‘You cant make an omelette without breaking some eggs.’
Isn’t that how the saying goes?
Something is brewing and some ‘omelette’ is being made. Not just in me, but in us all.
Persevering and enduring aren’t really things this generation is renowned for, but I believe they are doubly worth it when the right driver is in the driving seat.
Prince Harry spoke out in an interview many will have seen in the news today as having regretted not coming out and speaking about his Mum’s untimely passing in 1997. The trouble for him, was and is the fact his Mum just happened to be Diana, Princess of Wales.
I have always been a fan of Prince Harry – right back to when I was a 13-year-old and declared I’d have either him or Prince William – along with every other UK teenager of our age.
Brave and gutsy of him today to come out in the media and say what he said. If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about you can look it up on the news online.
Since I came out and talked in ‘public,’ albeit online, in my recent blog post a few weeks ago, about a very difficult (and what felt like disastrous, but now I very much don’t believe they were) six months I’d just had, on top of much prior adversity, I felt like a certain weight had been lifted off. After an arduous and pretty awful few months, talking to people and connection has been easy and free again. Honesty and vulnerability are freeing. Truth is freeing. Living in the light is freeing. Not easy, no – especially not in Northern Ireland(!) but freeing.
Perhaps more men could take a leaf out of Harry’s book and talk a bit more about the grief and difficult things in life.
A lot more needs to happen in British and Irish culture before the ‘stiff upper lip’ syndrome, as I jokingly but seriously call it, can be penetrated for people to feel more free to talk about things.
As for Americans out there reading, well I can only say I was less than impressed when in recent times an older, supposedly wiser American Christian I knew, who frankly should have known better, said to me – thinking it was clever and funny to say:
“Mental health nursing, what were you thinking?!”
And frankly, if you’re honest, perhaps some of you reading this thought that too. I’m glad I’m gloriously free of what others think these days, and don’t really care. I do care, however, about doing what my faith leads me on and into.
Right now, I’m on a bit of a writing spree, in private and little moments like these. Enjoying the health I have, grateful my lungs were given the all clear when scanned recently, and not taking it all for granted. I could have cancer. I don’t. Thank God.
In her head this American Christian I spoke with (about Mental health, and those severely mentally ill) was arrogant in her stance that this is an area we shouldn’t really bother with as Christians, or specifically that I should not bother with, and frankly I should just ignore it and like her and others around her, seek to live some version of the American dream. God help us all. In her head it was more Christ-like to read the bible and pray, but not ever roll up one’s sleeves and get close to those who are broken and hurting beyond full repair.
In my head, (amongst many other things), I was thinking of all the people shafted by society and shoved into horrendous hospitals and institutions and written off for life after that.
I was thinking of all the stigma we label these people with, and write off for with little positive alternatives for the rest of their lives. I was thinking of all the dark, difficult times I have been through and thanking God I am not one of those, but by the grace and mercy of God, knowing I could be, and full of compassion for those who do end up in some of the most horrible, depressing mental hospitals like the one I worked in in East London.
I was thinking of how the Churches I know of do very little to help these people. I was thinking of passages, frequently found, where Jesus cast out demons and confronted darkness and what would be labelled as mentally ill behavior today. I was thinking ‘what would Jesus do? ‘ in real terms, not a bumper sticker or a t-shirt or a fuzzy song. I was thinking let’s do, pray and act, not just think and talk. I was thinking let’s not just focus on beards and coffee in local Christianity, but let’s set some sort of a fresh example of stepping out, instead of settling down into further middle class British Isles comfort.
I’m being perhaps a wee bit provocative – just perhaps 🙂 Indulge me a little.
God cares about the ‘least of these’ in society, and just because something is challenging doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go near it. Or “them.”
I’m so glad this past year has happened, I’m so grateful for all the fabulous and interesting people I have met, and I am continuing to learn more and more everyday of life. Processing and praying, onwards and upwards.
Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character, and character, ultimately, hope.
Despite all the ferocity and frequency of recent attacks in Germany, and now distant thoughts of the atrocity in Nice, lets not let fear win. Let’s treasure life and one another.
After all, life is a gift -broken egg shells and all.