How to Create New Rope Bridges in our Thinking

How to Create New Rope Bridges in our Thinking

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.

We would tell them they were doing great and to keep focused on the other end. Telling them to take one step at a time. We would even hold the wire for them to stop it wobbling. Continue reading “How to Create New Rope Bridges in our Thinking”

Seven Observations of Long Haul Caregivers

Seven Observations of Long Haul Caregivers

Being a caregiver over a long period of time can be tough going, but there are some things that those on the long haul do well. We need to applaud the long haul caregiver.

There are some people that I want to stand and applaud.

I love the game of cricket and when a player has done exceptionally well the crowd will rise one by one and cheer their performance. Continue reading “Seven Observations of Long Haul Caregivers”

How to relax? You need to Feel Safe and Known

How to relax? You need to Feel Safe and Known

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.

Do you know how to relax?

It’s a serious question. Continue reading “How to relax? You need to Feel Safe and Known”

Message Sent Message Heard. That Trivago Ad

Message Sent Message Heard. That Trivago Ad

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”

Learning to Detach Helps with Anxiety

Learning to Detach Helps with Anxiety

Anxiety can make you want to control, but learning to detach can bring peace. Perhaps you care too much and it’s time to let go.

She was holding on tightly. Too tightly. It was care, it was love, but in that embrace, she was suffocating the life out of the other, and destroying peace in herself.

She was not allowing the other to find their way through the pains of growth.

I know what it’s like. You become so emotionally attached to someone that they are glued to your soul. In a good sense, its love, but on the dark side, it can lead to control, manipulation, anxiety, worry, and fear.  Continue reading “Learning to Detach Helps with Anxiety”

‘Power over’ or ‘Power With’. What causes you to flourish?

'Power over' or 'Power With'. What causes you to flourish

‘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.

In an ordered regimented world like one of those old Mental Health hospitals, you lose your power, and you can even lose your identity. Continue reading “‘Power over’ or ‘Power With’. What causes you to flourish?”

Are you Strong Enough to be my … Friend

Are you Strong Enough to be my ... Friend

If you knew me, would you still love me? We all need others who will be strong enough to handle what comes from the inner world of each other.

When they had opened up, they looked at me and wondered if I would reject them. So many others had.

I have a face I cannot show
I make the rules up as I go
Just try and love me if you can

Are you strong enough to be my man

When I’ve shown you
That I just don’t care
When I’m throwing punches in the air
When I’m broken down and I can’t stand
Would you be man enough to be my man
Sheryl Crow – Are you strong enough to be my man

 

I like Sheryl Crow’s lyrics. Continue reading “Are you Strong Enough to be my … Friend”

Every Footprint Needs Affirmation

Every Footprint Needs an Affirmation sarah

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.’

Are you one of them? Continue reading “Every Footprint Needs Affirmation”

God Sets the Lonely in Families

God Sets the Lonely in Families

When trouble comes, we can quickly isolate ourselves, but there needs to be an invitation to go deep and connect. God sets the lonely in families. 

We need others who will tag along and pray with us. 

It must have been a very lonely place.

He had done everything he said he wouldn’t do and had gone against his deepest values. With a shudder he realized that he was not the man he thought he was.

He was certainly not the man he wanted others to think him to be. 

The decision to go the way he went had its roots in something beyond his comprehension. There was a subconscious unawareness to his actions that now scared him to the bones. 

He was eating the pig slop of his own choices. Over and over again, one question haunted his mind. 

‘How did I get here’? Continue reading “God Sets the Lonely in Families”

Is my Mental Illness because of Sin in my Life?

Is my Mental Illness because of Sin in my Life black and white thinking grace (2)

We all have sin in our lives, but there is so much more going on than simplistic and hurtful black and white thinking. Therefore we need to learn more and grow in grace for our Mental Illness. 

Let’s crack the whip a bit louder against the soul.

It’s always saddening when you hear the story of someone who believes their mental illness is because of some sin in their life. Guilt and shame lock them into despair.

The Heart condition

A little story to begin our journey.

In my late teens, I developed a heart condition. My heart would suddenly begin racing up to 140 beats per minute.

I thought it was because of some sin in my life, so I confessed every known sin, prayed and prayed, yet this condition didn’t go away, in fact, it got worse. Continue reading “Is my Mental Illness because of Sin in my Life?”