Hope and Pain

Oh how I wish it were as simple as “just think happy, positive thoughts”! 🙂 Life would be so much sweeter if it were easy to turn one’s thoughts from negative, melancholy things to positive, hopeful things.

The more I read and learn about mental illness, the more I realize it is, unfortunately, not a simple or easy process to switch one’s thoughts.  Perhaps it is for some people.  And yet, I think that for the ones that it’s most easiest, those people do not seem to struggle with ceaseless thoughts.

Just a few minutes ago, I was looking at some sites I have bookmarked on my laptop.  One of the bookmarks was a search I did to see what Myers Briggs personality type Rich Mullins was.  The eighth site down on the list said, “What Myers-Briggs personality type do serial killers usually have?” (Google “picked” it up as a search result because Herbert Mullin, a serial killer from the 1970s, is in the list.)  So then, I looked to see what personality types this site claimed the killers had.  This led to a few other searches.  (Talk about depressing!)  Among other things, I discovered that one of the Columbine shooters (who took his own life as well as the lives of other innocent people) allegedly had depression and struggled with ceaseless thoughts.

All of this to say, many people who suffer with mental illnesses seem to struggle with racing thoughts and/or with incessant thinking.  And, as I mentioned, the more I learn about mental illness, the more I realize and see certain patterns.  Is there an answer for those of us who suffer and struggle?  I wish I knew.  I only hope and pray that in my deepest, darkest moments, I’m able to keep looking to Jesus.

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He is truly THE only way, and it’s actually comforting to me to note that He sweated drops of blood and wept and overturned the tables in the temple.  In other words, His life wasn’t all about “thinking happy thoughts.”

I’m not sure where to give credit for this image.  No copyright infringement is intended. I’m “simply happy” that Jesus is portrayed as having “down” times too.

 

Seeking Approval

I’ve known for a long time that I seek the approval of others.  I’ve tried many things to avoid doing that… to stop doing that.  But, so far, I’ve not been able to stop or avoid it.  I’m a born again believer in Jesus Christ, and I do not (and did not) have to do ANYthing to earn His forgiveness.  So, why do I struggle with this?  Why have I struggled with this?  Does it really matter why?  I simply would be ECSTATIC if I could get ‘beyond’ this and no longer struggle with it.  I imagine it has ‘fueled’ my depression because deep in my heart I know I can do nothing to gain anyone’s approval.  And, deep in my heart, I know that I shouldn’t worry what others think.

However, even the word “should” is something that bothers me.  It doesn’t matter if I change “should” to “need.”  That bothers me, too.  So, how does one overcome this?  Is it through endless counseling sessions and/or medication?  I’ve done all of that, and yet I still struggle.  I don’t have the answers… other than the cliché of, “Let go, and let God.”  That is so simplistic and yet seemingly impossible to do.