3599 views at sunrise today …

DSCF7301My Sunrise this Morning on this occassion :-)

 

Weird to think I simply began blogging and now… :-) … hoping that something of what I have typed and posted has touched one soul at least in those 3599 views… it would mean that some be good has been done.

Be blessed – be chasing those dreams and stay away from the Frankl “Existential Void”, it’s torture to be in that place without purpose! May you ALWAYS know that you have a purpose and engage with it, run with it, live it and know that it is the point
xx

Who is setting life’s standards in the 21st century, what are they? why?

I’m not sure if I’ve blogged about this before or not, in all honesty, I’ve never managed to keep up much over a long period and the fact that I now have over 180 posted blogs over a span of years has quite surprised me! So now I may end up rewriting on topics that I’ve already blogged about, sorry if I do, but I know people who repeat the same story at every gathering they are at (do you have that family member too?), and I’m not doing that, so I forgive myself. This time: Standards.

I’m once again being confronted with the notion of: “Shannan, your standards are too high.” This bothers me, it has always bothered me. “You can’t expect things from people.” For example, twice now within the last few months I’ve given birthday gifts to others for their significant birthday, and I didn’t receive a “thank-you” from either of them. Upon texting the first to explain the origin of the gift, I didn’t even get a reply. The second, I messaged a week later and she replied with an apology and sincere thanks. So expecting a “thank-you” for generosity and giving my time and finances is not on… When did “ingratitude” become an acceptable standard? So my moan is not about the expectation, it’s about the now ‘accepted standard’ of: “you are supposed to give a gift/s”.

Further to this, in my classroom, the learners have said that my standards as a teacher are too high, that being from both learners and some teachers. That I’m too passionate, I work learners too hard, do my job too well, and I shouldn’t be or do as I do because it only creates stress i.e. if I stop being so passionate and working to achieve high standards, then I wouldn’t get tired or be stressed…
So my ‘standard’ of doing my job to the very best of my ability is: ‘too high’. So what’s ok then? Half a job? Half commitment? Low standards and expectations? So I’m not tired? When did society and human beings decide that settling for less is ok? How can that be ok? I had a professional in a different field tell me to change careers the other day because teaching is too much stress and hard work and I should go with something that makes me more money and is “easier”… I told him straight how tired I am of people thinking that lesser-IQ-intelligent, lazy, apathetic and less passionate people should be teachers (which must be their meaning by their reasons for telling me not to be a teacher). If we let the less organised and less-proactive individuals become teachers, in my opinion, then the cycle will ‘re-cycle’ itself; it will replicate itself, and lazy, apathetic, disorganised and uninterested learners will be created, or: frustrated, under-mentally-nourished misfit deviants will make everyone know that they exist and are unchallenged. The microcosm of a school will become the eventual macrocosm of that society of learners. It only makes sense to me to have THE TOP Educators in Schools, to get them in, to pay them, to develop them, to embrace them as the artists who will be carving the morals and standards of the generations moving through schools and into the business world. We have cluster meetings with people from numerous other schools and their principals aren’t at school to approve things, because the principals are at their second jobs where they make more money… Is that the standard? Why do people tell me I’m at fault for my standards when I see it that anything less is going to create far less?

A significant other: “Just go have sex already, your standards are too high, guys will be intimidated”. Seriously? How can a human being think that way? I can’t even comprehend how people can think that my standards of honesty, respect, manners, upholding my dignity, being kind and helpful and generous are “bad”? How? They get upset that I won’t go out and spend hundreds on getting drunk like they do, so I can vomit it up like they do, have car accidents like they do, get arrested for drunk-driving like they do, destroy my liver, kidneys and brain-cells like they do… why? I make enough mistakes in everyday conversation without needing to add alcohol to the mix to make it even worse. I think that when God gave me such bad physical reactions to alcohol in the first place, when I was in university, that He did me a BIG favour. Same as when I tried smoking and it made me vomit the taste was so bad. When did our standard become: Cool for sleeping around and gathering diseases; cool for getting so trash-drunk that you can’t walk or find your way home; cool for sticking poisonous sticks between your lips and making everything around you smell horrendous? When did it become a “bad” thing not to be sleeping around, not to be drunk every weekend, not to be smoking your funds away?

