Thursday, November 11, 2010

Have You Gone Mental? (LXII)

I am sitting in my daughter's dining room looking over the cove just south of Seaside, Oregon. I've been watching surfers trying to catch the big one and there goes four more. There have been no "big ones" today, but still they wait for the wave that will carry them from the sea to the shore. Its out there somewhere, but not yet today. Still they try over and over again in hopes that big wave will come.

As I watch the surfers I think of myself. Sometimes I feel I, too, am waiting, for the "big one" that would come into my life and somehow put all the broken pieces of my life back together as as though the wave is my solution. Actually there is nothing more pathetic than a person trying to find something to carry them through life. Those of us dealing with depression-anxiety know this all too well.

One may think, what about God? Doesn't he say he'll carry us through life? No. He promises to be with us wherever we go, He is NOT a wave. He is one who works with us to heal our lives. He may introduce things into our lives that will lead us in one direction of another, but he does not treat us as robots and promise happiness and a ready rescue from all our problems.

What most uf us need is forgiveness. Not forgiveness from God, but from ourselves. Let us ask ourselves, "Have I ever done anything wrong? Have I ever done something against my own values? Have I ever beat myself up about it? (Say "Yes" here). Of course we have! In most cases it is far easier to gain absolution (forgiveness) from others than from ourselves.

God will not carry us through this one. God forgives and even forgets while we go about feeling that this horrible pain we feel is somehow related to God. God looks on, as I have been doing at the surfers; knowing that the big wave of healing is not coming today. Seas are pretty calm. we need ro remember that our problem lies within ourselves.

The difficulty is that holding on to our lack of self forgiveness prevents our healing. Until we forgive ourself, there will always be something in the way of recovery from depression-anxiety. And what do you think plays into these emotions more effectively other than lack of self-forgiveness, self-hate, or whatever you call it.

I know what its like to hurt many, many people.When I was 20+ years younger I created victims who have now become survivors; my former wife, and the three children I had at the time.What I did not only caused a divorce, but hurt many many beyond my family, even causing a few to lose their faith. I'm sorry and have been for over 20 years. God forgave me at the time. Then I spent ten more years beating myself up. In fact there are times when my depression is at its height the monster returns and I give into his wiles and get out the old night stick and begin flaggulating myself.

Beating one self up is an art. It often comes on the heels of feeling sorry for ourselves. It is pointless and harmful to us and others. If this is something that you do, you need to stop. I suspect it lies at the very bottom of our bag of tricks under everything else. Lack of self-forgivess takes us to a dark place where we wallow in negativity, depression and anxiety. It is a bad thing. Search your bag for this most dysfunctional of techniques whereby you affect your mood. It may be in there, believe it or not. Its right along side the thought "since I gave up hope I feel better." How do these negative things get into our bag of tricks? Well, we may misplace them or more frequently, hold onto them so we can feel the full force of our depression-anxiety. They make it "hurt so good". The song writer was not referring to this of course, but somehow it creeps in. In these cases, watch your thoughts and your laanguage. Some itmes depression-anxiety don't feel like it should. Beating yourself up makes it hurt so good.

Hurting yourself does nothing positive for you or anyone near you. How much Better to grow in grace and self-forgiveness. This way you will not only help yourself, but others.

Typos, Roman Numerals and all. . .God bless you.

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