Saturday, August 19, 2017

Loving Your Enemies, But How?

How do you love your enemies? I don't know for sure but you might try seeing them as desperate human beings in search of  the right way to live. I try to do this and it often helps keeps my own emotions of anger under control.  I would like for this ability to love your enemies be something that  is true and comes easily.  It is not. Humans  aren't built that way. Self-preservation is a strong force and is upfront whenever danger is sensed.

We are advised by God to do so, however, and that makes the problem one to ponder over. And pondering over problems, in the right frame of mind and with the right intentions most often bring solutions; it's one little insight and then another and another. . . I am not an expert, only a desperate human being in need of understanding all the hatred I see floating over the whole world at present.

How do we react to such craziness? Do we grab a broom, a stick, a club, or, God forbid, something more lethal, and join the mob? No, if we are peace loving and God loving and believing, we do not. What then? We think. Why am I reacting thusly? What in my present or my past give me the right to be so forthright? Have I need to seek revenge over some past slight by someone almost now forgotten and am using this to quiet my frustration?

Whatever, sit down and ask God for help. You don't need a certificate of approval from anyone to simply confess your ignorance of the whole matter. Just say, God I need help. What is going on and what role am I to play? Should I  stay home and forget about it, or should I search my own soul and see exactly where I stand on this frightening matter. Who is right and who is wrong? Whatever you talk to Him about, be truthful. If the situation at hand have caused your own past  unsolved conflicts to surface, take them out of their hiding place and look over them. Be Truthful.

Whatever you do don't add to the national or world conflicts  by dumping into the heap your own inadequate self with all it's unsolved problems. First find out  what is causing the uprisings, determine your own mindset concerning the issues involved, get help from above as to the real issues involved and then, only then, take a stand. And by taking a stand you don't have to publicize your concerns and take one side or the other. Not presently, but you have to decide within yourself how to approach the problem when others ask for your views. It is quite all right to remain neutral when you don't know what the h--- is going on.

Why to that last sentence? Just say you don't want to talk about what you know nothing about but you will look into the matter. You will be off the hook and will have time to get some real facts concerning the bad news spewing all over TV, smart phones and the news media. And it will allow you time to understand how you can love your enemies while not loving or even liking what they are engaged in.

Decide that no matter how heinous the crimes being committed you will love the person while not loving or agreeing to what they are doing.  Instead of hating them, love them as possibilities for Christian enlightenment and on your side for a peaceful world. (View them as prisoners of their own wrongdoing and you as a visiting consultant as to the value of their possible self-improvement.) Take this as a clue as to the rightfulness of your action: In the Bible, somewhere in the New Testament, Jesus answers those who accused him, rightly, of eating and sharing time with sinners. He told them why bother wasting time (He used  other words, ones I can't quote exactly) with those who didn't need to change their ways, who were already on the right path onward, but who needed to improve their sinful ways.

That tells us that he loved sinners and if he did it, we should do likewise. Did he not say, take up your cross and follow me? While it's true you cannot learn to love your enemies, whether they be public enemies or personal acquaintances that cross your path occasionally and get your usual good reasoning ability out of order, they are human beings and as such are good candidates for improvement. (And if they are not and are more in tune with the  REAL ENEMY OF ALL HUMANITY you will know how to block them from your inner viewpoint. 

Am I being a hypocrite for not coming right out and taking sides against all the enemies of good common sense that we see being played out each day? Yes, sort of. But at least in my favor I am being truthful. I am not trying to be a know-all, end-all-sin kind of person. That is impossible. All things are possible with God but that is not so with human beings. We are here to do his work and to do what we understand to be what he wants us to do. And at this point in time, that could very well be, LOVE YOUR ENEMEIS. And if we listen closely and believe  in Him strongly and never waver from doing what our conscience tell us to do, we might also hear Him silently saying, "I AM TAKING CARE OF THE MATTER. Have Faith".

