So I have been making more of an effort to get out of the house and in places where I can meet new people. Being a young single woman I was encourage by my boss’s boss’s boss, that unless I plan on marrying the milk man, the post man or the Jehova’s Witness man then I am going to struggle to meet anyone as I don’t leave my house. I know, he has no respect for me..clearly does not rate my life.. lol..
So this week I decided to attend an event. Less about meeting someone, but more out of curiosity. It was a production on Black Men’s Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (follow TonyCealy in Instagram for more details). It was an interactive production where we were allowed to first watch a production of a young man called Kwame who started off with “behaviour” problems in school. Fast forward 6 months he’s now excluded. Fast forward 10 years he’s into drugs and alcohol and the the spiral continues until one day he attempts to take his own life. It was a deeply powerful and moving production. All attendees could testify that we were all gripped and touched by one part of the play. Many of us have passed through some part of the production either first hand or otherwise – and it made me think. It made me think really hard about my job as a mother.
I was given the chance to take one of of the character position and play the role how it would have better have been done. I then was given the chance to speak about my own experiences. Working in the industry as well as having two Black Men in my own home. my own sons.
I took the time to let the audience know that the National Health Service was broken. The Criminal Justice system – that’s broken too. The Educational Systems – guess what – they are long broken. But what is still very much alive and working is the ability for us to heal and change things – one home at a time. I encouraged us to stop looking outside for broken system to fix up and in return fix us. We would be waiting time and eternity before we would see any of that. But, we have the ability and chance to make an impact on the community in our own home. We have the power to make a change one child of ours at a time.
Now while this was a “Black” event, the problem of Mental Health has no colour, gender, language.. and the work we can do to try and mitigate these things effecting our mental health has no colour, gender or language.
If you are looking, wondering what can be done to help. You do not need to look much further than the wo/man in the mirror. The people in your own home. The team you work in. I’m sure you get the point. We do not need to wait for grand organisations to be set up before we start to make a change. If each of the individuals in that room, all decided to make a change from that day on – we would have change the lives of hundred from that day forward. They would then go to do the same for those in their community and so on.. this is how impact is really made – by small, meaningful acts – we know this as “Each one, Teach one”.
Each one – Teach one is such a powerful movement. It means that everyone, and anyone can make a change to anyone and anything – if they want to.
So while I may not be able to go and speak on behalf of women at the next UN Summit – I can call a family meeting and hear my sons tell me about their day. I may never get to the white house to tell Mr Trump about himself, but, I can remind my son that he is loved, fearfully and wonderfully made, and has been created in the likeness and image of a perfect God and so has the full potential to be THE best of THE best. My home is my community, my home is my little patch of the world, my home is my village – my children are my first ministry.
So I just want to encourage someone today. Take a look around you. Who can you her out today? Who can you encourage to keep on keeping on…?
Wisdom is the application of comprehended information.
(Information + Knowledge) x Application = Wisdom
Information that you have been given needs to be understood. Once it has been understood it then turns into Knowledge. When we now face situations and you apply the knowledge this is wisdom. But here is the question: What is your information source?
Often times the source of information starts with our own thoughts and concepts about ourselves and the environments we are in. However, the question still stands, what is your information source?
In the world of Cognitive Behavioural Therapies we are lead to understand that there are three main areas of Cognition, or thinking.
1: Negative Automatic Thoughts (NATs) – There are the thoughts that we have that we don’t have to create. They just appear as a response to something that has happened to us or within us. These thoughts often go un-noticed if we are not paying particular attention to our thoughts. They also have the potential to pass through our minds so quickly and frequently that they become a “normal” state of thinking. These thoughts are often plausible and are considered truth especially if they are emotionally driven.
One of the crucial steps to dealing with these thoughts and ways of thinking is to stop swallowing these NATs so that you can step back and consider the accuracy of the thoughts remembering that “Thoughts are opinions, not facts; and like all opinions they may or may not be accurate”.
2: Core Beliefs – This is the other end of our thinking and represents our baseline beliefs, the rock bottom core elements of ourselves. These often are expressed in absolute statements like “I am..” or “People are”, “Those kinds of people are…”. These are fundamental truths that we hold about ourselves and those around us that we then apply to situations (again, the information we turn into knowledge and use as wisdom). These are usually formulated during childhood, however can be created further on in life as a result of traumatic events or heavy experiences. Often represented as an unseen self.
3: Dysfunctional Assumptions (DAs) – These are the the thoughts that bridge the gap between NATs and our Core Beliefs and are considered the rules we apply to life and living. They usually turn up in statements such as “If ….then….”, or “should/must” statements. These are considered dysfunctional as they are very rigid ways of thinking and usually over generalised, not flexible enough to deal with the variations of life.
Somewhere between these three states we are fed with information about ourselves and the world we live in. And if not challenged these then drive our actions and reactions to life and events we encounter. Now I’ve considered Psychological Teachings – but understand that the Bible covered this a long time ago – in full – with advice on how to address these thoughts.
Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. Proverbs 4:23 ” Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life”. Matthew 12:34 “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”
These scriptures and many many more lead us to see and understand that there is something very important about the way we think and what we do and how we live. CBT Fundamental basics can be correlated to basic principles found in the Bible.
The scriptures tell us that we need to be careful of what we allow into our heart, because from it flows the issues of life. We need to guard what we allow into our heart because some way, some how it will impact our outlook and wisdom. Scriptures also let us know that the way we are (present, turn up, manifest) is directly related to the way that we think. Not what we wear, not where we go, not what we do.. but what we think.
So there is something very important to consider about the information that we have that is forming our knowledge and impacting out version of wisdom. An example. If you have a Core Belief that says “I am useless and undeserving of love”, it’s likely that the NATs are going to be say “I am boring, I don’t have anything to offer. I am useless and no one can love me. They don’t like me”. Then between these two states of thinking – bridging the gap are the DAs. These will suggest “If people get to know the real me they will quickly see that I am useless and boring. If I do what they want me to do, then they will like me and not know that I actually have no use.”. The result of this information and knowledge is a person who is withdrawn, low self esteem, people pleasing at the sacrifice of self worth and value and for them this is wise living. But clearly the information was wrong, so the knowledge is flawed an so actions will be incorrect.
So my question to you is to do a little self analysis. What are your Core Beliefs? What are the NATs that wonder around your mind from time to time, and what are the DAs that are holding these two together.
Romans 12:2 lets us know that transformation takes place with a renewal of the mind. Again, not the outward, superficial aspects of our lives, but our mind needs need to be renewed for the transformation of our lives..
I’ve come to see you, but you wont see me.
You wont see me because you wont open your eyes.
I can see you though. I can see how much you have changed. I can see what vascular dementia has stripped you of your voice, your humour, your smile. I can see you, but you cant see me.
I know you can hear me, well, you can hear a voice. Of whom.. I’m not sure you know any more.
I don’t know if right now I need you to say my name or look at me. Both would be amazing, but I know both would be a huge ask right now. If you said my name it would mean you still know who I am.. that hadnt been stollen from you..and in return not stollen from me either.. Knowing that you know me is a feeling I cant put words to, its life to me in a world I struggle to be seen in. No one sees me, so maybe I need you to look at me.. but what use is sight with no vision.. Not much I dont think. Many have looked at me with no vision and its been a pointless engagement. They didnt know who I was either.
Anyways.. I just thought I would let you know that I am here, I see you even though you dont see me.
So a happy new year to all those reading this blog for the first time and for those who have been travelling this journey with me for the last 4 years. A happy and blessed new year to you and yours. May 2020 be a year a of double for you!
So once again my new years plans didn’t go quite the way I wanted. Last year I was in A&E as my eldest took sick hours before new years and this year my youngest decides it’s his turn. So I was home, watching my church have church – while I was on the sofa eating a peanut butter and jam (Jelly for my US Family).. I’m not complaining – that with a cup of tea – I was a happy woman – ish.
As we were encouraged to worship a scripture came to me. Psalms 126:5 “Those that sow in tears will reap with joy”..
This came as a consolidation stepping out of 2019 and into 2020. Stepping out of the known into the unknown. Immersing from the old and into the new. This was the word of the Father to me and I believe to all I have the ability to touch via these mediums.
2019 was a year of much sorrow for me and for many of us alike. While I am reminded that it could have been worse, currently, it was the worst. If I had never known heart break before, 2019 made sure I was Veeeeery aware of what it was. There was much breaking, but there was also much work that was done.
RC Blakes a pastor from the US who has his ministry in encouraging queen consciousness once said this on one of his facebook videos “Sometimes you need to let your heart break to let your soul heal” and this was true for me. 2019 my heart broke but indeed I fond healing for my soul. While I was fragmented I was able to present all these broken peaces to God who has really helped me put them back together and aid in the repair of my soul.
So I just wanted to quickly encourage someone who has spent 2019 crying. To someone who has been putting in the work in prayer, in fasting, in therapy, counselling, reading and gathering information. To those who have been putting in the work – intentionally digging deep into their lives to try and be better. To those who have endured the pain of working things out and exposing all the mess in aims of cleaning up and out. We have been sowing in tears indeed. I would like to declare to you that this year we will reap – WITH joy.
Not only will there be a harvest and a return on all the work you have done, but you will gather this in joy. The return has been watered by all the tears you have cried. Not one drop has gone to waist. Not one has gone unnoticed. Not one. Each one has seeped into the building blocks of the return that is coming for you.
As I sit here writing this I am actually feeling a little anxious. I know right, day two and feeling odd already. Not sure what it is, but likely something looking to distract the gift of God that is before me for 2020. But forward still is the saviour will.
So just be encouraged that we will be reaping in 2019.. Reaping double..
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