Relationships: I wouldn’t hook up with a guy who had a girlfriend and that made him bleak with me… when did it become ok that the person doing ‘right’ was treated as being ‘difficult’ / ‘wrong’ / ‘too good’? Can there be such a thing as “too good”? Being honest with another person and telling them exactly how I feel and where I’m at… why does that make me a “bad” person who shouldn’t be spoken to anymore? I wish more people were always honest with me, it would be so much more helpful than trying to fix the hell that lies create, especially as that trust can never be built up again. I want to be trustworthy, I want to be loyal, I want to be honest, healthy, real, genuine, open and the best that I can be, so why does society keep trying to make me feel like I should be less than that?

Who do you want teaching your children? Lazy? Apathetic? Couldn’t care less? Disorganised? More interested in their tea break and eating cake on Cake Day? People…

Who do you want to marry? Someone who’s dishonest? Disloyal? Untrustworthy? Angry all the time? Insecure? Continually changing to suit others? People…

Who do you want to have children with? Someone unreliable? Drinker? Smoker? Materialist consumer-addict? Someone purely image conscious? Only out to please other people, no matter what? People…

My every answer to all those questions is “No!!!”… so how can I “drop my standards” and “expect less”, when I desire to live a life that had a gloriously uplifting and helpful impact on the world?

I’m so tired of this “do as I say, not as I do” approach to others; “do as I do”, that’s what it should be. Full Stop.
People – Why can’t they all just hook up with Jesus Christ and His Standards for Life? If His standards were a ‘norm’ instead of the ‘low’ standards I face every day, then I’d be a MUCH happier person!

And God Answers… An Earth Father is …

On the 21st of June, 12 days ago, I posted a post asking what the criteria are for a “Father’s Day father”…
5 days later on the 26th of June the school librarian said I had to take the DVD “Courageous” home to watch…
7 Days exactly after that I was moved to watch it… Tonight.
With a restless Soul, with a saddened heart, in a space of praying for God’s peace and answers, He answered me.
In prayer, in thanks, in awe, in Love for His Awesomeness, I bow before the truest Father we have, the Greatest Provider, the Strongest Protector, the Most Glorious and Gracious being we will ever encounter… Our Heavenly Father God.
Thank-You Lord for speaking to me tonight and bringing peace to my Soul that it is not up to me to be anyone’s father, that I must simply pray that the men of the world will step up to realise the HONOUR, the RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY of their roles as fathers, as their roles as role models and how they are Your example on earth… Thank-You Lord. Amen.

And His Answer:
The Resolution Message:
“I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children. I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home. I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me. I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength. I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly. I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy. I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion. I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family. I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged. I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God. I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will. I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. —Joshua 24:15″

Courtesy of: http://purposelyparenting.blogspot.com/2012/03/courageous-movie-quotes.html
From the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9VT_NBIVfs

Father’s Day…. What are the criteria?

I’m sitting with 100 odd exam papers still to mark, with 300 odd down… and I know that my time is now very limited to get the stuff marked, but I can’t focus. I can’t focus because today is “father’s day”, and I’ve been marking English Essays on topics that have led learners to write about how much they wish they had a father in their lives. How some of their fathers just walked out the door on them. How some fathers: “went to hospital and died”, just like that (with the HIV/Aids epidemic going on around the world, I wonder). How the girls have this idea that if their father was there, then they would have this “awesome”, “incredible”, “brilliant” father-daughter bond and it would be “perfect”… those learners aren’t reading the essays by other girls whose fathers have raped them, or have been beating their mothers black and blue.

I know it’s against the law for me to publically write about what these girls put in their essays, but, even if they have written ‘fictional’ essays, which may very well be the case, then the choice of content is still beyond frightening. It makes my stomach churn to the point of vomiting at what I’m reading, or crying at what has been stolen from the characters who 14 and 15 year olds are writing about. . . and society sweeps it under the rug and tells everyone that we must go out and buy “The Best Dad in the World” cards. We must believe that “father’s” are these wonderful people who have to be respected and admired and even to a point – ‘worshipped’… as I read about these ‘men’ causing such pain, trauma and devastation, like step-dads who won’t let their wives see their children from their first marriages. What about those girls? How is society helping them deal with the fact that they do not have a perfect relationship with their father? How is society helping those who have lost their parents and end up spending the day in pain over what has been lost for numerous reasons? How do I mark when the topic of the day scrapes like course sand paper over the fabric of real life?

I sit here and I want to know: What are the criteria that qualify a man to get a Father’s Day card? To get breakfast in bed and/or a gift? Is it sperm donation? Is it based only on the fact that he was used to create half the child? (Please note I’m also currently in the context of trying to allocate Dramatic Arts half-colours / colours / honours awards according to ‘criteria’, and most learners fall short of receiving any award.)