And before I sign off I would like to mention here that although I am writing as a Christian believer, I know that God has other people who love him in their own way. Their labeling and their reasoning may be different but if they love Him with all their heart, with all their mind, body and soul,  and are sincere, and if that's all right with Him, then certainly its all right with me. There is only one God and he has many friends and many enemies that I know nothing about that he also loves and protects. It's just that I was born into a Christian family and as such have grown up. And against the possibility of being misunderstood by some of my family who are sincere Baptists and are wonderful and sincere believers, I  will say, in my own defense, I was a sassy brat, sometimes, as a child. But I usually spoke my mind. A sample of my rudeness:

Once during a discussion of religion at our dinner table, Christian religion no less, I heard this comment. I don't know if I asked a question and got this answer nor do I know exactly why I replied in such a manner. But when I or someone else, but I believe it must have been an answer to my question whether other people of other religions would also go to heaven, someone said no. They all had to believe as they did.  I turned up my nose and said defiantly: That's ridiculous, it will certainly be a boring place. I grew up and married a Catholic, became one, and for a time tried to be like those whom I associated with.


Before long, however, they too became somewhat boring and uppity. I learned that they too sometimes sinned against the truths I had learned from their religion. I often found myself looking back to the beliefs of my grandparents whom I knew to be saintly. I did this while hanging on to the truths I learned from the Catholics. Then later on, I began to see my place in the overall picture of earth and heaven. I finally found God to be nearer than I had thought possible. He seemed to be there when I, after ignoring him for a while, needed him. At around the age of fifty, I let Him takeover and life ever since has been absolutely wonderful. It has not been without its crosses and its heartaches and its pain but it has been one long learning session. 

What about my distinction as a believer? Am I a Catholic or a Baptist or whatever. I don't know! I can't call myself a full Catholic, I can't eat wheat therefore can't go to communion. (I could go  and get gluten free wafers but why the bother. I reasoned if God created me not to eat wheat, then I would not eat it. I would not try to get around this problem with human solutions. But I believe the truths I learned from them wholeheartedly, and I love God wholeheartedly. I see all Christian believers in the same light. I see other God loving people as being true to their heredity. In other words I leave the matter up to Him. And in still other words, I am now more in understanding with my earlier upbringing and its common sense values I learned that have served me all my life.

Therefore, to conclude this How to learn to Love Your Enemies blog, I would advise to simplify your life. Learn how to be yourself, the person God created you to be, and learn how to love yourself first. Then loving those who are directly opposite to your beliefs may be easier. It may not be all in who is right and who is wrong, it may have a lot to do with loving yourself as your neighbor. And we all know  neighbors  who don't always act as we think they should act, are often unlovable. But we love them anyway, especially when we get to know them better. Why? It's simple! He created them for other reasons than that of our own. And the more we understand them, the more we will learn how to love them. Another way of Loving Your Enemies is to see them as lessons in kindness to be learned.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Mental Health and Old Age

Sometimes I feel so old I think I must abandon the effort of making known my views on mental health. Then, at other times, something surfaces that make me change my mind. That notion, I tell myself is too good to keep. That happened to me yesterday, July 17, 2017. I was, as usual, praying the rosary, something I've been doing for many years. Although my status as a born and bred Catholic is well known, my status as a practicing Catholic is often questioned. And rightly so, I do not go to church since I cannot drive, I do not share the notions of all those who I say worship the Catholic Church instead of God, but I love, absolutely, believe and honor the basics of the first Christians. Enough said. And I believe Pope Francis is on the right road.

Now the rosary, a short explanation first: The rosary takes me all the way through the life of Jesus. The first decade is the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel telling her she is to be an unwed mother. She ponders over this impossible event. How can that be? The second decade has her visiting her Cousin Elizabeth who is pregnant with John the Baptist; the third is the Nativity, the birth of the savior and the fourth is concerned with her presenting Him at the temple forty days afterward. The Fifth decade is about Joseph and Mary leaving Him in the temple and having to backtrack to find. Yesterday was Monday and normally this is the Rosary dedication for that day and Saturday. Tuesday and Friday is concerned with the Agony in the Garden, The Scourging, The Crowning of Thorns, The Carrying of the Cross and Him dying on the Cross.

