The Desert Of Pain

The way out for the hardest of souls who have been hurt and robbed of love.

answers-in-cloudsA young warm heart becomes an angry soul with a broken spirit crying for mercy and justice.  Trapped from within fear becomes a paralysing terror that knows no inner peace. Without a voice the numbness of the void beckons to seek relief from inner turmoil and despair.

Denial leads into a place where there’s no pain, no feeling and no remorse.  A dark and lifeless existence where hope feels unrealistic and prayers seem unanswered is accepted as fate. Until a small breach in the wall allows a little light to penetrate into the darkness. Love, and truth are soaked in like water sucked into drought stricken land. A continuous flow of water becomes a life saving bubbling brook feeding life into the soul.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  1 John

Love and inclusion can give life back to those with a mental illness. Love can be quite a challenge when we have a really hardened heart before us. Will they recognise love in you?

For those struggling with pain seek help, recover and regain your strength.

Where to get help in Australia

See your family doctor who can point you in the right direction.

Lifeline – is a free 24/7 crisis counselling hotline – 13 11 14
Mensline – is a free 24/7 counselling service for men –  1300 78 99 78
Kids Helpline – is a free 24/7 counselling services for kids & teens – 1800 55 1800

 

WHY CHURCH LEADERS NEED MENTAL HEALTH TRAINING

With mental health training church leaders can help their communities more than they know.

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Most of us have friends who we can trust when the burden of our troubles become too heavy a load to carry. Christians often reach out to members of their pastoral care team or to close friends, while others choose to keep their problems to themselves.

Talking to someone is a great way to vent allowing for the release of some of that pressure. Friends can be really good listeners and advice givers, but depending on our circumstances and state of mental health at the time, they may not be able to give the right advice or point us in the right direction.

The church is uniquely positioned to help the community in difficult times as most believers will run to their church leaders for help.  Mental health training will help support the congregation with issues like depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder just to name a few.

THE WHOLE BEING

The bible is clear that humans are a three fold being consisting of a mind, body and spirit.   When one of those is out of peace, the other two are affected.  Keeping all three healthy is to find balance and wholeness.

“I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow (body), and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12).

Two Types of Crisis

Grief – Unfortunately the majority of us will suffer loss at one point in our lives and loss can lead to grief.

Some types of loss are:  Substantial financial loss, death of a close relative or friend, loss of a job, divorce, separation and loss of a family home or death of a beloved pet.

Mental Health – People with a mental illness like depression or anxiety can have overwhelming emotions and feelings that often alter their thought processes leading them to overreact to normal everyday situations.  Having lived all my life with the fortnightly roller-coaster of Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder, it was a common occurrence to cry about problems during ovulation. After having my daughter in 2004, I became peri-menopausal and that’s when my symptoms, that included rage, became extreme.

Those who have a mental illness often find normal activities become overwhelming.  For some this might mean the inability to function as they normally would, they can lose their jobs often leading to a loss of quality of life and isolation.

Those Who Have Helped & Supported Me

Counsellor, Gynaecologist & Doctor – good listeners & resourceful – The best help so far for PMDD.  My GP sent me to a gynaecologist who recognised my symptoms.  He put me on a birth control pill (Norimin) suggesting I cut out the sugar tablets so to stop my menses completely, thus stopping what happens to my brain during that time when receptors shut down causing a depletion of my happy hormones.  I was also put on anti-depressants (Pristiq).   This helped me to function normally only to experience mild symptoms of PMDD now and again. The counsellor helped me to organise myself mentally in order to help me with my circumstances.  Finally I was beginning to function normally.

Family & Close Friends – Advice differed according to personalities, religious views, professions and some of those with mental health training (My two sisters) listened and then pointed me in the right direction.  Untrained friends lacked the ability to help me with my mental health problems which to them was foreign.

Pastoral care – Able to help me with personal and spiritual problems but when my mental illness was kicking in with intense bouts of depression that left me crying for hours nonstop, my thoughts were dark and gloomy and it seemed like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.  My pastoral care team were untrained to recognise symptoms of mental health problems; they didn’t know what to do apart from praying for me, which was great for me as I was hoping for a miracle.  But, miracles don’t always come when you want them to and it’s not through a lack of your personal faith.  God’s timing for your life is perfect. When a person is physically sick they go to see a doctor.  A person who has mental health problems needs counselling support.

That’s why I believe in mental health training for all church leaders.   Knowing the difference can make all the difference to a person in need.  Christians who have mental health disorders need to know that they are supported within the church, be pointed to mental health support services and resources when needed and they also need to know that they’re no less a Christian for being mentally unwell.

The body is all interconnected.  If our bodies can get sick, then the mind is no exception. Caring for the three fold being, mind, body and spirit leads to wholeness.

Sandra Ciminelli
PEN WITH A VIEW

Where to get help in Australia

Talk to your doctor who can point you in the right direction if you feel that you have a mental health issue.  You might be able to qualify for a mental health plan.

Lifeline A free 24 hour crisis counselling service – 13 11 14

Mens Line – A free 24 hour counselling service for men –  1300 78 99 78

Kids Help Line – Email Counselling and Web-chat available – 1800 55 1800

Similar Spanish & English Words With Absolutely Different Meanings

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Growing up in Australia but speaking Spanish in the family home had me living within 2 cultures and not exactly feeling like I was fully 100% Aussie nor Uruguayan.  I felt more like a hybrid.