How does a child deal with the scenario of having a rapist as a dad? A drunk? An addict to gambling or drugs or prostitutes? Or is a man who introduces his child to pornography a ‘great dad’? I was told the other day that a friend’s ex was taken by his father to a brothel, apparently an Italian tradition, and the head of the brothel took the boy’s virginity and taught him how to have sex with a woman because “it is a skill that should be taught”… is that a great dad, providing for his son’s ability to perform in the bedroom? Or how about the time I had to go to a wedding knowing full well that the mother had taken out a second mortgage on her home to pay for her daughter’s wedding in the 21st century as the father only contributed about R5000 for the entire function, yet there he was walking her down the aisle and then acting all proud like he was the most amazing father ever because he did a speech; is that a ‘great’ dad, deserving of a Father’s Day card? Is the father who chose not to pay any maintenance whatsoever a ‘great dad’? Is the father who left his ex-wife to fend for herself and his children on her own, a ‘best dad ever’?

How about the dads who fight with their daughters; forbidding them to take a subject they LOVE, like Art, Drama, Music or Dance, because the father firmly ‘knows’ that Maths, Science and Accounting are the way, the truth and ‘the only way to be a success’ in this world? Is he a great dad? Is that daughter supposed to buy him a card and say that he is “The Best Dad in the World”, even though inside she is dying in a subject she hates down to her core? Inside she has a huge anger that she has to suppress daily? Is that a great dad?

Where is the line? When do sons and daughters get the chance to say – “No, you’re not the ‘best dad in the world”, “No – you are not someone who deserves a text”? When do the children get to be angry? When so they get to ‘let it out’? When do sons and daughters get the chance to say that so much of what their fathers have done have caused them hurt, anxiety and pain? When do the ‘fathers step up and say: I’m sorry, I’m sorry for the hurt I’ve caused, I’m sorry for not doing everything that I could to earn this ‘Father’s Day Card’? Or is it just accepted throughout society that each generation is going to feel the hell of the generations before as passed down by their parents (yes, one could apply this to some mothers too)? And when the father apologises and repeats his actions over and over again, when is the child allowed, by religious and/or social standards, to walk away without feeling guilt?

For those walking past the card racks who read them and think: “but I don’t have the Best Dad in the World; so what do I do?”. For those who walk around with this chain of guilt around their necks for not being ‘happy’ or ‘at peace’ with the hell their fathers have caused in their lives… what should they do on this: Father’s Day? How do they find peace in a world of fathers telling them that it is ‘their’ fault for being too educated, thinking themselves ‘superior’ to their elders and/or being ‘bigger than their boots’?

I have friends who have had their father’s walk out on them, and never talk about it again, as if it was the child’s fault that the father was too insecure / self-absorbed / unstable / over-laden with his own issues. Those children who the fathers ignore are most likely going to go through a life-time of dealing with ‘failure’ and ‘rejection’ because of the actions of their father in a society that places men in the ‘right’, in the ‘light’ of ‘Dad’.

So I ask again: what are the criteria? Has anyone told these ‘men’/’fathers’ that there are criteria? That they should be uplifting and encouraging their children? That they should be engaging in conversation and discussion and growth in a loving and healthy fashion with their children, even learning from their children, and not walking away because they ‘can’t deal with it’? Has anyone told them that they are required to grow up and be mature if they would like to inspire and help young, impressionable souls?

And the adult children? The ones whose dads believed their only role was to provide money? The ones whose dads spent all their time working and showing them that money and work are the most important things in the world, are those ‘card-worthy’ dads? When the father has finished ‘funding’ ‘the child’, can there be any more purpose to the relationship? Is a child purely a monetary burden?

What about the adult ‘children’ who have been brave enough to face their dads and try and open up adult conversation, but the fathers believe that they are entitled to respect and not to be questioned? That because they are ‘the father’ they should never be questioned by a ‘child’, even if the ‘child’ is now 40 years old? Is that a ‘card-worthy’ dad? If that 40 year-old, now wiser, more mature and more full of grace than their parent, steps back and says “I can’t do this anymore,” when does their guilt at feeling like they have failed end? When are they able to not hurt at what they have lost out on?

I sit here on this “father’s day” with no idea on any of the answers to my questions, but I have a full knowing in the fact that fathers, who, by fair, decent and honest standards, do not deserve the love of their children, will receive it today and hence believe that they are ‘the world’s best dad’. I type this knowing that many people in this world are in a LOT of pain and hurt on this day.

