder issues. Because of that getting treatment is harder. Money is part of the issue and knowing that we need help and seeking it is the other part.

Layout 1

I hope that looking at the person as body, mind, and spirit will help us to look at all aspects of a person and treat anything that prevents us from being whole. Which, by the way, is related to the word holy. This is how God created us to be. Whole, holy people.