Humanarium Revisited

Humanarium (Revisited)

(ˈhjuːmən err-e-um)

n. an abstract but primal place. A place where you can be as human as humanly possible and feel no shame, because even shame is on par with pride, justice, and glory.

  1. : a place where you can lean against your enemy almost as equally as your friend and you have nothing to prove.
  2. : a place where one can talk about holiness and earthiness in the same sentence.
    • a : it is difficult to tell if such places are created only by great effort, or rather by merely forgetting that one ever left them.
    • : a place that a good church tries to replicate, but rarely achieves.
  3. : a place where the only way to offend everyone is by being pretentious. But even then, everyone just shakes their head with pursed lips and then pats said pretentious one on the back and moves on, because they are too busy seeking reality.
  4. : a place where one’s age is meaningless. Where one is a child and a burdened adult and in the twilight at the same time.
  5. : a state in which one understands Bob Dylan songs, and/or feels like they are living in a permanent Bob Dylan song.
  6. : a place where children thrive and move and have their being, and elderly smile like no one is watching.
  7. : a space in which one can be honest, not afraid of the consequences.
  8. : a place where one can lift up their head high and not feel above anyone else.
  9. : a space where one can meet God, herself, himself, or their great love–with equal intensity.
  10. : an atmosphere where it’s almost impossible to tell if one is laughing or crying. Or doing both simultaneously. But you have to let them do it. They need it.
  11. : places where a friend, even for only a few minutes, is a friend for a lifetime.
  12. : a place saturated with that feeling, when one has been drinking, that comes after trying to be the life of the party and trying to run away from the party; when you’re right in the zone of total vulnerability and surrender but have not lost any of your faculties.
  13. a place where your political affiliations mean about as much as your hair color.

Seek these places once in a while. Create them when needed.

 

Not Alone

Amazing quote…

A man alone is a neighbor of God.

–From the film, Baran

 

aatlas / Pixabay

Just discovered Allie Brosh

Her Hyperbole and a Half blog, and now book, are ingenious.

Boshmeme

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Mental Illness and the Christian Church

The Church can be a very sorry companion for the mentally ill, but also can be the greatest source of hope

Someone sent this article to me, and I found it short, but so beneficial, that I had to share it here.

Looking at the world through a glass, darkly

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

 

Brandon W. Peach writes about many topics, but his understanding and experience with mental illness and the Church’s broadly (but not always) ill-conceived overall response to it–as well-intended as it may be–is more encouraging than anything else.

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Connecting Dots

He doesn't know a way out, but knows a way IN, Precious...

Figuring OUT

 

Sometimes I connect dots, of which I do not know whether they are supposed to connect.

I have to try. If I don’t, how can I make any sense of “supposed to”?

*Warning* If you require only happy posts, this one is not for you. It does have light at the end of it though.

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Practical tips in managing Depression from Therese Borchard

Therese Borchard: 12 Steps Toward Freedom from Depression

Theresa Borchard’s “12 Steps Toward Freedom from Depression” is a great list of tips. These are things that are good for anybody, but crucial for those managing depression.

There are a lot of great tips but this one is particularly well-put to me. I like her style.

This one is the toughest steps: directing my thoughts is somewhat like a traffic policeman standing out in the middle of a highway during a storm. Some of the drivers (thoughts) get a bit agitated when the dude in the neon vest tells them they can’t go a certain way…that if they do, they will regret it. Oh yes, they will. Because getting their brains out of the gutter (where toxic emotions live) proves more difficult than you think. I have a bunch of creative ways–much like the policeman’s hand signals–in which I like to untwist my distorted thoughts…such as differentiating between fiction (fantasy) and nonfiction (reality) in my busy noggin.

I really appreciate how her tips are not only implementable and practical in the now, but they aren’t magical thinking or fluff. She is honest about how things like this don’t make it all go away. But they do help, they do work, and she has the personal experience to back them up.

Hope is more than wishful thinking...

Hope on…

Make a Fist: Nature’s Improvised Antidepressant

This is a grouper.

Grouper

Depression, staring you down, wondering if it can eat you

They get huge.

I visited the Bahamas with my family as a teenager. I remember the guide who took us snorkeling–Levi was his name–and how he told me that he used to feed fish at the aquarium. He fed these giant grouper which, he said, were so big that sometimes when he held out the food they would try to swallow his whole arm. I thought that was a little unnerving but he was, of course, completely nonchalant.

“How do you make them let go?” I asked him.

“You just make a fist in their mouth, and push. Then they back off.”

 

I sometimes get the feeling that my ego, depression, circumstances, whatevah, are slowly trying to swallow me like a big, ugly fish. Sometimes I don’t even need an equal or greater opposing force–all I have to do is make a fist, and push. Every time I do, it reminds me who is doing the feeding here and who is in charge.

 

Distortion 6: Magnification & Minimization

[Continuing my series on some of David Burns cognitive distortions. It helps me to really see them for what they are and how I apply them to my thinking. Hopefully you may have a “me too!” moment.]

I think our society is getting worse about this distorting heuristic, because we are continually building up a tolerance for mean-spirited and extreme language; consequently, our perceptions follow that language, our beliefs follow those perceptions, and so on.

“You’re making a mountain out of a molehill,” is intuitive and common enough to know what this distortion is about, but it becomes an even more sophisticated weapon. It goes beyond fear and worrying to enable humans to continue to keep people and things in the boxes they have mentally put them in, and then can go on with their regularly scheduled program. Lemme ‘splain.

Distorting certain aspects of a particular situation or memory of a situation such that they do not respond to objective reality is an easy way to incapacitate ourselves. They either inflate these aspects to make them more significant and powerful than they really are (Magnification), or they downplay aspects to make them less significant (Minimization).

We all just went through another Christmas, in one way or another. I think this Distortion is implemented heavily at Christmas time. How often have you had a family member tell you to remember, or forget, about a certain state of affairs simply “Because it’s Christmas”?

You: I don’t want to be around that Uncle. He is abusive, unrepentant, and brings everybody down.

Them: It’s Christmas, sweetie. Let it go this one day. Nobody wants to be around bitterness.

Feel free to leave your own example in the comments. 😉 How about this one?

You: How am I supposed to be thankful that you bought me sugar cookies. I’m diabetic.

Them: Oh, well, hey, at least I remembered to get you something this year. That’s progress!

 

Catastrophizing–focusing on the worst possible outcome, when really it’s just something uncomfortable–accompanies a lot of hand-wringing. I begin with a what if and then picture it playing out in my imagination, and then it just proceeds down the suckward slide (as one blogger put it.) “What will I do? Then they’ll be pissed. Then I’ll feel like crap. Then I’ll have guilt. Then they will tell their family and…” you get the picture.

 

Once again, the truth is always the best way to go. Maybe I can’t NOT imagine a catastrophe, but I CAN look at the situation and state what is really happening. I can’t even observe most of the stuff I’m worried about anyway! If I can keep that focus perhaps I can let go of my hangups and finally start making decisions.

Blessing of fear

My 13-month-old just had a nightmare. I helped him back to sleep.

You know, I have a theory about children and fear. I think they need to interact with fear. That’s why they like to do daring things, hear scary stories–perhaps God even gave nightmares to help us cope and be reassured when we wake from them. Hopefully, they stay in the dream realm and do not become reality.

Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.
–G. K. Chesterton

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think kids should be flooded by fear. Being overexposed an traumatized is obviously bad for children, but preventing any exposure does not help them. This is why a lot of the most classic children’s literature can be pretty fearful.







Just to reference a few. 😉