As I fight a hate for society and what it repeats generation after generation without realising the pain and hurt of it all; as I try to mark and sit close to tears over the fake ‘happy’ father’s day that a broken society pushes forward, I pray thanks.

I pray thanks to MY FATHER IN HEAVEN, who knows how to be a perfect Father. I pray thanks to Him that created all and holds all, and that He brings hope, that My Father in Heaven gives hope. Hope that maybe all the fathers out there who are running on pride, self-importance, arrogance and totally messed up priorities, will see that their selfishness causes pain and hurt that is going to echo into eternity if they don’t step up and heal what is broken. I pray to My Father in Heaven, that His Grace will become echoed in the voices and actions of this world that I feel SO separated from. I pray THANKS to My Father in Heaven for creating such brave and awesome children of all ages who have the guts to step out of the negative cycle and move to unconditional love. I thank the LORD for the Grace of those human beings who still, even though their fathers do not deserve it (as we do not deserve God’s Grace either), still act in love and take care of parents whose Spirits are so young and immature next to their children’s, that it can only be in, of and through God the Father that they exist with such integrity and dignity. May God continue to provide for those who have risen above the lost sadness of earth-bound fathers.

Most of all I want to wish My Father in Heaven an INCREDIBLY HAPPY FATHER’S DAY and thank Him for being so open to me and all my faults, for loving me unconditionally and showing me His Grace and Love every single day. As a weak, weak person myself, an oversensitive girl who battles with so many things, it is truly by the love, strength and presence every day of my Dear Father in Heaven that I get through each day. Thank-You LORD, so much Love to You xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

P.S. ….. PLEASE help me get through this hell of this marking Lord, Thank-You xxx

To all those dads out there who are doing a great job in this difficult world – Well Done! Please keep on keeping on – we need your excellent morals and practices now more than ever before. Be blessed.

The Debate continues… GUILT?

Being blessed to have friends to discuss all my ‘craziness’ with, the whole “to take or not to take anti-depressants” resulted in an interesting comment: that Christians should not be made to feel ‘guilty’ for using anti-depressants or ‘not being strong enough’ or ‘not being happy’… the whole idea was a shock to me… why on earth would any Christian be upset for ‘needing help’ / ‘being weak’? As far as I’m aware, being weak is the whole point of Christianity, the weaker you are the better. The weaker you are the stronger God gets to be, the more Glory goes to God, the less ‘control’ you have, the more control God has… IT IS GREAT to be weak… being weak gives you a reason to cling to God, being in suffering gives you a reason to spend time with God, trust God, be with God, depend on God and not on man or yourself… If you read Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s Search for Meaning”, God, Love and faith were all the concentration camp prisoners had in their horrendous states of suffering.

Looking at the Book of Job: The entire book is based on Job’s suffering. If Job had not suffered in such extremity, then there wouldn’t have been a book to write or a story to tell. If Job hadn’t had such horrendous suffering/weakness, then God’s speech at the end wouldn’t be so powerful. If Job hadn’t suffered weaknesses then there would have been no faith debate, no religious debate, no conversation at all about the presence, might and practices of God. The premise of the entire Book of Job is his suffering, his weakness, his desperation for God. Job didn’t feel ‘guilty’ (from what I can make out, although he does as for pardon for his frankness) for his pleas, cries or challenges to God, and he was an incredibly blessed man.

Then there was the man who suffered in the belly of a whale. He spent three days in the guts of an animal in the depths of the sea, whilst God sent him back to where he was supposed to be. Jonah was brought to weakness in the stomach of that creature, brought to his knees to follow God, forced to use nothing but prayer to save himself. I don’t recall that Jonah practiced guilt either.

David, the king, suffering from consequences of his actions and the requirements of an Almighty God. Was there guilt in the picture? How could there be when it was the weakness that drew him closer to his Father in Heaven? Maybe the verdict of “guilty” was theirs’, but I don’t get the impression that the ‘emotion of guilt’ was there.

Guilt – Goss, Miller & Graham in their “Grace Course” write that many people walk around with a sense that they are failing God and thus carry a load of guilt. The writers point out logically that “True guilt has nothing to do with feelings. It’s about hard facts. Guilt is a legal term, used when a judge pronounces a defendant guilty. Guilt is defined in relation to a legal authority which has laid down the laws. If we break the laws of that legal authority we are guilty. If we do not, we are innocent. True guilt and guilt feelings are not the same thing.”

