Who are YOU?
If one has enough love to care, protect and save others’ lives from harm, the assumption is that such a person can save his/herself from sinking or from danger in life. Unfortunately, this is not always true; most people who show great empathy for others’ well-being are poor at extending this quality to themselves, especially in taking care of their mental health.
It seems it is easier caring for others or advising others than the other way. During my clinical placement in a psychiatric hospital, when we held group sessions with patients, as part of activities with the patients, we will ask patients to say something that they see in each other that they think will be helpful in the recovery of the other person. Patients could identify good qualities and offer encouraging words or messages beneficial to the other person’s recovery.
On the other hand, when patients were asked to identify something positive they see in themselves that could support their recovery, most patients could not determine any quality they see to help their recovery. The patients are not able to offer themselves the same support that they give to their friends.
The essential part of healing from trauma or any struggle is believing in yourself that you have the power to overcome it all. People can provide encouragement and support from all angles, but if one lacks confidence in themselves, the chances of overcoming any struggle or succeeding in life are very much limited.
It is critical that when we’re caring for others and seeing all the good in them, we also take time to realize this goodness in ourselves. We must learn to extend this love we give to others to ourselves.
Most of the patients I work with, both young and old, have attempted suicide in one way or another. The public consensus attributes suicide as an act of cowardice, a trait wherein excessive fear prevents an individual from taking a risk or facing danger. By this comparism, it is believed that the individual could not handle whatever it is that they were going through and hence choose suicide as the best resort. Is it really true that such people lack courage? Ever wonder the courage it requires to decide to commit suicide?
Suicide, which simply means ending one’s own life, is an awful act for anyone to engage in, especially young people. I don’t believe people who commit suicide are cowards because it takes a lot of strength to come to that conclusion of hopelessness for anyone to end their life. It is not a weakness of anyone to jump in front of a moving car or shoot one’s self with a gun. It’s not cowardly of anyone to hang themselves or intentionally overdose or drown. It takes strength, but it is not a strength coming from the right place. It’s bravery that comes from the devil. In 2 Timothy 1:7, its says that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power (courage), love and sound mind. Knowing that the counterfeit can not exist without the original, I believe Satan also gives an evil version of power (courage). It is such courage that compels people to shut off their senses and engage in suicide. I can see such similar powers fighting with Paul, and hence he said that the very things I want to do, I’m unable to do them, but the things that I don’t want to do are the same things I find myself doing (Romans 7:15).
I am not praising suicidal behavior in any way. Instead, I am encouraging us to pay attention to the forces in this world deceiving people into believing what’s not pure, powers deceiving people that there’s no other way to find peace in their struggles, that there’s no hope.
For the past ten years I have dealt with my own battle of not wanting to be alive. Whenever I am in this state of mind, I result starvation. Some years are better than others— my lowest moment was when I was abnormally at a low weight because I had been starving myself for so long. For this particular year, my suicidality was so severe, I thought I was actually going to die, but Grace always pulls me back•••
I believe the difference between people like me and people who commit suicide is Who we anchor ourselves to, the one we have placed our faith in.
The Bible says: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places…..(Ephesians 6:12). Instead of courage, strength, and sound mind rising and triumphing over the struggles we face; the devil equips and feeds the mind of people with fear, leaving them powerless and utterly hopeless. The devil fills these people’s minds with negative thoughts about themselves and their situations instead of thoughts of empowerment and peace.
Philippians 4:8 says: Finally, brothers, whatever is pure, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is true, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. As believers, I urge us all to ponder over these things of noble report as mentioned in the scripture above. There is hope for your life, anchor your life with Jesus and never succumb to thoughts of suicide.
If you know anyone battling suicidal thoughts, please encourage them with the hope found in Christ and keep them in prayers. I hope to bring awareness and an attempt to change the perspective on the topic of suicide and also to encourage us all to be kinder to each other, especially those who are always fearful, cry easily, are uncomfortable in a crowd and those who experience mood swings or out of touch with reality or anyone you see who’s struggling in life. Be kind, be all ears; Love more, and above all, pray more for each other—
Deep in my heart, I do believe that we’re put on this earth to support each other, no one person can achieve anything without the help of another••• let’s help each other be better~
I like having an in-depth conversation with people; it makes my soul happy!
Anyway, I had a conversation with a colleague about the woman’s body and the changes we go through and the whatnot. We talked about motherhood, experiencing childbirth, and the female reproductive system. Scientifically, the older a woman gets, the challenging it becomes for her to conceive. Side note: Devine Grace can override this.
We talked about the struggle some women go through because of these changes our body experiences and other things that causes infertility among women. Of course, there are treatments, but not everyone has the resources to seek these treatments, and sometimes these treatments do not even work. She asked about my opinion; concerning women who rely on God for the fruit of the womb but are still without a child.
My response: I think it will be wonderful if we all get what we want in life, but that’s not how it is supposed to be. It will be excellent if every woman seeking the fruit of the womb is blessed with this gift. But it isn’t so; sometimes the body changes, treatments fail, and some women rely on Devine intervention; even with that, some do get disappointed with their prayer request. Because most often, our prayers are not necessarily answered the way we want, and the conclusion we draw is that God did not answer our prayers
One thing I have become aware of as a Christian is that often, we fail to heed the answers to our prayers. We do not understand the full meaning of the communication we have with God.
Supposing a woman prays for a child and through prophetic vision, the woman sees herself with child and years comes by and go, the woman does not conceive. Does this mean God hasn’t answered the woman’s prayer? In my opinion, it is a no. The explanation is that we limit ourselves to the answers we expect from God, and we fail to understand what He is communicating to us. What if God is pointing you to the other option? What if He is telling you to adopt a child? There are millions of children in foster care or out there who need a home, children who are longing to belong to a family, but we limit ourselves to only the reply we except God give to us.
