Monday, December 31, 2007

Devil Discouragement part II

Ran across a posting on another site I blog at & had to reply to the poster. This person has been having a rough go, and I gave her what encouragement I could. I thought I would share it with you here, as it seemed to fit right in with my last posting:

Depression happens to everyone, at one time or another. Sometimes it catches and holds us. You, specifically. Me, too.

For a while I was resigned in knowing I had the mood swings from the deep lows to the exuberant highs; I accepted one as the price for the other. Then the lows got lower, and the highs not so high. Then low and lower.

It got so bad I lost my job, in part, because of it. That, with a family to support, did not help the depression I was feeling.

I've been fighting my way back these last five years, and it is a fight. I say that to let you know that it's not easy, and I know it. I've been there at around 45-years-old rather than 25, and it's been a long hard fight, and I'm not entirely done with it, yet. But the light at the end of the tunnel is a lot brighter than before.

To help yourself, you've got to focus on the good things of life (cue ending theme of "The Life of Brian' now). Focusing on the things that depress you only gets you more depressed. You know that. You knew you had to leave the hotel room after dwelling on those thoughts all night, else you would have attacked yourself. Dwell instead on the things that make you smile. There are a lot of them and they are there for a reason. See something as simple as a flower (are there flowers in England this time of year?), or a snowflake and see the simple beauty of its order.

See things as you did as a six-year-old child (hopefully that's not a bad time in your life), and laugh. I'm told that as children we would laugh 300-400 times a day. Seeing our three-year-old at play, I believe it. As adults it's seldom above 25 times. The same source recommends at least 50 good belly laughs a day for good mental health. I'm not there yet, but it seems to be helping. Watch a Fawlty Towers rerun and get a good belly laugh out of Basil stepping on his roast duck, or Manuel not finding the dining room because the builders had closed it up. If Fawlty Towers is not your speed, find something else, Benny Hill or Are You Being Served. The point is to focus not on the trouble but on the solution. And the solution to being down is to find something to lift you UP. Believing in Jesus is supposed to be a grace-filled Up, not a guilt-ridden DOWN. Whatever your Christian friends are telling you, remember that fact.

I feel like I'm preaching at you, and if it comes off that way, I apologize. I just want you to hang on long enough to come out the other side of this as a whole person. Meanwhile, I've got another computer to fix, and there's a squirrel running around in the basement ceiling (Really!) that I've got to do something about.

God Bless and Keep Smiling!

I can't top that today, so I'll sign off with the usual ...

Yes, You CAN

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Devil Discouragement

Today is the day after Christmas, and with it comes the usual (for me) seasonal blues. Christmas for me has always been an up-and-down time of year. Charlie Brown and I are two of a kind: We know we should be happy, but we're not.

In my case I'm fighting a chronic pain that takes over at a certain point, especially when I've missed taking the aspirin on schedule. Then the old reliable car turned out to not be so reliable. Mostly my own fault, though. I didn't get the regular maintenance schedule done & the battery went flat after being let set a few days while we were off to Grandma's house. So it goes.

I could go on, but then I'd be risking getting myself even more down than I am. Time once again to take the opposite tack: Christmas Eve was beautiful, with a full moon shining through the clouds and off of the snow around my brother and sister-in-laws mountain home. That is where we had the family get-together. As they say, a great time was had by all. The three-year-old is amazed all over again with all the stuff that goes on at Christmas.

And I'm amazed right along with her. I've often said that every adult needs an eight-year-old kid with them all the time, to remind them of what the world looks like. I'll amend that to 'needs a kid of any age'. One of the little girl's best friends is the moon, and has been so ever since I pointed it out to her. Once. When she was about a year-and-a-half old.

She's even helping me with my vocabulary. "Dang it!" is no longer in my list of things to say (never mind anything stronger), because if she's around, she'll repeat it with every bit the same inflection and vehemence that I used. And it doesn't even sound 'cute' coming out of her little mouth.

SO. No more cussin'. Not even the soft kind of cussin'.

And so by blessing her with goodly speech, I bless myself by speaking better in the first place. And so the blessings continue.

When the pains start, she is a joy, and helps me knock the "Devil Discouragement" in the head, just by being herself, and makes me smile in spite of myself.

That points up something important: One of the best things a body can do to lift themselves out of the doldrums is get along side of a little kid and have them show you something they've discovered, or sing you a song they've just made up, or look at (no helping, now!) a picture they're drawing or coloring. This is right up there with helping someone fix a flat tire.

I'd go on a bit more, but I need to get to my day job. But remember, whenever the Devil Discouragement tries to bite you on your heel and slow you down, do a good thing for someone else, thereby kicking him loose at the same time.

Have a great day!

Yes, you can!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The First Day

Hello world,

This is the first posting of many, and my attempt to influence the world in a positive way. The overall theme is Yes, You CAN. And while the power of positive thinking gets a bad rap sometimes, if all you think about are the negatives and have low expectations, then all you will get are poor results.

I will be posting again, soon. This is just the start of something big.