mental health, Soul Food, Spiritual


Imagine you’re taking a stroll in your favourite park.  It’s a lovely summer’s day (yes it finally arrived, even in the UK!) and the heat is perfectly complimented by a cooling breeze that caresses your face and shoulders.  You take shade underneath a tree that seems to be straight out of a famous oil painting and get ready to indulge in the exciting world of the most fantastic novel when the familiar cooing of a more than familiar bird gets louder and louder and louder.  Now you feel the rush of air against your face as its wings flap back and forth releasing an untold amount of germs picked up from God knows where all over you, and then the ultimate…  You realise that this pigeon is trying to land on your head!!! 

Sorry to destroy your day dream.  I can just imagine the grimace on your faces as that scene plays out.  Looool.   I’m sure that I don’t even need to ask what you would do.  If you are like me, I would have been on the move as soon as I heard the noise of that dirty, flying vermin (for those of you who live in London, I know that you get me).   

So now you’re thinking “what’s this got to do with anything?”  Well actually, this is a very serious and important topic and I really want you to remember the above scenario as you read this. 

Every day we (especially women) are faced with a battle that nobody sees or can even do a lot to help us in.  Our very lives depend on who (or what) wins this battle.  There’s no let up or rest.  No time out or respite and even though we all go through it, not everybody realizes that it is exactly that; a battle.  Ladies I’m talking about our though life. 

One of the dictionary definitions of the word battle is ‘to struggle; to campaign vigorously or defiantly.’  Collectively we (all of us) have gone through various experiences that have molded and shaped our lives.  Now ask yourself, how does an experience stay alive with us long after the event?  How do the put downs of a long dead relative still rule us?  The answer is in thought.  We carry around so much in our thoughts; that non-tangible but very real part of ourselves.  And going further, if you think, you don’t think in monotone, but there are many layers of thoughts that bombard you every day.  Thoughts that you want and thoughts that you don’t.  Have you ever noticed how the thoughts that you want to think are hard to hold and the thoughts that you want far away from you are your constant companion?  It is a constant battle that many lose on a daily basis because they don’t know how to fight.  It’s a battle I almost lost to the detriment of everything that I now am and have ever given testimony of.  The turnaround with one simple acknowledgement: 

Not all the thoughts that come into your head are yours! 

If you think back to the pigeon scenario and imagine the person as your mind and the pigeon as a thought.  That’s how thoughts are; they fly in and out as we allow.  If we stood still enough when that pigeon came, it would surely land on my head.  If we remain still, more of the same would come also and we would be their home, their resting place.  Now obviously we wouldn’t do that in real life, but many do that with negative thoughts.  It’s more than mere positive thinking, as even that requires active management of what types of thoughts remain in our minds.  Every day we fight to focus on the positive and we tell ourselves “I can make it,” “I will survive,” “I am beautiful.”  However, almost simultaneously the other  ‘pigeons’ fly in; “No you can’t,” “You’re going to fall apart and you know it,” “Your mum was right, you’ll never get married.”  Notice how the counteracting thoughts are no longer in the first person.  Who’s saying that?  You?  No.  If you think well those thoughts come, inspired by others that you know and some of you don’t know where these thoughts started to come from, but because they are in your head you accept them.  You just allowed your pigeon to chill out on you (and you know what they do best when you feed them…).  We converse with these thoughts inside of ourselves every day, trying to stay on top, but for many the battle is too much and it spills over into the physical.  Everybody has that problematic person in their workplace that can’t seem to leave their problems at home.  Where’s the battle?  It’s all in the mind, a spiritual fight. 

So how do we overcome?  We fight.  We think about our thoughts (!) and we decide what’s going to stay and what’s not.  Just because a thought came that said you were nothing and that nobody loves you, it doesn’t mean it’s true.  It’s not!!  In fact some of the thoughts that you have accepted over time have been complete and utter lies.  They seemed true because you felt them, because some people also driven by lies confirmed them in action, but they are not true.  You must assume that.  I can’t talk about this fight without mentioning God.  Many times we feel like giving up as we spend day after day shooing away the same “pigeon” and he seems to keep coming back.  When you’re on the verge of surrendering yourself to be his nest.  Don’t.  Ask God for help.  Even if you don’t think you know how to pray, cry out to Him as if your life depends on it.  Just don’t give in.   

I remember a word that helped me immensely in turning around this battle of “voices.” 

‘Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not to curse.’ (Philippians 4 v8-9) 

I’ll tell you something true.  You were born to succeed, beautiful and precious beyond your understanding and somehow along the way life and negativity tried to steal things away from you piece by piece.  You can achieve what you want in life but it starts in your thoughts.  You are what you think.   

Just a last thought.  How many of you have a belief in God (however small or big) but you don’t talk to Him because a voice in you says you are not worthy to?  A lie.  There are others who have set it in their mind that there is no God based on what they have been through or are going through at this moment?  Another lie.  However, neither will be able to move on unless they flap their arms like crazy and get rid of the source of that thought.  There are certain things in life that only God can help with. 

If you feel like you’re about to collapse under a barrage of negative thoughts or there is a trauma that still bombards your mind today, then don’t hesitate to call 020 7686 6000.  Somebody will always be on the end of this line ready and able to advise you.  Alternatively, feel free to email myself on… and I will be more than happy to fight alongside you and help. 

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