I need a nest that I can call home. Actually, digging down a little further, I need a grouping of relationships that know me, love me, and have compassion and kindness when I get things wrong.
The other day I was pruning a vine and there high above my head was a nest. It had long been vacated. I’m not sure what type of bird built this elaborate structure to raise its young, but as I looked closer, there was an intricate architecture to the design.
Twigs, grasses, moss, lichen all gathered and foraged from around the garden and woven into a home.
Can anything good come out of that time, place, or person? Only if we take a risk and explore. We are invited to ‘come and see.’
I was raised on a farm near a small town called Wellsford. In fact, my ancestors settled there in the 1860s, migrating from England. Through this town and the middle of our farm, a very busy road ran, taking traffic to one of the poorer areas of New Zealand, Northland.
Words said, have power. Self-deprecation is to pray against the self, but we can learn to pray for the self and so develop healthier thinking patterns.
It was the words at the end of his sentence that caught my attention.
‘I’m so stupid; I always do things like that’.
You learn to notice them—little words used as qualifying comments that disempower the self.
I think that many of us have little words or sentences that we probably tell ourselves and others. Sometimes they slip out in conversation.
Maybe they are offered up as an excuse or reason for things being the way they are.
Most of these thought sentences are kept quietly to ourselves, where they can continue to shape and poison our thinking. We say them so many times that we become used to them. They are our default thinking regime.
As a child, I was taught to ‘not think too highly of oneself’ Romans 12:3 and that ‘pride comes before a fall’ Proverbs 16:18
The noise of our world will never fully satisfy, but when we learn how to listen for whispers, we find a safe place for the soul.
I wonder when the first sound was made? Was it a big bang or the quietest of whispers. As the sound waves vibrated out, what was heard? Who heard it?
Here in New Zealand, it is believed that the earliest of migrants would have heard the lands existence before seeing it. Such was the abundance of birdlife. Much of that life force is gone now, but even as I write this on a sunny deck, I can hear some of the native birds singing to me.
I hear whispers of God in the throat of a Tui, the whoosh of a Keruru flying by, and the flitting movements of a Fantail dancing in the sun.
The life of a person with a mental illness is often accompanied by the necessity of taking prescription medications.
My name is Matthew McAllum, I am 50 years old. I have been on mental health medication since 1991. I was raised in a Christian family in Dunedin, New Zealand until I was twelve-years-old when, in 1980, I moved to Hong Kong with my family.
I learned much in Hong Kong, especially about living with other cultures.
I returned to New Zealand in 1984, after a holiday encompassing many countries, including the U.S.A. and Europe; then boarding at Nelson College, in Nelson for three years learning about New Zealand again. I then moved to Auckland to live with my family.
I now have a job as a cleaner in a very large retail and wholesale bakery in the suburb of Mount Wellington.
I live in a group of flats in Mount Wellington under the auspices of Community of Refuge Trust, having done so for approximately 7 years.