Glennon from Momastary wrote a really great post yesterday about mental differences how they are valuable to society and the common good if just harnessed, appreciated and not simply corrected. She challenges the idea that instead of just letting go and rejoining the world, that caused great suffering to begin with, to instead label what is deemed a negative into a superpower. Could addiction, depression, anxiety really be wonderful attributes that contribute in a very special way? I love what she says here.
“Instead of coming at us with the desire to change us because we are inconvenient to the world—come at us with the desire to help us because we are important to the world. We want you to see that with a little help, we can be your prophets, healers, clergy, artists, and activists. Help us manage our fire, yes, but don’t try to extinguish us. That fire that almost killed us is the same fire we’ll use to light up the world. And so we don’t want you to take what we’ve got, we just want help learning how to use what we’ve got for good.” – Glennon Doyle Melton
It is a shift in thinking for the mentally challenged too. To think that dealing with our struggles is not a shaming and bad thing. I know only too well that shame squashes everything and is like a monkey on our backs that does not let us move and grow and expand. What if we did not feel shame? What if people didn’t tell us to just go to therapy, medicate and try to live a “normal” life like everyone else? Is everyone else doing such a great job of life? Better than us? Ha!
Could I be good at what I do and how I care about my friends and how I raise my kids and love my husband and learn to live in this world? Could my perspective be not only worthy, but also super important? I cannot help but think of the radical message that Jesus spread and how people thought he was downright NUTS! They thought he was so dangerous and crazy that they MURDERED him!
If you suffer like I do with depression and anxiety and find every day a roller coaster in your mind that you are trying to manage, I encourage you and me to notice in these moments that we may be the special ones. That maybe our perspective goes beyond what others who are “normal” are able to grasp. We don’t need the normal ones to even acknowledge our creative differences (although that would be nice). We can just grown in confidence that is it TRUE.
It’s no secret that some of the best and most famous artists and writers struggled. There was tension in their lives and in their minds and they produced art from it. Wow. I always found this correlation fascinating and comforting. Maybe the noise in our heads actually propells us forward into more creative spaces. I would say this is definitely true for me. When I am anxious and not sure what to do with my thoughts, I paint. When I am trying to make sense of feelings of discouragement, shame, guilt, etc, I write. I market myself and my business to make myself feel worthy and valuable. Has all my struggle actually HELPED me grow my business and explore my interests? Why, yes.
There is a seat for me at this table.
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