On Wednesday and Sunday The Resurrection, Him ascending into Heaven, The Holy Spirit descending on the Apostles, And the other two decades are about Mary and her anticipation  and her entrance into Heaven. Okay, basically that's it. But on Thursday modern day rosary praying people usually go along with the Luminous Mystery recommended by the recent Pope John Paul. Here, we find John the Baptist at The River Jordan baptizing Jesus, The Wedding of Cana, Jesus beginning his ministry, the Transfiguration the Ascension of Jesus into Heaven.  (During the recitation of the litany of the ten Hail Mary's one often finds their mind wandering. Often as I am contemplating the past events the present concern enter the picture, I wander off course, fall asleep if too tired etc. But that is not the point I want to make.

What then is the point? How we get messages from God. He has various ways and He has designed each of us for his purpose and it is for us to keep the gates, doorways and passages open. That is an almost impossible chore but as one gets older and one's eyesight dims, hearing is lost, ability to get from here to there becomes  more difficult.All one is left with is an inner vision. And wow, the joys one finds there! Trinket of the mind are scattered everywhere. Okay, so here goes, call me crazy if you  have a mind to, but it won't take away from yesterday's enlightenment:

My words as I probably uttered them: "Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you, blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb Jesus. Holy Mary,  mother of God, pray for us sinners now and the time of our (did)" !!! What did I say? Why didn't I say death? Then, being playful as I am I pondered over the difference of the two words. What was the meaning of this careless mistake. Was I at fault for rapidly trying to get through the monotony of the repetitive words? "I am sorry, I first thought, for having been so careless.

Then wow! That's it, I thought. He is telling me why wait until death to make amends, why not ask for forgiveness as soon as an offense has been done. As soon as what I did. It's these little things, these little sins that accumulate cluttering up our minds, making us less mentally healthy as we would like to be. Get it off your chest now and decide never to do it again. Well, of course there was no real sin in what I said, the Lord knows my absent-mindedness and both He and I are comfortable with that, but I can almost hear laughter coming out of somewhere up there. :Why so rigid. Relax, take each minute as it comes, learn the lessons as they arrive and love the Lord with your whole heart. You do this by being a good neighbors and helping wherever you can. And yes, by listening in to what you say and how you say it. Who knows what might get slipped in under the door? And by sharing it.

(Holy Mary, Mother of, pray for us sinners now and at whatever thing we did whenever we should not have done it.) But of course at the time of death also, because we are all so imperfect here on earth that to error can also be called human. There is no reason, however, not to listen to every word we utter and look for any signs form above. Love you all, and be good, if you can, and if you cannot, at lease be truthful. That goes a long way on the journey onward.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Religion and Mental Health

What part does religion play in mental health? That depends on how you define religion. Religion is simply a teaching method about a supreme being, it is not in its self a supreme being. As an example, Christ taught his disciples while on earth the way to live better lives and the the way to get to heaven. He also instructed them in the way they were to instructs others after his life on earth was over. Therefore Christianity is a religion. It is about his teachings. Those who believe in what he taught are called Christians. There are other religions.

Therefore, whether religion makes a person more mental healthy has to do with a person's overall health. Do those practicing a particular religion live a better, a less traumatic life. Is their way of thinking linked with the truth of  'love your neighbor as yourself''; do unto others as you would have them do unto you; love your God with your whole heart and so on and so on. These quotes are from his teachings. On the other hand if a person is insincere and cares nothing for the truth but uses religion to further their own interests, then their thinking is not compatible with good mental health. Also if a person forgets, or has never learned the simple fact that life on earth is a journey toward a better life to come, uses religion to further their sinful life and to advance themselves in a secular way, then religion is not being what it should be to that person.

True, there is only one God. Only he knows for sure the truth of every situation and yet many people are sidelined by the actions and words of others. God is truth, beauty, love and he of course relays this message to various leaders. Yet those leaders, if they are earth creatures are prone, on occasion, to do less than what God expects. Yet if they are later truly sorry, he forgives them. And asking for this forgiveness is mentally healthy. It takes away worries and concerns and gets one back to the realities of life on earth, its purpose, etc. Christianity teachers that God is three persons in one. This is not always understood but as humans who know and understand that there must be a way of communication with him, they who believe in the Trinity, find this reasonable.

