Saturday, 31 December 2011

Helping people with a chronic illness.

I have just read this blog and think it puts so eloquently what I would like to say about having a chronic illness that I am not even going to try and use my own words.  The post is all about how people can care for others with a chronic illness.  Fortunately my rheumatoid arthritis has not giving me too much hassle pain wise this last year.  However it is still there, I am still taking lots of very toxic drugs, I still have to be very very careful about how much I do as exhaustion comes very quickly.  This means that apart from my walking stick that I use my illness is quite invisible on the whole.  If you are interested in knowing how you can help people with a chronic illness then do look at Amy Danielle's blog post here. It is a really helpful read.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Be Strong - No!!!!!!!!

Be strong is another of those injunctions that I am trying to get over.  I have spent my life being strong and has my mother and look where that has lead her (a mental health unit) - do I want to go the same way?

I have been reminded this morning my that Still Small Voice of Corinthians 12:10

I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.   (Good News Bible)

Now I wish I could say that I am content with weakness, but my natural earthly desires are to BE STRONG, which means I have to FIGHT weakness, that immediately puts me into a no win situation.  That means I am belittling Christ on the cross.  If I can do it in my strength why did He die for me???

If only it were as easy as repeating Paul's words with my lips to make my heart believe those words.  Living in the world where people do not know or trust God means I am surrounded by those who really do think the only way through hardship is BEING STRONG.

Today I am going to try and accept my weakness, to accept my inability to put things right, to accept that I can not control what other people say to me or put on me.

Maybe I will then feel the STRENGTH of CHRIST RISING.  The STRENGTH of the RISEN KING.  The STRENGTH of the LORD OF LORDS.  The STRENGTH of the one that has DEFEATED DEATH.

Thursday, 1 December 2011


I have been learning lots of new language in the last few months.  Mainly as the result of going to see a counsellor for the first time.  The one that keep coming back again and again through each session is injunctions.  Now I know the definitions of this word and I am sure that I have used it on occasions, however not in the context of feelings and emotions.

Many of the injunctions that we hear as we are growing up are very regularly used by lots of parents and are well needed - 'Don't do that' can stop a child sticking their fingers in a plug socket.  These are injunctions that we all learn from.  However I have discovered the biggest injunction (an authoritative warning or order) that I ever received that has really restricted my personal growth was 'STOP SHOWING OFF'.  I am sure that I am not the only child that had this said to them.  My problem is that it was said to me all the time, in front of all sorts of people.  Until I have started to really think about what this injunction means, it was just one of those phrases that if I ever heard it made me shrink inside.  So what does 'stop showing off' mean to me:

Don't do that you are embarrassing me.
Stop expressing yourself that way.
That is no way to behave.
No-one is going to like you behaving like that.

All these can be summed up in three words to me - stop being you.  You see, I am naturally extrovert, I don't mind being the centre of attention.  In fact I often thrive on it.  How sad that it has taken me 43 years to get to the point that I can accept this part of me.  I have probably ended up craving far more external validation that is actually healthy just because of this in juncture being so repeatedly handed out as I was trying to find out who I was for myself.

It is a very hard phrase to get rid of, there have been a few occasions when I have even found myself saying or about to say it to my children.  I feel so very grateful to the dear friend who once quietly pointed out to me that I had said it as an adult (in front of my mother to my children).  She did it with such grace knowing how deeply wounded I have always felt by the words.  And I am absolutely positive I have never even considered using it again since.  I have just tried Googling the phrase only to find it filled with really negative expressions.  If people didn't 'show off' how would we get to enjoy the art that other people are able to express by showing it off?  All writers would keep their books in their heads, all artists their pictures, all actors their skills of expression - what a dull and lacking world we would live in. 

So I have decided if you have an urge to 'show off' then do it!