Our thoughts can take us to both the best and worst of places, but we can create new thinking pathways. It will require a plan to rope bridge the synapse gap.
It was a small rope bridge, and it had only three wires. One wire where you could place your feet, and then two higher wires to the left and right where you could stretch your arms out and grasp with your hands. It wasn’t that high, a mere 5 feet off the ground, but it was high enough that on this confidence course, it provided a challenge.
I used to be a pastor to a group where most of the people involved had serious long-term mental health struggles. Most of the people I supported struggled with either anxiety, depression, P.T.S.D., schizophrenia, addictions, personality disorders, or something else that made life hard for them.
Twice a year, we would go away for a camp. Sandy beach, fishing, good food, fun, and a confidence course.
We would then invite people to try the rope bridge. With several helpers, we would encourage the person to take the first step and then the next. You could see the fear etched into their faces.
Few of us know how to fully and deeply relax. The noisy neighbors can keep us from the rest we need, but when we feel safe and known, we can restore.
He almost went to sleep. That was the first observation he shared with me after a short spiritual meditation exercise we went through — silence, peacefulness, quiet focus, and a ‘stepping away’ from the noise.
He stepped away from needing to be someone and to do something into a pose of quiet acceptance.
Breathing in, breathing out. Centering the thoughts and feelings away from the past and the future to being present in the now. Right here, right now.
Messages can be messy. We say one thing, they hear another, but we need to be heard so we need to learn about filters and speak with grace and compassion.
The message I heard was probably not the message they wanted to send. Who got it wrong?
Over the past few weeks, the online hotel booking company Trivago has been showing an ad on New Zealand Television featuring a young lady and an older lady. In the ad, the younger lady gets a better deal on her accommodation because she used the Trivago phone app. Continue reading “Message Sent Message Heard. That Trivago Ad”
‘Power over’ was normal, but ‘power with’ was what they needed. When we listen deeply, we move forward. Mental health flourishes when power is shared.
She was small in stature, and I think she also saw herself as being a little person, insignificant. She was also quiet and never really said much or offered up an opinion. When she shared some of her story, I learned how, as a young adult, she had developed schizophrenia.
In her delusional state, she had done some very destructive things to people’s property. She had been committed to living in a Mental Health hospital and lived there for many years.
Often life can feel like it’s one step forward and two steps back, but with a few words of affirmation, another step can be taken. Affirm the small footprints of the struggle and evoke the good to grow.
He knew many people didn’t like him. He had made commitments then broken them. His struggles were well known, and many had tried to help him, but he had burned them out. He was affirmation hungry.
There are many people out there that simply need a hug and to be told ‘You’re doing okay.’