God alone is perfect. Seeing that people on earth was not living according to His Commandments  He became man and taught, as Christ. Some believed and followed and some did not. In fact they killed him. Yet while on earth he knew what he was here to do. Those who believed started the religion known as Christianity. He is the second person of God. The third person, the Holy Spirit (used to be known as the Holy Ghost) is the goodness of God roaming the earth answering prayers, seeing that help is given to those who need it or who ask for it. This is carried out by people, saints, etc. Those of us receiving these gifts from on high most likely have varying ideas about his goodness and how He gets messages across, yet if all is done with an intention of doing His will, then that's good.

Okay, okay, you might say, I understand all that. Then why is there so much bad being done. Only God knows, but those of us who truly believe know that the will of God is not for us to know, but for us to believe. But we know for sure He is not deceitful, He is straightforward, He loves all people and desires for them to be in touch with the truth and not a dealer of lies and wrongdoing. Yet, not wanting to force people to love Him, he allows people on earth a free will. Only each one, those who are of the age of understanding and of sufficient mental capacity to know right from wrong, must decide for themselves. Will they love Him or will they love only what advances their own lives here on earth, is for each one to decide.

Yes, and I can only speak for myself, religion, and even religion as scantily practiced as I'm able to do advances mental health. Had I not God to depend on each day, my life on earth would be quite miserable. Yet despite all, I am a happy person and I have no problem believing the goodness, the truth, and wisdom of God. I do all kinds of foolish things and say things I should not say, forget to do some things I should do, but He knows my heart. He loves me in spite of my flaws. Flaws I attempt to conquer and improve upon but being an earthling I have a long way to go.  And yes, what mental health I can claim as my own, I owe to Him.

God has a job for each of us. Often I see myself a big fool but that does not bother me at all. Once it did. I once was terribly temperamental and lacking in patience. Yet, now knowing I have always been somewhat a fool, was a laughing stock for others who didn't always understand me, I thank Him for keeping that knowledge from me until I grew old and could easily accept that truth. In fact, all that I am, ever hope to be, I owe to Him.  

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Uncluttering Your Life

The world today is a crazy place. Anything and everything is tolerated, talked, fought over, given supremacy and the loud and the uncouth and the just plain crazy keeps on getting crazier. I know, this is not good copy, but who cares? In fact, who cares for much of anything anymore the rest of the world seems to be overlooking? God, for instance, the creator of us all has been pushed back into the corner or even, perhaps locked in the attic forever. How then do we get back to when the world was in his care? Lets get him out and make him our constant companion and be not ashamed to let others know we consider him good company. You see, he works through people and we will never know when that epiphany so much needed will come or from whom. Talk about your creator and let others know the truth of all existence and be not ashamed to be the fool you know yourself to be. (It is certainly true that every time you open your mouth you are liable to show that fact. So be it! Just be yourself and improve on your communication skills and this is best done if you truly love all people, yes even when you do not approve of their actions.) 

Well truthfully it has always been because he is everywhere, it's only that the biggest troublemakers are blind. Not blinded to the outside where all the loud, lewd, and loveless stuff is being played out for all to see; blinded to the inner harmony that opens into the passage way toward tranquility and to the person you were created to be. That place where those who need solace and his loving nature to to take over our cares and make sense of them or discard them as irrelevant. 

Oh, true to my words above, I have gotten off the subject which started out to be 'how to stop cluttering up your life'. Simple? Of course not, we all preach simplicity but somehow, with little forethought, we gather non essentials in thought and in actions. Once we know this how do we get rid of them and how will we know whether to toss or to keep? Each person will have to do some soul searching here and will have to answer truthfully to some questions asked. There is no one lesson fits all here. That's because what is important to one person is not important to another. It all has to do with what makes you more of the person you want to be, whether you realize this or not. In other words a gardener will probably have a well stocked little shed with items related to their favorite activity. Of course it's going to be painful to toss out those pots from outgrown plants, the dozens and dozens of other tools. But if you want to freshen up and keep a neat outlook on your habits as well as your ability to find what you need when you need i t, throw out and clean up. And so on with whatever activity. 

Just make sure you have everything in clear sight or easy to find when you need it. Otherwise you will forget what you have and will repeatedly buy an item already owned. But if you are truly dedicated to simplicity you may want to go further and fit your space with your belongings and fit in no more than is necessary. 

