Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Light houses were erected to light the way for ships to safely pass. On foggy and dark nights the light guides the ships away from the rocks and cliffs providing a safe harbor. Without them the ships would be doomed to the ravages of the night and the dangers of the sea. Their light protects and guides. Their light saves.
For all of us living with mental illness the struggle to get up every morning is a battle. The harder we strive to hold on, the harder we squeeze. When we open our hands our hopes and dreams crumble and slip through our fingers like sand. There is always this maddening desire to be something we feel we can never achieve. We learn to hate ourselves for our shortcomings. We not only believe the hurtful things we have heard from others but we hurt ourselves even more with our own words. We are more self deprecating than others are. So eager to point out to ourselves how we don't measure up. How we have failed.
Imagine if we were to be light houses for others. If we could be a beacon of hope for other people with mental illness. So many of us are lost in the night. The fog of our predicament has made us unable to see what lies ahead. So many of us can not see the rocks or cliffs that lies in wait . We are inadvertently heading towards our own doom. We feel so alone.
Many of us have never received comfort. Many have never heard a kind word or been offered understanding. We have lived a life without acceptance or anything that resembles love. Wounded souls sailing without a map or a compass.
What would it be like if everyone one of us stood up to be a light in other's lives. A beacon of hope for the broken. Offering words they should have heard. Words that should have been said many times. You are beautiful. You are worthy of acceptance. You matter. You are not a failure. You are lovable. You are worth other people's time. What you have to say is important. You are heard. You don't have to be perfect to be treasured. You are never alone. You are accepted the way you are. I am here to share your pain. I understand you.
The more it is said the more it will be accepted as truth. Instead of the negative voices we are so used to believing we can change to what we should believe.That we are just as good as everyone else.That we are strong. That we can face anything that comes our way. If every person with a mental illness offers understanding to another person with a mental illness we can build an army of hope. We can be a wall of tiny light houses. On dark and stormy nights we can light up the sky and show the way to the lost.We can offer a safe passage. Give them a safe harbor. Each word we offer can shine down and offer them hope. Hope for a better day. Hope that there is a better path. Hope that there is a chance that tomorrow can be different.
As we offer that hope we can learn to hope for ourselves. As we help them to reach their dreams we can start to reach for our own. As we say the words they needed to hear for so long, we can begin to believe them and realize we needed to hear them too. As we teach them to forgive themselves for not being what they want to be, we can learn to forgive ourselves for not being perfect. We can not only be a beacon of hope for them but a beacon of hope for ourselves as well. Maybe by helping them rebuild we can finally feel something other than broken.