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When Life Happens!
Each time I read this scripture, “Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man that you are mindful of him? Man is like a breath; His days are like a passing shadow”, I always find myself in a ‘Selah’ mood (pause and think mood).
Recently, a lot of sad happenings have been reported around the world. Personally, I got involved emotionally when I first heard of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 with over 239 lives on board.
While still hopeful that the MH370 will be found soon, I got wind of the South Korea ferry disaster with over 462 lives on board. I was still in a ‘Selah mood’ obviously shocked, when back home in Nigeria, we began feeling the heat of the insurgents; from the Nyanya bombings in Abuja, to the abduction of over 243 girls from a school in North Eastern Borno State, to the fear and insecurity among the citizens. These indeed are not the best of times for the families directly involved in these events.
I kept thinking, ‘how will the families of those who lost their loved ones in flight MH370 feel? ’How about the families of the lives lost in the ferry?’ How will they be coping and adjusting to life? Will they still be in shock? How about the #bringbackourgirlscampaign? Are the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunties… of the girls able to get a peaceful sleep when they imagine the distress and discomfort of these girls?
Indeed, these are disheartening happenings, very sad times. If you think deeply and think like I do sometimes, the tendency to be depressed will not be far away. I have friends, who attest to not listening to news report most times because it makes them depressed, but the more I think about these, the more I ask myself; ‘what is the way out?’ The reality is that, life happens, no one plans to be in situations like these, but like we all know, life truly happens!
When an individual prone to depression, experiences a traumatic event like any of the above listed ones, it can trigger different emotional response or reaction from that individual. An individual with undiagnosed depression tendencies and who is not on any medication could easily fall into a state of trauma and display different emotional reactions to traumatic events.
David Baldwin’s Trauma Information Pages, suggests that, “people who fully engage in recovery from trauma discover unexpected benefits. As they gradually heal their wounds, survivors find that they are also developing inner strength, compassion for others, increasing self-awareness, and often the most surprising- a greater ability to experience joy and serenity than ever before.”
Aside from taking your medications, resting, eating healthy, exercising, and engaging in other healthy tips, I have personally observed that a lot of efforts have to be exerted by the person in question.
1. Personally, I find out that I have to guard my thoughts to control my emotions. Joyce Meyer in her book, “Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don’t Control You”, teaches that, one way we can actually control our emotions and not let them control us, is by learning the art of self-control. Being in charge of your mind is what self-control means to me. Filter your thoughts. Develop a laudable and acceptable standard by which you can filter your thoughts. I recommend you filter with Philippians 4:8 as much as possible.
2. Let God’s peace guard your heart. Strive to always be in a peaceful state of mind. A peaceful mind for me is a mind devoid of noise. Do you know your mind could be noisy? Constantly worrying, fearing, planning without the solution in view, to say a few, can make your mind noisy. If you tolerate this trend for too long, it could lead to a state of manic or depression, or worst still, other severe state of mental illness. It is advisable you learn to relax your mind by deliberately guarding your heart with God’s peace. God’s peace is better experienced than explained; it passes all understanding of the situation you may be faced with. Having God’s peace, is having the conviction that God has your back, and His thoughts for you are good to give you an expected end.
3. The Happenings of life will always be here! Not just around the world, but in our daily life. 1 Corinthians chapter 10:13 encourages us that “ No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it”. The choice is yours; you can allow it scare you, but you can also make up your mind, that they will make you firm; a better and stronger personality. Feel free to take solace in the truth that we have a friend in Jesus, who will all our sorrows bear; Jesus knows our every problem, so why not take it to the Lord in Prayer?
4. Pray: Talk over your feelings with God in prayer. Pray for the lives departed. Pray for the missing Chibok girls. Pray that there will be peace and tranquility in our world. Pray for your fears. Do not just talk things over with your friends and loved ones; pray also. Prayer is a unique dialogue with your creator; a heartfelt prayer receives speedy response from Him. Philippians 4:6, encourages us thus, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God …”
This write up is basically to encourage myself and everyone out there who identifies with the recent happenings around the world and are affected in one way or the other. Please take heart. Do not stop loving the way we are advised to do in 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8. To stop loving is to stop living. Love will conquer; it’s only a matter of time. Cheer up!
Common responses to Trauma & Coping Strategies: http://www.trauma-pages.com/s/t-facts.php
“What a friend We Have in Jesus” written in 1855 by Joseph M. scriven
“Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don’t Control You.” Written by Joyce Meyer, Copyright 2011.
Scriptural References: 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8, Philippians 4:6, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Philippians 4:8, Psalms 144:3-4.
Thank You dear Jesus because in You we have a friend, in You we have Peace. Though the earth be removed, and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling, we will not fear, because You are our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
· That you have to take your medication(s) as prescribed by the doctors
· That you don’t have to avoid your appointments with your physician.
· That you have to rest well, eat healthy, exercise safely, and avoid stress.
· That you can pray over your medications that; they will work perfectly for you without side effects.
· That you can pray to God to perfect all that concerns your mental health.
My name is Precious, I was Bi-polar, and I live a full life
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