All the above reads as if it in material things that needs to be thrown out, but simplicity means having a mental filing cabinet in good order. Of course you once knew this or that and now that you are older you can't remember it. Should this bother you? Not at all, the mind functions best if  left to its own simple ways. The thoughts most needed and most used will be in the forefront of your mind and those of little use will be in harder to recall places. By association only will those be recalled and only when they are truly needed. (This changes somewhat as you get older but usually it only takes longer to recall truly needful or mental items.)

Simple ways are best. Of course I am speaking of my own life style and I've found over time I have had several instances where I have opted for the simple, the most needed, the affordable solutions. Yet the truth, as it now appears in the forefront of my thoughts demands  a say: I am somewhat cluttered as to books and papers, cards from my children, drawings from my grandchildren and my own artwork scraps. I tend to hold on to clothes because I am in no way fashionable nor desire to be or can afford to be.  I am simple in my food and diet. Reason? I don't like to cook and I am  learning eating a  well balanced meal means as is recommended for my age and my health requirements not only saves times, money, but adds to my overall well being. 

But best of all, as I grow old, I am learning how to do nothing. I can lounge on my sofa, half asleep, half awake and talk to my Creator as if he is the psychiatrist sitting slightly in back of my head. (I've been there in my younger days and I know what goes on in professional settings. Get comfortable and just talk it out! Now of course, He listens and it costs me nothing. Truth urges me on: You could say I am somewhat of a frugal soul. Stingy I am not. I just like to use my money for good causes and for what is important to me. He's the best mind straightening outer I know!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Mental Health Attitudes

We all like to think we are mentally healthy but no one is one hundred percent mentally healthy. It's absolutely impossible to always be thinking and doing and living according to the what society considers mentally healthy. Actually, it's a day by day thing and rules one lives by or tries to live by. These, by necessity, must be changed according to new awareness of what we are doing or saying that contributes to our unhealthy lifestyles. And, in fact, society does not hold the key of anyone's health and for proof of that, watch or listen to what 'they say' or what they are doing. Mental health is a personal thing and each one must take control of activating it and yes, revising it whenever necessary. Therefore the only way I know to define mental health is as follows:

A mentally healthy person, or one aspiring to be one does not judge. He leaves that up to the creator or to the teacher or whomever is in charge of whatever uncomfortable situation one finds one's self in. He first must understand his own way of thinking and acting and getting rid, or attempting to get rid of, his own faults. Well of course we can judge on the general issues, murder is wrong, hate is wrong, envy is wrong, slander is wrong, cursing is wrong, overeating and gluttony  is wrong, and so on but before we can point fingers of blame as to who is guilty of these sins we must first come to terms with ourselves. It's like this,  we cannot condemn others without first looking inward at ourselves. Of course we don't have to be around those who cause us to downgrade our own mental health unless of course that's our job, they live with us, etc. But bad attitudes can be caught! It's easier to be mentally healthy if all you have to do is sit at home and think about it. How then does one remain reasonably mentally healthy while living and working among others whose attitudes bring us down? That, my friend is what truly being mentally healthy, or working toward it, is all about.

A mentally healthy person does not rage at others about their behavior. At least they try not to get angry. The best most can do in situations when others try to provoke us is to keep quiet. We try to show by the best example possible arguments or name calling or bullying behavior is best ignored. If it gets out of hand let those who are trained to calm down those whose behavior or actions are destructive to others. If not at least keep quiet or run or hide, whichever is possible at the time. Understand here we're not talking about criminal behavior but just run of the mill mouthing off at workplaces or at home.

A mentally healthy person tries to understand the other person's viewpoint. It's possible they may be right and you may be wrong. We learn from each other. Sometimes we are 'it' and are demonstrating poor thinking or behavior and if we are truthful with ourselves and with others, we will admit and will try to make amends. If we have overstepped and have said words offensive to others, we must apologize. That of course is humbling but that is what builds character. It hurts and our pride drops a few notches, but heck with pride, at least when a good lesson is to be learned. With enough of these situations certainly, at least we think, we will have learned when and how to keep quiet. But being human, and lessons needing to be learned, we will, most likely if we are honest and will admit it,  will keep on saying wrong things and raisin eyebrows or adding to gossip behind our backs. Progress will be made, however, when these bad actions toward others will become less and less. And of course, maybe we had a right to defend our position, or so we will tell ourselves, but after a while, a person who truly wants to become mentally healthier, will decide no action need be taken. Instead, we will work toward improving how we respond to the actions of others.