If you read through the chapter on INNOCENT! You will find at the end that they observe that: “Just before Jesus died on the cross, HE let out a loud victorious shout “It is finished” (John 19v30). The word that Jesus used is the exact same word that the Roman judge wrote across the released criminal’s Certificate of Debt: “Paid in Full!” This declaration of “not guilty” is not just for when we first came to Christ. God’s grace is for every moment of every day. For those in Jesus Christ, no sin we commit can ever take away one bit from the full and complete sacrifice Jesus paid for us. Despite our sin, we are still forgiven. Our guilt is still gone. Forever.”

Reading through this as someone who has Jesus as her absolute Role Model and God the Father as her centre… I cannot compute how a Christian can feel guilty after praying and doing God’s will? The Debt is “Paid in Full”. So then it may actually be a “shame” in taking anti-depressants, or ‘being weak’?

Once again I return to the same course handout. Chapter three: UNASHAMED! Where they state that “Guilt says: “I did something wrong. I made a mistake.” And Shame says: “There’s something wrong with me. I am the mistake.” Shame is the painful emotional experience that comes from believing that there is something very wrong, not so much with what we have done but with who we are… Shame says that we are what is wrong and puts us into “the less mess”. We believe that we are ‘less’ that others. We feel helpless, worthless, meaningless, powerless, hopeless. It strikes at our belief about who we are, our identity.” Yet, here’s the thing with being a follower of Jesus Christ, through Him and His sacrifice we have a new identity. “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who had died has been set free from sin (Romans 6v6-7). Paul is saying that, if death no longer has dominion over you, then neither does sin. This is all about understanding the implications of our new identity. He is at pains to help us realise that our old self that used to live independently of God has been put to death with Christ.”

Therefore, ‘shame’ should also never be an experience for a Christian. We are incredible beings, acting under God’s guidance, listening to His voice, actioning His requests alone, and in doing that, there can be no guilt or shame, because God is Love and all actions in and of Him are based in Love and Truth, ergo, there can be no guilt, or shame… and if there is, then the only logical answer is that the action is not of God.

If I steer away from the purely ‘Christian’ views and take a solidly psychological definition: Louw & Edwards tabulate the emotion of ‘guilt’ as being linked to ‘I am responsible for having done harm’, and ‘Shame’ as ‘the group does not accept me.’ Tying that back again, if you are doing God’s will, then you cannot be doing harm, and if you are with God’s true people, then you cannot ‘not be accepted’; i.e. no guilt and no shame should be present.

Louw & Edward go further in breaking down emotions to the psychological core in their chapter on “motivation and emotion”. Later on, in the “personality” chapter, they state: “As children grow older they begin to compete with others for love or material objects. They develop the capacity for envy, jealousy and guilt.” Freud links this capacity to the “id”. “The id follows the pleasure principle: we seek pleasure and avoid pain. This is balanced by the reality principle.” We cannot take or steal, because then we’d be arrested. Tying this with Christianity, there cannot be guilt because material possessions mean nothing to us and we are all heading to an incredible eternity, thanks to the “Debt Paid in Full” by Jesus Christ; and, as Christians, we are supposed to follow Jesus Christ; and, in our weakness, in the moments of Death, ask God to take the Cup from us, or do His Will. As Christians we are called to suffering to be closer to God, we are not called to be closer to pleasure. Yet, as the Yin and the Yang work together, the more we suffer, the closer we get to God, the more we know Love and inner peace.

Louw & Edward continue explaining the ‘rules’ learnt as children: “Don’t inflict pain”, “Don’t steal” etc. “Rules are enforced by disapproval and punishment. When we break a rule we expect that we will be met with criticism. This is one way we learn to feel guilt.” Yet, as a Christian, we are forgiven, we are following God’s wishes and therefore should not feel guilt… unless we are not following God’s wishes, in which case, the guilt would be a signal that something needs to change to be in line with God again. Thus guilt is very important to acknowledge and analyse: why, and how do I make it stop? What is causing it, and why? Is it the rule that is the problem, or my actions? Because my soul is telling me something is amiss… Personally, it disturbs me that anyone would want to dull their emotions when those emotions are such critical signposts from our Spirit…

Moving to a creative artist’s writings; Cameron writes that people “are easily manipulated by guilt. Our friends… may unconsciously try to guilt-trip us into giving up our newly healthy habits. It is very important to understand…[that your morning time given to God]…is between you and God. You best know your answers. You will be led to new sources of support as you begin to support yourself.” So, if you and God are conversing and He is giving you your path and direction, whatever it may be, then there should never be any guilt at all from His word.

