Coming Home

I am always amazed by the constancy of life. I often hear people exclaim, Aw it just never stops!” We always seem to be in a constant state of flow, rarely taking time to be still. As a parent I often know this to be true, until my little darling’s heads hit the pillow I rarely get time to pee in peace never mind enjoy quiet contemplation!

And yet in the mele of our daily lives if we don’t stop we can almost start to lose ourselves to the “stuff” that demands our attention. I know, for me, over the last number of years I had gotten so caught up in the craziness of life that I had lost myself in my own expectations, and that of others. Part of recovery has involved a slowing down of the mind and body. This slowing was not an intervention I openly pursued, in fact, it was kinda thrust upon me when I eventually reached my limit and could no longer cope.

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For the dark days

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

-Dumbledore (JK Rowling, Harry Potter the Prisoner of Azkaban)

There are times when it is hard to find the light. There are times when the darkness feels all-consuming, suffocating.

The other day, I found myself standing outside in the pouring rain, in the middle of winter, in a mucky field, wellington boots well and truly stuck in the mud, knee-deep in pig sh*t, wondering …what am I doing?! The sweet irony of this scene was, the previous evening I had shared a post that read: ‘I do it for the joy it brings’. Ha! In that moment I certainly wasn’t feeling the joy!

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From knowing to feeling

It is no secret that over the last year I have been on a voyage of discovery and learning. It has certainly been stormy at times and there were moments I doubted whether I would ever reach calmer shores. For those who are new to this blog, I have been working through an Eating Disorder which has had a profound effect on my physical and mental wellbeing.

With a tinge of embarrassment, I admit that when I started to really struggle with eating difficulties, I was training as a counsellor. I was learning theory and tools to help others with their mental health, all the while I could feel my own unravelling. There was a disconnect between what I knew and how I felt.

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The Mountains of Mourne

You just never know where a day will take you. What’s that old saying, ‘the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry ‘ (Robert Burns) …

Christmas day came and went and while there was great joy and happiness had, I would dishonour those who struggle around food, if I said I was untouched by some of these difficulties during the festive season. Acknowledging this struggle isn’t always easy. There is a tension within between wanting to appear fully recovered while also trying to own where I am at in this journey. The truth of the matter is that healing journeys take time and they are not always linear.

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The way of beauty

Have you ever known the exhilaration of being released from a commitment that was weighing on your mind?

Over the last few weeks I have been working towards a deadline for a project, but struggling under the strain of the workload. All my spare time and energy was devoted to this assignment. I pored over books and articles, desperately trying to engage my mind in the process but to no avail. I couldn’t gather the information I needed to complete the project.

The thing about this piece of work was that I didn’t actually have to do it in the first place. I felt I had to. I felt compelled to complete it; that I was somehow fulfilling an imagined standard set only by myself…

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Passion

How do we deal with the brokenness we see in the world around us? The answer lies in turning our pain into passion.

Paula’s been writing a series recently on brokenness. It’s been looking at the healing we find in God’s presence, and the grace we find in our own weakness. The deepest cry of every heart is answered by Jesus Christ.

But brokenness also exists beyond the individual. We see it in families, churches, communities, nations and throughout our beautiful, broken world. When it’s something within our own lives, by God’s power we can usually get our heads round it, however hard it may be at times. When it’s the headlines on the nightly news, however – ebola, Islamic State, recession, climate change, and the list goes on – it can seem too much for us to get a handle on. Overwhelmed, the pain we feel can quickly give way to despair or disengagement. Continue reading