How then will we know if we have made progress toward healthier thinking? Slowly but surely progress will come. Each person will find their own way, but I suggest this as a clue: When you find you have no animosity toward those who you know gossip and talk about you behind your back. In fact you love them as if you are blinded to their negative attitudes. You see them as struggling humans, the same as you, who are trying to do the best they can do to get along in this world. Show them every kindness and never, never, give in to their gab sessions when it does not fit in with your life style. Don't agree with them but somehow turn the subject to something positive. As a example, if they say something bad about another, say something good but do it in such a way as not to offend them. You may be the example they need. Who knows but God. He created each of us for his own purpose and the least we can do, if we seriously want to improve our mental health is to leave the judgment up to Him. He deals with all of us in His own way and I believe it makes life easier and more mentally healthy if we accept that fact. We are His instruments of peace.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Understanding Your Creativity

Yes, you are a creative person. According to Edwin Raphael McManus in The Artisan Soul "We are the result of a creative act by a creative God. He designed us in his own image; he designed us with both intellect and imagination; he designed us with both reason and passion; he designed us to dream, to risk, and to create."

So, get over the notion that you are unable to do anything other than what others tell you to do. Let go of the notion that only a special few are able to see beyond the daily humdrum of daily life. As long as you follow your conscience and obey the rules all must live by and thereby keep yourself out of man-made jail, you have only to answer to your God for how to live your life. That notion is simply known as freedom. It is the freedom to be yourself. But how do you start? You listen to your thoughts, you sit in on them as judge as to how they are directing or misdirecting your life. This takes time and patience but it will pay off if you listen more to what your inner vision dictates than what your rowdy or non-creative friends insist you do. Then follow some of the urges that tell you to take up singing lesson, join discussion groups, learn how to paint pictures, go bird watching, or simply say no to those who want you to do what you don't want to do.

First of all, be aware that since you give yourself this freedom to be who you truly are, the person you were born to be, and not the one defined by others, you must share your visions so that others too may find themselves and their place in this world. Creativity is not selfish, it is not hoarding but it is helping others to free themselves from the slavery of  'following the crowd.' That said, following the crowd may not be bad, but be sure it is one you creatively want to follow, and is not one urged on you by others.

Why, you may ask? What good is being creative, what is in it for me? The answer is so simple it is often overlooked. It lets you be yourself. Only then can you  begin to put the puzzle pieces of your life together and see the first glimpse of a creative soul. You see, everyone is different. There are no two people alike and that is exactly how God wants it to be. And while that is so, it also may be why the world is in chaos today; the world is full of unhappy and unfulfilled people. Instead of learning how to be themselves and then helping other find their way out of the pitfalls created by hatred and selfishness, they turn on others in anger blaming them for their blindness and wrong ways. To turn that around the world needs to learn to appreciate individual creativity as given to all by God and in turn learning from it instead of denying that it exists.

Just imagine what a wonderful world it would be if the world was simply one big 'think tank' on how to live according to its God-given creativity! It will never happen will be the first thought of many and as the world is now, but as with everything creative, it must have a starting place. How to start? Free yourself from ignorance and false values and get in tough with your inner self, your conscious self, your voice from above, and redirect your life. Then make it known. Give love and assurance to those around you so that they too may learn and pass it on. First begin by loving others as they are even though they have habits and thoughts foreign to you, but love that God part of them. In other words love the part of them that belong to themselves and their God.

You may notice that although I am writing about creative and how everyone needs to find their inner self, I have not directly related it to God or to religion. I don't see the two as separate. I have learned that I am closer to God when I am busy creating (writing, reading, listening to music, going to church, praying, doodling with paint, etc.,) than when I am listening to news broadcasts telling me how the world is destroying its self by hatred and warring factions. The latter is terribly depressing  and gives me much to pray over. No one it seems wants to sit still long enough and take stock of how they see themselves in relation to others, they would much prefer to point fingers of blame outward and never inward. It is true that when we are truthful with ourselves we must take the blame for our past mistakes, but we need not dwell there forever. God will forgive us, if we take the matter to him, and then we can begin to mend our lives. We can then begin our journey toward mental health and toward a hoped for world peace.