Then, I can spin the story into Walsch’s ‘blasphemous’ writings; when the question is posed: “Why am I so ready to choose the negative and then to spank myself for it?” the answer is: “What can you expect? You were told from your earliest days that you’re “bad”. You accept that you were born in “sin”. Feeling guilty is a ‘learned response’. You’ve been told to feel guilty about yourself for things you did before you could even do anything. You have been taught to feel shame for being born less than perfect. This alleged state of imperfection in which you are said to have come into this world is what your religionists have the gall to call original sin – but it is not yours. It is the first sin to be perpetrated upon you by a world which knows nothing of God if it thinks that God would – or could – create ‘anything’ imperfect.”

How can guilt be created? Socialised? … here’s an example: A young child starting to feel and know, explores their genitals and experiences what they have not experienced before. They go to the person they trust, telling them of their tale. Adult responses then dictate the rest of that child’s story: 1) That is sinful! Don’t ever do it again. 2) That’s all life’s about, you’ll go out and feel that often. Go for it. 3) That is you getting to know your body, the temple of your Spirit, it is your treasure and only share it with the one person who will make you feel incredible. 4) Rape, abuse and/or sale (2012 had an estimated 27 million people living in slave labour). For the rest of that child’s life, in VERY general, very brief summary for the purposes of this blog: 1) They will feel guilt for most of their young lives. 2) They will believe sex is a free for all. 3) They will treasure themselves and share only with those with whom it feels right. 4) Selfish, revolting, vomit-inducing actions will be repeated in yet another generation to yet another innocent child who did not deserve the burden of their parents’ problems.

Guilt… Once again… if there is the feeling of guilt, then it is a signal, not something to be fought, or indulged in. It is a signal, as are anger, frustration, hate and all negative emotions, that either the action or the rule needs to change… because there is no judge who exists to condemn a prayerful, sincere, honest, trying-his/her-best Christian of integrity to: “Guilty”, as every Christian, when they are true followers, knows that “The Debt has been Paid in Full.”

To take or not to take: anti-depressants?

This has been on my mind a lot lately. Numerous people are on these drugs, and my General Practitioner has decided that the low neutraphils in blood (as they have been for 3 years, usually the result of a bad viral infection, which I have had) and the high liver enzymes (only a “mild vital illness” she tells me) have nothing to do with my body being unwell and everything to do with my mind being unwell.

How this connection has been made when I have seen her 3 times in 3 years is BEYOND me. I have shown the GP’s emails (blood test results and recommendations of how to proceed) to a couple of friends and colleagues and ALL of them have told me I need to see another General Practitioner and that the psychologist ‘prescription’ (the GP literally gave me a prescription with the psychologist’s details on) makes no sense in relation to the blood tests. Fair enough. I have a stranger telling me that I have to add chemicals to my brain and make it change, and a few people who know me well telling me that her prescription is illogical.
So who should we trust? ‘Trained’ practitioners or our friends?

I guess it doesn’t really matter which, I could choose either path, but the thing that has knocked me is: The Seed of Doubt. This has been horrendous to deal with and has made me incredibly angry with the ‘doctor’. I told her in the appointment to deal with the fluid (literally) in my ears and the cold and a horrifically itchy rash, that I had already been to see people to ‘investigate’ my brain and they said I was ok. At 16: Psychologist One, to whom my mother sent me to ‘be checked on’, saw my parents as well as myself, and decided I was the ‘most normal one in the family’.

At 31: my mother once again sent me to a counsellor ‘to be fixed’, and the guy told me to stop thinking I was Jesus, go out and be naughty and then use Grace to get back into God’s good books, because that is what Grace is for, as he laughed like a hyena between sentences… The book I was reading at the time was: “What’s So Amazing About Grace”, which had Philip Yancey writing about if he fell in love with a German lady, he would learn the language very quickly and be completely passionate about her and live life loving her. The Grace ‘language’ is not there for abuse, upon marrying her you don’t say on your honeymoon night “Ok my love” (in German, if you’ve learnt it by then ;) ) “This has been great, but I’m just going to go out and sleep with some other women now, and when I get back you have to forgive me and give me Grace” … this was literally what the ‘counsellor’ was suggesting I do. I passed a photocopy on to the ‘counsellor’ and his only comment at the end of my second and last session with him was, randomly, “That Philip Yancey is a good writer.” Amen! That ‘counsellor’ told me to take a mild sleeping tablet in the evening if I needed to, and/or a calming tablet in the day to help with my anxiety, post-traumatic stress and depression.

