The best plans

planToday is another day. A day when I haven’t followed through on my plan to do the things I need to do to be ahead when another crisis causes anxiety. This is the problem. When things are going well it is so easy to do nothing. I have planned to meditate, do yoga and spend time with helpful reading. All of which I have not done.

You would think that having dealt with this my whole life I would be willing to get tough and follow through with the things I need to do. I am reminded of Paul in Romans 7:15-20: 1I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

Paul nailed it. I really don’t understand why I can’t stick to it. It is complacency with the status quo. Everything is on an even keel for the moment. I keep forgetting that it won’t stay that way. Life is always interesting and often challenging.  The only thing to do is to start again and work to change my habits. I have learned that if you can develop a pattern or habit then you are home free. The reverse is also true. Habits are hard to break and at the moment my habit is to not follow the plan.

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Oh well, tomorrow is another day with another chance to make changes. I will keep on. There is still hope.

What did you say?

Recently, my granddaughter, who is taking linguistic anthropology said that she realizes that people seldom understand each other. Language can mean so many different things. If we grew up in different places our usage of words can be very different from others. This can lead to some pretty interesting mistakes.

understandA friend of mine from Britain once said that her downstairs neighbor knocked her up each morning. When I asked for clarity she said he took a broom and knocked on the ceiling of his flat to make sure she was awake.

 

Language is a vague and nebulous way to communicate. Too often we think we have been clear when that is far from reality. My college roommate used to say she was going to red up the room. I had no idea what that meant but found out she was going to clean up. She and I are both from the same country.

quiltLanguage is tricky. Expressing ourselves and opening ourselves to others can have unwanted results. We don’t know how someone is going to react. I know that some blogs have received hate mail in response to something that was posted. It is very easy to misunderstand when someone is sharing thoughts and feelings. We need to be generous in our response to others and know that we may be misunderstanding. It is also possible that we may not agree but it is fine to disagree. Just know that someone is entitled to think differently. We are not all alike!

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is grief but more important there is love

griefGrief is a funny thing. Just when you think it is behind you it shows up and completely surprises you with its strength.  My mother died in 2002 and a few nights ago I dreamed that I had just watched her die. The dream is haunting me. I can’t seem to shake it.

Grief has showed up again. Logically I know that this can happen. I ran a grief support group for a few years and understand how suddenly it can overpower you when you least expect it. It still ambushed me.

When someone we love dies we ask ourselves all sorts of questions. We feel guilt for anything that we did or didn’t do…..real or not. Grief is hard and makes us look back over our relationships with others. It can shine a light on everything we think we have done wrong. We can end up feeling lost.

choose love 2However, there is an up side to grief. At least we were not guilty of missing love. Unless we are willing to love we will never feel grief. Missing out on love would make life seem colorless. Love can give us ups and downs but it is worth the downs. Love requires openness and being willing to be hurt. When we have been hurt we are not sure we want to feel that again but it is worth the pain. Love can hold us up when we are down. It can fill our lives with meaning. We have to choose love and we have to go on choosing it day after day otherwise it can slip away.

Don’t be afraid to love. Don’t be afraid to open up and give of yourself. Love is worth it.

Trick the demon

demonYesterday I wrote about us needing to seek silence. It is true. Those of us who are anxious probably need silence and meditation the most. The problem is that for us silence can release the demons.

We tend to fill the day with noise to avoid spending time with ourselves. Again to quote Pogo “we have met the enemy and he is us.” Those voices that want us to hear them speak up in silence. The things that make us anxious are just sitting in the dark waiting for us to let them out. They can then make us fall into deeper anxiety, OCD or whatever our demon is.

not thinkThe only thing to do is to trick the demon. Guided meditation can hold the demon at bay. Concentrating on a voice leading our thoughts will allow us to find the peace and relaxation we need. If the voice keeps reminding us to push away the bad thoughts…..let them pass by our minds and drift away…..then we will be able to drift into the mindlessness we need.

There are many ways to do this. Meditation CD’s are available. Amazon’s Alexa has some good meditations. Maybe just listening to rain or ocean or whatever works for you will do it. Try and find something that will distract that demon and allow you to find peace.

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An anxious world

anxietyToday I read an article about our reactions to stress. With the state of the world the way that it is overreacting to simple events is almost a given. When talking about memory my daughter says that when we can’t access names etc. our RAM memory is full. I think with life being so chaotic our ability to handle events is over taxed. I do wonder if the number of people with anxiety is on the rise because of how the world works. It is hard to get those kind of statistics as many people with anxiety are not known. Are more of us suffering with anxiety? We don’t know but I suspect the answer is yes.

There are so many reasons. The internet makes bad news so much more accessible.
It is almost impossible to avoid it. We now have a whole world of people to agree or disagree with what is posted on social media and some responses attack the writer viciously. Even though it is evident that we are all different and have different opinions people are inclined to take taking sides to the extreme.

There is no silence. We need silence and down time to be creative. We don’t disconnect from everything enough. Silence rests the mind. We don’t know how to sit in silence. We are addicted to noise. Just ask people to sit in silence for one minute and watch the fidgeting.

Life is running at such a fast pace that we barely have time to draw breath. We plan so many things in each day that we are overwhelmed. Whether you are spiritual or not just resting with peace and quiet can help. If you pray, spend time listening for God instead of talking to Him. We spend so much time talking TO God instead of waiting for God to speak. No wonder we can’t hear His voice.

silenceSo…turn off electronics…..sit quietly….think…..meditate…..pray. If you do this each day you will find life more manageable.

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.

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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.

How will you be seen?

peanuts dirtyFor the people that see us every day how we appear to them they take at face value. If I don’t bother with my clothes (and I don’t mean how expensive they are) and am sloppy and dirty then that is how I am perceived. God didn’t make junk and I don’t think he wants us to look that way.

Each of us has our own personality and we dress accordingly. I love to people watch and in some cases it is easy to fit people into categories. Admittedly our ideas may be wrong but sometimes we are right on target. Some people’s clothes just shout where they fit in. I was in a restaurant and saw a couple with lots of tattoos, black leather jackets with motorcycle logos, and boots. It wasn’t hard to figure out.

The problem is twofold. Sometimes we misjudge others based on how they look. Discrimination crops up when our view is based on skin color or other ethnic signs. We know that this is the kind of judging that God calls us to avoid.

The other side of the coin is when we don’t care enough for ourselves to put our best foot forward whatever that may be. God does not call us to be sour faced, sloppy and dirty. We are called to be the Christian someone else sees in a positive way whether they are Christian or not.

seing ourselvesRemember you may be the best Christian someone sees today. A really scary thought.

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us To see oursels as others see us!  Robert Burns