We take just a little portion of the direction God shows us, and we come to the conclusion that it over; God has disappointed us. Personal account: A friend once had a prophetic message about me, and the prophecy includes me being married, but those of you who know me knows I am very much single as a Pringle. It doesn’t mean the prophecy has failed or will not happen. With the understanding I have now through my journey with God, I have faith in my ways this prophecy will come to pass— My conclusion is: Don’t limit yourself to your expectations only, have broader understanding for other directions as well•••
I recently traveled back home to Ghana with my siblings for our mother’s funeral, and as soon as we returned to the States, we alerted this godly woman next to me of our arrival. She was filled with excitement on the phone and told us she’s preparing food for us, so we shouldn’t worry ourselves with cooking. In less than an hour, she was at our door with food (Jollof rice, grilled chicken, and soup). She was so happy to see us back home; through her hugs and word. As usual, she insisted I get something to eat when everyone had a plate except me. I always get emotional when someone shows us such kindness because those we consider family doesn’t show us this kindness.
A lot has been said about family and what it represents. The one I find very fitting and honorable is a definition given by (Surana, 2020): “A family is a group of people who have each other’s back and are willing to go to the ends of the earth to bring a smile to the others’ face.” Call it a true family or a real family—the actual family definition is the “sense of loyalty, selflessness, love and genuine care and concern for the others.”
She continued to write that a family can mean anyone who gives you that comforting feeling of familiarity (Surana, 2020). Family is the group of people who you know accepts you for you. You feel comfortable, safe, unique, that you matter, and that your voice matters.
According to Surana (2020), a family can make you happy as soon as you see them. They are the ones that stand by you through thick and thin. They are your entire support system. Moreover, keep you going forward in life
A family doesn’t necessarily mean your parents, your siblings, or your immediate blood relatives. Family can mean your best friends, your classmates, your teachers, your pet, or even that one person you always wave to at your local coffee shop. “The true definition of family lies not in blood relations, but it is measured in the amount of love and respect people hold for each other” (Surana, 2020).
I couldn’t agree with Surana (2020) when she writes: “it is difficult to find people who want the best for you without any ulterior motives.” People can appear to be helpful to you, but their intentions may be to exploit something from you. However, once you do find someone with a sacred heart, make sure you fight for them to stay no matter what.
“There will be hurdles along the way and huge fights where your relationship may seem too fragile to hold on to. But remember that overcoming these hurdles together will only strengthen your ties. After all,
the true meaning and definition of the family lie in how
much you care for one another” (Surana, 2020).
My mom once said she hopes that someday someone will extend the kindness she shows to others to her children•••Well, mother, you can certainly rest; our good Lord heard your prayers, He listened to your cry—
Being different or wanting something other than the norms is can be costly… You are seen as the odd one; you are weird because you want something different. You have to explain yourself for being different because that’s not what is expected of you.
The unfortunate part is, most people don’t see the struggle of being different because they are so focused on why you are not like everyone else. They don’t know the effort of having to pretend to fit in… the struggle of waking up every day to live a pretense life… but maybe if people are not too focused on trying to understand why others are different and instead try to understand the struggles of being different, perhaps it would be easier for people who find themselves different from everyone else to adjust.
𝑃.𝑠: 𝐽𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑠𝑎𝑦𝑖𝑛𝑔••• 𝑑𝑜𝑛’𝑡 𝑏𝑒 𝑡𝑜𝑜 ℎ𝑎𝑟𝑑 𝑜𝑛 𝑝𝑒𝑜𝑝𝑙𝑒
In my grievance, I found myself asking, “why believers grieve”? We have an assurance that someday we will be reunited with our loved ones who have passed away, well, supposing they shared the same faith with us— Yet we fall apart when a loved one passes away. We feel betrayed, disappointed, lonely, guilty, etc.… is it that our faith is not enough to believe the reunion of our loved ones who have been called upon by God?
As I was pondering over this question, I reflected on a few moments where Jesus had His own moments of grief, during His task to free us from the bondage of sin, to grant us salvation, especially during the Passover and the hours leading to His death.
In Luke 22:44, it reads “And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.” It written in Matthew 26:39, “And He went a little farther, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as Thou wilt.” In Luke 23:44-46, it says,
“And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands, I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” In Isaiah 53, He is called “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” His love for us is indeed profound, deep enough to cause Him grief.
He grieved for the nation of Jerusalem. Luke 13:34-35 tells us about a day where Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem before arriving there. It says, “He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem,” He cried, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Jesus was lamenting over the many times He has sent help to Jerusalem, and they had failed to recognize the helper.
Jesus grieved for us because of the love He has for us; I believe the agony Christians experience or show when we lose a loved one is because of the love we have for the departed person. Losing someone you love hurts; it is very personal and an emotional experience, so we grief, and sometimes the grieving takes over and begins to suck the life out of us. Our emotions get numb, and tears don’t seem to stop; even though we believers of Jesus are much aware of seeing our loved ones again after their death, we lament their passing because of the thought of not seeing their faces and sharing life with them each day of our living life••• But what I have found is that grieving makes it better, of course, we lose ourselves completely. There are comforts in grieving, and it helps us to find closure and even strengthens us… Although I cannot say if Jesus found solace in His grief••• (Something to explore next!)
𝑃𝑒𝑎𝑐𝑒 𝐵𝑒 𝑊𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑌𝑜𝑢🙏🏾
It is possible•••
One can achieve the impossible with the right attitude•••With a little bit of determination, a little self-discipline, a little passion, a pinch of faith, and a zeal to succeed•••