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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christina larsen says
Hey I have written a book about how we are all designed differently according to how the Potter wants us to be used to glorify His kingdom. Since you used to do pottery, I thought you might want to check it out. It is entitled, The Potter’s Clay. It is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and Lifeway.com. I would love it if you checked it out and if you like it maybe share about it with others. Your site has taught me a lot about painting furniture and I appreciate it being the catalyst to help me discover things that I truly enjoy. Thanks! Christina Larsen, MS, LPC
Hello! I totally agree that our struggles can be made into our strengths. And because of it we are able to share our struggles as you have to strengthen others. In my life I feel God has made good out of the things I have not done so well. We are flawed with a purpose. Amen!
You are so brave and transparent. So many people are frightened to admit what they perceive as their weaknesses, so consumed with preserving their image. Some never get to realize the freedom in pulling back the curtain and really connecting with others at the level that you attempt to. When you share in this way I feel less lonely and it’s almost as if I had actually met you in person, that you are actually my friend. I believe our struggles actually do push us to greater heights if we allow it. If we embrace it and work with it. If I deal with depression then others must also. Yes I can be more compassionate because of this and I can do something positive to counteract this. For me it is painting furniture also and gardening. Those passions have been fed by troubles that have come into my life – how could I not be grateful. Thank you for using this forum to enlighten and brighten. You keep me coming back
Thank you! Just Thank you