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#73829 - 09/16/05 09:56 PM Re: Eagle Born To Fly, Sharon Matthies
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
Smile, what a wondrous whisper of light...the welcome sound of your voice brings joy to my heart today...

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#73830 - 09/18/05 03:54 AM Re: Eagle Born To Fly, Sharon Matthies
chatty lady Offline
Writer

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 20267
Loc: Nevada
Well so far I haven't had much to offer here but am reading all the posts. Dotsie I believe with all my being that we are an over prescribed nation. We are as near all drugged out as we possibly could be and I feel what some are allowing to be done to there children is criminal.... [Mad]

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#73831 - 09/18/05 10:30 AM Re: Eagle Born To Fly, Sharon Matthies
Daisygirl Offline
Member

Registered: 08/25/05
Posts: 1052
Loc: Ohio
When I was involved in Christian activities it seemed that none of my good deeds went unpunished. When I stepped back from that I realized God uses me even when I'm broken and in ways I couldn't imagine. I used to feel that I had to have a big "ministry". Now I know He uses me best when someone comes into my life who needs encouragement, prayer or just simply a friend. Mostly I don't realize what God has in mind until it's all over, and that is the best way because it doesn't work out too well when I'm in control.

Daisygirl

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#73832 - 09/18/05 06:33 PM Re: Eagle Born To Fly, Sharon Matthies
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
Daisygirl, That was a hard lession for me to learn, that the seemingly insignificant moments and encounters can be infinitely more important to the people that are impacted by those "insignificant" encounters than the "big ministry" that I used to hope God had called me to.

My problem is that I will probably never see how far those smallest gestures go, if anywhere at all, so it's tempting to believe I'm useless, and that my feeble ripples of light are meangingless. But God does have better eyesight than I do, and He's helping me to learn that I have to trust that it's enough to do just the little bit that I can in my day-to-day encounters with the people I meet along the way...cashiers, salesclerks, waiters, mail carrier, paperboy, kids in the neighbourhood, even hubby.

In weaker moments, I still think that I ought to be doing more. But since my energy resources and finances make that "more" impossible, then I have to trust that God will find smaller ways to use me...and that makes it "enough" for now.

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#73833 - 09/18/05 06:40 PM Re: Eagle Born To Fly, Sharon Matthies
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
EBB & FLOW: PART 2 of 3: EVERY FEEBLE FLICKER COUNTS

Excerts from Chapter 20

It’s a frustrating reality that it’s impossible for many of us to do "great" things or to march enthusiastically into the chaos and bring enough sustenance and hope to eliminate even a small fraction of the suffering. Our limitations and brokenness fracture and immobilize us in so many different ways. During my last battle with depression and massive burnout, I decided that there was no sense in wasting any more precious energy beating myself into oblivion over my inability to do as much as I think I ought to be doing in order to be a viably contributing component of the continuum.

I could not afford to capitulate to futility or apathy. I know now that every single one of us is capable of sowing our own unique tidbits of light and kindness wherever we happen to be, and from within whatever limitations we are struggling against at any given time. The more obvious tidbits include simple gestures like recognizing the presence of another human being instead of counting the cracks in the sidewalk. Speaking a quiet hello instead of passing in silence. Acknowledging with eye contact the beggar on the street instead of shrugging our shoulders and pretending he doesn’t exist. Allowing ourselves in even the briefest of encounters to ripple a tiny flicker of light out into the world. (***see footnote below)

I know it’s not easy. Having been bedridden and housebound by fatigue and anxiety for so long, it was difficult for me to find the opportunity to do even the simplest of those things. I couldn’t get outside to nod my head or speak a quiet hello. And in my darkest moods, or when my mangled thinking convinced me to ostracize myself, I couldn’t make eye contact, or summon enough energy to care about the hungry and poor. So where was my niche in the world then, my opportunity to ripple light, I would ask myself.