At 33: The third psychologist, also connected to my mother, told me I dress like a spinster, and I’m really fine because it’s not like I’m a drunkard or mass murderer or anything. He told his very personal tale about his abusive parents and that he’d had a very difficult childhood. Yet, why is a professional confessing their story to me? Same happened with the homeopath I went to by a suggestion of a massage specialist. The homeopath said there’s nothing wrong with me, not even the gluten-intolerance that I’ve only recently managed to deal with (read “Eish! London” for that story), nor the dairy-intolerance that can still knock me into sinus hell with a teaspoon. Turns out her childhood was worse than Psychologist Three’s, and I got her whole story too, she reckons I’m fine and I must move on and stop hating myself.

Body Talk Therapy, I tried that too, at the advice of a friend who said that the woman had helped her daughter. With nothing to lose and an interest in the process and what people are getting up to, I went along. First session was insightful, second worrying and by the third I passed her my diaries and high-tailed it out of there. No colour on her walls, she was an ex-banker, she continually spoke of ‘other professionals’ and their brilliance, at no point did she uplift herself or show me that she was confident in her own abilities. Her mind was full of other people’s words and experiences, nothing of her… she also told me I hate myself and I need to start loving myself…

So that’s 5 ‘professionals’ and 3 of them (I wasn’t paying attention to the first one) had HECTIC personal journeys and issues that they kept showing me they ‘hadn’t’ recovered from, forgotten or forgiven, even if they ‘told’ me they had. They showed me that they were overflowing with insecurities. How could I assume this? Because I had completed “The Artist’s Way” and spent a few months being up front with my insecurities, seeing where my anger and stress sources were and dealing with my self-hate. Yes, that had all been there, but by the time I got to them I was aware of it and working through it, and way more confident in myself than ever before… yet BAM: “Seed of Doubt”… The second ‘counsellor’ with his “go get drunk and shag guys” approach as he laughed like a hyena about everything, just doesn’t count.

“Seed of Doubt”. This world around us just fills us all with Doubt. The General Practitioner (the second one to tell me to take anti-depressants) had originally told me she was Christian and she prayed with me and told me to keep my faith and pray through it, all prayers are answered. From that she moved to it’s been a few years now, go take anti-depressants…

I sit back and ask: Where is the line between faith that God knit me in the womb, He has a plan for me and I must live that plan, no matter how challenging, on faith and trust in HIM and that HE will heal me… and God now wants me to trust man and take drugs so that may or may not be targeting the right chemical set-up in my brain as directed by human guess-work? When do I stop trusting that God gives me the strength to cope with anything, and say: “Ok God, Your strength must be in man-made chemicals now.”? It’s easy to argue that. God made man with brains to make chemicals to ‘fix’ us… but isn’t that then saying that God made us incorrectly in the first place? Would God make a plan where He created us in a way where chemicals were needed because He “didn’t get the brain waves quite right”? Or the ‘devil’ has so much control that we need chemicals to undo what the ‘devil’ has done?

I have journaled and prayed over this… and what has resulted is this (NB – This ONLY refers to me and IS NOT written as an ‘answer’ for anyone else): People want you to join them, because they take the drugs and they don’t want to be alone in their dependency. The more people taking them, the more it can rationalise that they/drugs are “ok”, when their Souls know that it is not “ok”. Their Souls know that the anti-depressants are merely blocking out their Truth and their Strength, for they do not believe in their strength, or Mine. What one believes becomes one’s mental truth, but it cannot be the Soul-Truth, because the Soul’s Truth is that you are all loved beyond comprehension, you are all stronger than you could ever know and that you are all connected through the beautiful energy of humanity. Yet this energy entails responsibility to love, to give, to forgive, to be honest, to be open, to share, to be quiet, to feed the Soul on good things and show kindness, tolerance and live peacefully.

Sadly, this is a broken world, and in this broken world people have decided to be led by their Ego’s and their bodily desires to ‘be healthy’, without knowing what ‘healthy’ is. To “be happy” without knowing what “happy” is. To be “normal”, without knowing what “normal” is. To “love”, without knowing what “love” is… In not knowing that old Chinese Truth of Yin and Yang, the Ego wants only ‘the good’ and it will fight with chemicals, drugs, distractions and everything else to extinguish ‘the bad’, yet this is not ‘natural’ or ‘normal’, even if media and other lost ‘powers’ and people portray it as such.

