Those thoughts which bring us down; the things that we tend to dwell on that leave us in a state of devastation.
These types of thoughts are so incredibly familiar to me.
Throughout my life, I’ve had so much negative influence, so many different pulls and pushes that have left me curled up into a ball, balling like a baby, a ton of self-induced affliction and many circumstances that have cut me to the bone.
We all have.
The thing is, I was never good at dealing with the affect these devastations had on me. Each one was like a small cut at first, and over time, that little cut began to tear at the ends. The cut would become a larger laceration, filled with infection and threat. I didn’t know how to care for the danger, and in turn, I would end up worse off than I had when I only had the little slice. As these things would happen (and they did, frequently) I would point the finger at everyone around me for being the cause/source of my discomfort. I had the mentality of how dare these people around me make these things happen, and that is exactly where most of my troubles came from.
Since I didn’t know how to deal with the little blows that would come my way, I would, I guess, retaliate? I say that with question because I still don’t know exactly why I would do some of the things that I would do. I suppose when the animal is caged, fight or flight is the way? Anyway, I would lash out and blame the other for my personal misfortune.
It took me a very long time to realize that it is completely up to me to decide how to handle the blows, no matter how devastating.
“Completely up to me” doesn’t mean that it is literally, because how can anyone learn something by not taking action? Although, that action had to be a choice that I, solely, had to make for myself. Also, I had to realize that it was possible that no one would be there to hold my hand while doing so. As Red said in Shawshank, “Get busy living or get busy dying”, and as I looked around and saw that my blaming, shaming finger had run everyone off, I took myself to the mental health facility.
Anyone who comes to this blog will quickly realize that I am a professing Christian. With that being said, therapy was not the only thing that I needed. You see, when my life was truly beginning to fall apart–way before the decision was made to take myself to the proper physicians–I began to follow the way of Jesus. The “way” was exactly as I had viewed the teachings of Jesus when I first began this ongoing walk with the Lord, as I had so much influence from the New Age teachings and lots of ignorance when it came to the Gospel. Nevertheless, I had a short, single verse pop off of the page as I was reading from John 15…
John 15:5 NIV
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
This verse hung on my bulletin board at work. Each day, I would read the verse and really try to see what it meant. I would study my easy to read Bible (NIV) and really focus on the last part of the verse: “…apart from me you can do nothing.”
I remember thinking, quite often, that nothing is a pretty bold statement! I mean, that pretty much sums up everything. Looking back, as I sit here reflecting and writing this morning, that it was through this verse that I really began to see His presence in everything.
I could go on with what I learned through the facilities, the self-help books and the ongoing Psychology studies I do, but really, I could not do any of it without my center focused on the work that Jesus Christ has done in me. His Holy Spirit guides me in the directions I’ve never found in a book, or class, or website, and if you’re not committed to Him, it’s likely that you won’t understand this statement. He truly is the way.
I encourage you to take a hard look at yourself today. Are there things that have cut you open? Are there people that you have blamed for this? Are you still living with that infectious restraint that you gladly blame others for having? Well, there’s a way to fix all of that.