There were so many sleepless nights when anxiety and uselessness would wash over me, until one night I realized that there was still one thing I could do, something that would at least make use of those dreary hours in bed. I could pray. Pray for people who had asked me to pray for them. Pray for women and children in grave danger somewhere in the world who didn’t have a voice or didn’t know who to ask for help. Pray for families abandoned without hope of ever escaping the squalor of their refugee camps. Pray for peace. Pray for the soldiers fighting for peace in the battlefields. Pray for friends who were dying. Pray for children being kidnapped off the streets.

For a long time, prayer was all I was capable of giving.

At first it didn’t seem important or nearly good enough compared to the unrelenting neediness of the world around me, but I realized that even that simple little gesture had to be somehow rippling a small shred of light out into the continuum. It can’t be completely void of worthwhile-ness sending genuine care and good thoughts out into the darkness. And if it’s all I can do, then it has to count for something.

I can’t and don’t expect myself, or anyone else, to always be "on" – kind and giving and uplifting all of the time. Fatigue, grief, discouragement, anxiety, time constraints and distractions are a very real part of our daily lives, and we simply aren’t always able to rise above our weary brokenness to extend even that tiniest morsel of life to others. It’s something to strive for, but we must try not to get too discouraged or guilt-ridden when we can’t seem to give as much as we think we should. I think – hope – it somehow all works out okay, coming back to this ebb and flow.

Those of us who can, give what we can when we can. Those of us who can’t give anymore, who are too empty and weary to stretch any further, must find a safe respite for ourselves. We must give ourselves permission to withdraw from the hectic pace of life and accept the help and support that we need from others to replenish and heal ourselves back into the ebb and flow again.

************

To Be Continued Monday...


*** Footnote: I acknowledge the predicament that we women, in particular, face in terms of the potential dangers of establishing eye contact or communication with strangers on the street. It’s a sad commentary that we are forced to live and conduct ourselves according to this reality. All I can really say about that danger in relation to my spiel on rippling kindness is that we have to trust our instincts and intuition, and know that our first and foremost priority is to always keep ourselves (and loved ones) safe.

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#73834 - 09/19/05 07:51 AM Re: Eagle Born To Fly, Sharon Matthies
kygal Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 15
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Eagle,

Quick introduction, I just joined the forum but have read through your posts, as well as the others. It's wonderful to find a place where depression can be discussed so freely with others who understand. I've been struggling with major depression for about 3 years now and am still looking for the right combination of treatment.

But, in answer to your question here....yes, I have! It's terrible to be told that your problem is that you're not praying hard enough, not believing enough, whatever. I had a wonderful woman of God tell me that depression was nothing more than "I'm not getting my way".....and once I got past that, I might just "get it." What a guilt trip to lay on someone who had just come through a very scary experience of losing all sense of direction trying to get to her place.

Enough for now, but I'm anxious to see more of these discussions.

Regards,

Mary

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#73835 - 09/19/05 05:24 PM Re: Eagle Born To Fly, Sharon Matthies
Dotsie Offline
Founder

Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 23647
Loc: Maryland
kygal, obviously the woman of faith who shared those words has never suffered from depression. Sometimes we have to chalk these comments up to ignorance. Pure and simple.

Glad to see you here. I hope you'll stick around and share more. Also, you might want to go to the Welcome forum and introduce yourself...if you want>

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#73836 - 09/19/05 05:26 PM Re: Eagle Born To Fly, Sharon Matthies
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
quote:
Originally posted by kygal:
I had a wonderful woman of God tell me that depression was nothing more than "I'm not getting my way".....and once I got past that, I might just "get it." What a guilt trip to lay on someone who had just come through a very scary experience of losing all sense of direction trying to get to her place.

Mary, thank you for posting that experience. That's exactly the sort of thing I mean by "cruelty of kind intentions". I doubt that we're ever going to make a significant dent in that negative stigmatization of depression/mental illness, but we CAN change how we receive it. Those kinds of comments are deadly toxins that we have to leave "out there" and not allow to simmer into our already guilt-infested mangled thinking. Just as we wouldn't willingly allow toxic hazardous materials into our house, no matter how messy our house may be, so too we cannot allow those mental toxins into our psyche and being, no matter how messy our "attic" might be!