It is not ‘right’ to have ‘dark without light’, it is not ‘normal’ to have ‘birth without death’. You can’t have hope, if you have had no tragedy, you can’t know ‘strength’ if you have not known ‘weakness’. You cannot know ‘happy’ if you have not known ‘sad’. People of the world have not been educated or advised to know this Truth of the Yin and the Yang, they do not accept that the intensity of their experiences on earth will be matched on both levels of the spectrum of “Life”, and not only on one side. To only experience “one” “Happy” side of life is imbalanced.

The chemicals placed in the brain will switch off the life experiences, will dull the passion for living, will ‘calm’ you to a point where the intensity of your experience of life will be limited in both the glory and the depression. The two must be together, until the Soul reaches the point where it knows and has lived through it all and thus realises that it has all only been experience. At the end of each and every experience you were still again and knew that GOD WAS THERE. Live it all, and then be still and know…

Anti-depressants take away the roller-coaster emotions and experiences and make them easy kiddie’s-train experiences. This is the gift of choice at work. You may choose the raging river and waterfalls, or the paddling pool as your place to be. Ideally, you should experience both the rapids and the paddling pool, but you should not stop or stay at one point. Taking the anti-depressants is an option, and so is not taking them. It is your choice as to what you believe in and what you want to experience. BUT, if you choose Me, God, Love, Knowing and PEACE in My presence every day, then you do not need any chemicals, for I have an INCREDIBLE PLAN for you, I did knit you in your mother’s womb, I created you for this time, with the skills you need, connected to the people to see you through, with the experiences you need, with My Love and Grace in bountiful measures. Choose Me, and you choose LIFE. Choose Me and you choose STRENGTH. Choose Me and you choose LOVE. Choose Me and you choose HOPE.

Choose man, choose chemicals, choose to use and follow what is offered by a broken world, full of broken people who have not chosen Me, and you too will have to be broken and hurting and lost. This is no grand thought, or difficult equation, it is the most logical outcome and consequence possible.
Choose God and Love and you choose LIFE and LOVE. Choose the world and you choose broken and hurting.
It all depends on your questions: how you phrase them and how answer them… Is ‘easier’ what you want on your gravestone?
Is a deadened mind what you want? Is a faithless life what you want? Is a drugged up Soul what you want? Is ruling by your body what you want? Is trust in a broken world what you want to choose?
It’s freedom of choice. It’s up to you… but, really, think about it… really think about it… before you decide.

Awesome News :-) Thank-You

I received this text message yesterday morning:
Morning, received this message from the principal: ‘Have heard from our learner’s Mother – her daughter found safe with the Hawks {S.A. Police Crime Unit} and will be coming home on Tuesday.'” … that will be the 5/5/2015

Thank-You Father God for Your hand in this case. Thank-You for saving innocent girls. Thank-You for the work of the incredible police officers and crime units around the world who persevere in faith, hope and hard work to bring light where there is darkness and help when things seem so helpless. Thank-You for the counsellors who deal with so many traumatised people day in and day out. Thank-You for medics who handle pain, death and suffering each day; and that all of them do it to make the world a better place and assist strangers all around them, of their own free-will, even when circumstances and a secular world would have them take an easier route in their lives.

Lord, I pray that we will all learn to practise and be blessed with such open and generous kindness too, in our own time and efforts, no matter what we are doing in our daily lives. That we bring glory and thanks to You, thanks that Love, Goodness, Kindness and Victory are on Your agenda and that your angels are scattered around the world as human hands stretching out to connect in understanding and knowing every day, in full awareness of what really matters, Lord: such sacrificial love as demostrated by Your Son, Jesus Christ.

THANK-YOU Father for the Prayer Warriors amongst us and those who Know and practise living a life that glorifies You as they are a part of Your Eternal Story, and not just living in the importance of material things and their own single, short, temporal and often meaningless story.

Thank-You Lord for the return home of Your dear child, Your lamb, may she go on to use her story as testimony and may You bless her with the strength, patience, perseverance and courage to share of her trauma to help other young ladies stay safe and out of the clutches of sick, sick, sick men Lord.

Thank-You for keeping Your promise Lord and answering our prayers.
Thank-You so so so much Lord,
All My LOVE,
Shannan,
AMEN!