It's not easy but it is well  worth the effort. It's not for cowards, lazy people, those who deny the existence of God and those who live by taking from others rather than giving to others: It is for those who use their God given creativity for the purpose for which it was given, a way forward toward a mentally healthy world.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mental Health In Other Words

Mental health is often mistaken for mental illness, although the two conditions are worlds apart. However, mental health is not something one has, or was born with, it has to be carefully nurtured. And nurturing is no possible until one understands that mental health, or wellness as some think of it as an overall part of their physical well being, which it is, is not a static condition. In fact, you can be mentally healthy one day and not so mentally healthy the next day. It all has to do with how well you know yourself and your thoughts. You must get in the habit of reading your mind and leaving the file open at all times. When you find errors or ways of thinking in yourself that if found in others you would classify as unhealthy, you must bookmark that page and determine to learn more about the reasoning behind your thinking.

Learn to be truthful about your thoughts. You don't necessarily have to admit this to others, but you must never be false to yourself. How absurd, you may be thinking, how can you be false to yourself? We do it all the time! We like to think we are on top of every situation but are we? We may have only picked up a few basic attitudes and have clung to them for years. What are some of the phony messages you may have claimed as your own?

(My mother never raised me that way) Poor mom, she may or may not have raised you that way, but as an adult and one supposedly knows right from wrong, why should you make her your scapegoat? Can't you think for yourself? It's a shame that too many people grow up in body and leave their mind back in yesterday. At the age of reasoning, you are supposed to take control of your own thoughts and while this is thought to be at the beginning of puberty, it often takes far more time than this. But any age is never too late to begin the process of taking charge of your own thinking. A mentally healthy person will, at some time in their journey onward, stop blaming all their shortcomings on their parents. They will have understood by that time that their parents too were only reacting to the pressures of their time and had they known better, or been taught better, they would have done better. Whether this is true or not, it's at least an honest answer to something unknown. It's simply another wrong belief one can throw out as one lives day by day doing the best they can do with the tools God gave them to work with.

Wellness is another word the professionals like to throw around when describing the opposite of illness. Generally it is used in connection with physical health, but truthfully, it must be accompanied with mental health. The body cannot be separated. A person's mind has a tremendous influence over bodily health. A mind in good shape understands that to go through life pain free is impossible. Pain often is a good thing. It's your seeing eye dog alerting you that something is wrong. Your first response, whether to call an ambulance, or whether to lie down and rest, or try an over-the-counter remedy--depending on the seriousness of the condition--will depend on how well acquainted you are with your innermost being. You will begin to question yourself, has this happened before, if so, what caused it, what did I do this time to bring on this condition, etc.

You see, mental health is an ongoing thing. Some days your are farther along the road to a  good understanding of yourself and the next day, like sunshine and rain, the situation changes. With your mind still in good working condition, although clouds seem to block most of the good feelings of yesterday, you reason that this is normal and although you accomplish less, there will be better times ahead. Although, philosophically you pass off your slight feelings of unease, your are well aware that eating that whole pizza, half for lunch, the other half for dinner, with a tall glass of a sweetened drink is not something that should be repeated. A lesson has been learned. That's what wellness is all about. This kind of thinking becomes a habit but don't expect ever to quit learning. New lessons on how to help heal your self crop up daily.

Others are likewise important and to spend all your time on your frailties is likewise unhealthy. Let God be your doorkeeper and you will learn how much of this or how much of that is healthy or unhealthy. Living is loving and caring for others and forgiving them for their faults and their wrongdoings as well as loving and caring for yourself and yes, forgiving yourself for your faults is likewise healthy.  But don't overdo it.  Going one step forward you at least hope to improve on your unhealthiness by giving Him the credit for all the good you have done this one day. God is not dead
as some smart(?) people often say or think, He is born new everyday, at least where he is allowed to be.