It’s Mental Health month. My head is spinning a bit from doing a lot of inner searching over the last couple of weeks. How do I deal with a longing for closeness but a tendency to keep people at arm’s length; to hide? It’s easier to do tasks than to be vunerable as a person. As a book I read many years ago said “If I show you who I am, you may not like who I am and that’s all I’ve got”. Looking at linkedin and other social media, people can seem so successful but if getting ahead is all we are it can ultimately be quite shallow.
One of the things I remember from my first planning degree at Newcastle was a lecturer called Dave Higson enjoining us to “look up”. And indeed the upper floors of buildings can be much more interesting than what’s at ground level! Try it! But I am also reminded by Psalm 19 to look up at the skies and the stars. I need perspective when looking within to recognise that my mind is very finite and the universe and it’s maker are much vaster. I do matter despite my smallness in the cosmos and change is possible.
I also need to look out of myself to the needs of others. To love them as myself, to care about others with their own inner struggles which sometimes occur behind well constructed masks. Let’s be aware of those at work; in our neighbourhood who may need a listening ear. Those about me who fight inner battles behind smiling faces may not be who I expect.
I think too of the survivors bussed out from Mariopol today, able to look up again after many terrible days underground but whose whole inner world is in turmoil. And of those in Nigeria whose lifes are snuffed out so cheaply, so routinely. Do remember the forgotten victims of unspeakable horrors. Lord, help me make a difference, however small.