I really think that one of the key starting points might be to give ourselves permission to declare our depression as a bona fide illness. I don't mean any disrespect to those who have cancer, but I do think of my own depression as a sort of "cancer of the mind". Let's face it, it eats away at our ability to think and function, and if left untreated, does grow until it swallows us into its darkness. So it does behave like a cancer.

If we can just allow ourselves to recognize the mangled thinking, the fatigue, the lostness, the profound woundedness as SYMPTOMS of a bona fide illness, rather than character flaws and proof of failure as a human being, then we're that much closer to learning how to manage the depression so it doesn't completely swallow us into that terrible quicksand. We learn how to treat the symptoms (medication, therapy, positive self-talk, supportive network) rather than let those symptoms define the totality of who we are.

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#73837 - 09/19/05 06:24 PM Re: Eagle Born To Fly, Sharon Matthies
Eagle Heart Offline
Member

Registered: 03/22/05
Posts: 4876
Loc: Canada
EBB & FLOW: PART 3 of 3: YOUR FEEBLE FLICKER IS ESSENTIAL

Excerpts from Chapter 20

Depression, especially our mangled thinking, will often render us incapable of feeling like we’re valid and worthwhile members of society while we’re immersed in that darkness and confusion. And the stigma that still exists for people like us who struggle with depression or any mental illness, often renders us blind to our core truths, and unable to envision even the possibility that we are more than our depression.

We need to dare to change our definitions of self and redefine our capacity for giving. We need to rewire our attics and silence those old voices [mangled thinking] that tell us we are useless and have nothing valuable to contribute to society while we’re down and out. We need to ripple the Truth of our unconditional value – that we are worthwhile simply because we exist – deep into our old lie-defined selves and dare to believe that we do have a unique purpose and niche.

We need to dare to trust that we too have a light that the world needs to see. Even the least of us, the most fragile of us, can find our way into the ebb and flow and dare to shine our unique tidbit of light into a world that desperately needs every feeble flicker.

We see the truth of that right here in our own Boomer Women Speak site. How every voice brings unique wisdom and insight into our lives, evolving us, changing us, bettering us, healing us, simply for having listened and been in the presence of that voice. Some of us stumble in here broken, weak and feeble, with no idea of how our own voice sounds anymore, no inkling of our own inner wisdom. We see the positive changes that being here makes in each others’ lives. How the voices get stronger. How the wisdom finds courage to speak. How hearts find “niched-ness”.

We don’t have to do great things to be a light for the world. Even the loneliest darkest corner needs only one tiny candle to diminish the darkness.

I believe that every tiny flicker of kindness joins the ebb and flow and ripples out into the world as light.

I believe that even our feeblest tidbit of light, shining out from our brokenness and pain, joins with every other tiny flicker of light shining out from every other dark corner, and ultimately produces enough light to love the world back to life.

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#73838 - 09/19/05 08:07 PM Re: Eagle Born To Fly, Sharon Matthies
kygal Offline
Member

Registered: 09/19/05
Posts: 15
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Eagle,

I am so looking forward to receiving your book, you have such a wonderful way with words and expression. I just wanted to share something here and see if anyone else agrees with this analogy.

We recently started attending a wonderful church in St. Ann's, ON this spring and after my meltdown, I went to talk to the pastor there. I just felt I could talk with him and my gut instinct was right. He shared with me that he's struggled with depression for a lot of years and understood what I was talking about. But, something he shared with me has stuck firm...his analogy is that people that suffer depression feel more deeply and soulfully than most others, thus rendering depression. He assured me that he didn't feel this was the only cause but that it helped feed the depression. I don't know about all the others here, but I can definitely relate to that analogy as I was always wanting to bring home everything and everybody to fix them and make them better.

Just a few thoughts here.

Hugs,

Mary

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