The two languages were confusing at times, especially when similar sounding Spanish words to English had completely different meanings. I remember attempting to tell my mother that I was embarrassed, but the similar Spanish word I used actually means ‘pregnant!’  As you can imagine this was not received well in the ’70’s.

Here is a list of 12 Spanish words with their English meanings that I had to learn to be mindful of!

Exito
Similar to the English word ‘exit’
Spanish meaning = success
Spanish word for Exit = Salida

Sensible (pronounced ‘sensibleh’)
Similar to the English word ‘sensible’
The Spanish meaning = sensitive
Spanish word for sensible = Sensato

Embarazada
Similar to the English word ‘Embarrassed’
Spanish Meaning = pregnant
Spanish word for embarassed = Avergonzado

Campo
Similar to the English word ‘camp’
Spanish meaning = field
Spanish word for camp = Acampar

Fabrica
Similar to the English word ‘fabric’
Spanish meaning = factory
Spanish word for fabric = Tela

Ropa
similar to the English word ‘rope’
Spanish meaning = clothes
Spanish word for rope = Cuerda

Bigote
Similar to the English word ‘bigot’
Spanish meaning = mustache
Spanish word for bigot = Fanatico

Arena
Similar to the English word ‘arena’
Spanish meaning = sand
Spanish word for arena = Pista

Molesta
Similar to the English word ‘molester’
Spanish meaning = upset
Spanish word for molester = Molestador

Divertido
Similar to the English word ‘diverted’
Spanish meaning = fun
Spanish word for diverted = Desviado

Sin
Similar to the English word ‘sin’
Spanish meaning = without
Spanish word for sin = Pecado

Disgusto
Similar to the English word ‘disgust’
Spanish meaning = annoyance
Spanish word for disgust = Asco

Groseria
Similar to the English word ‘grocery’
Spanish meaning = vulgarity
Spanish word for grocery = comestibles

Compromiso
Similar to the English word ‘compromise’
Spanish meaning = commitment
Spanish word for compromise = comprometer

Carpeta
Similar to the English word ‘carpet’
Spanish meaning = folder
Spanish words for carpet = alfombra

  • Carpeta – suggested by La Rosi.  Thanks!

It’s no wonder that some Spanish speaking people find the English language somewhat difficult to master.

By Sandra Ciminelli 2016

Making The Most Out Of Life

On a journey of self discovery as a young adult I worked out what it means to make the most out of life.

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It’s funny how self discipline changes our perspective on life.  When I was younger I loved going out with my friends to the early hours of the morning. Life was exciting and I was on a journey of self discovery.  As as a young adult I soon learned that I couldn’t function well for too long without adequate sleep.  My body and brain began shutting down to the point that my work performance took a nose dive.

There was nobody to blame but myself because not being exhausted for work the next day was the one thing that I could control. When I realised what was happening I put a plan into action that worked for me. Deciding to get into bed by a certain time every night and sticking to it was a self discipline that paid off in the long run by forming a good habit. However, it wasn’t that easy for me, but my perseverance and determination paid off. It was at that moment when I realised that making the most out of life meant using every good opportunity to build myself up.

Change Requires Effort

Wisdom can’t be proved unless someone practices it.  We can agree with it, but unless we do it ourselves it will have no effect on us what so ever.

Self discipline is vital to our lives because our natural talents can only point us in the direction we want to go, but, anything worth achieving in life takes hard work and commitment. It’s a choice.

Self Discipline – Knowing How

Most of us want to be the best we can be at any given thing we set our hearts to do. What I found through experience is that being focused alone wasn’t enough.  Clear thinking accompanied with realistic goals and a precise targeting plan of action gave me direction.  There were times where I found myself busy working harder not smarter without a plan or goal to focus on.  Not for the lack of willpower but being young I was definitely lacking self discipline.

The plan of action gave me the necessary steps needed to take to get me there.  Then I wrote down why this was important to me enabling my emotions to reconnect to the reasons behind what I was doing.

Know your motives.

Example Of the ‘Whys’

  1. I want to lose weight to feel good about myself.
  2. I need to lose weight for a healthier body and mind.
  3. By losing weight I will fit into the clothes I already have and love.

Watch Your Thought Life 

We live in a noisy world so it’s quite understandable that we can have noisy cluttered thinking. Sometimes things pop into our heads that are irrelevant to anything we are doing at the time.  I classify this as ‘brain junk’. We we can be distracted by entertaining these often useless and sometimes silly or intrusive thoughts, but do we really need to? I believe that, learning how to push unwanted thoughts out of our heads is a discipline we should all learn to master helping us to stay focused on the task at hand.  We can do this also by thinking and meditating on good thoughts with logic, wisdom and truth.

Manage Your Time

Don’t waste time on mundane things.  Use it wisely by being productive which may mean working, learning, reading or doing things that will benefit you.  Helping others is a good way to take the focus of yourself or your own problems that will make you feel good about yourself.

Eat Well

A well balanced diet keeps your brain and body healthy. When everything is functioning the way it should, so will you!  Don’t over eat and make sure you eat enough.  Our bodies need nourishment from healthy foods.

Drink Plenty Of Water

Stay hydrated for peak performance of your brain and body.  Furthermore your vital organs will thank you for it. Water hydrates your blood cells as well as the rest of your body.  Eliminate toxins out of your body by drinking plenty of water.

Gain Adequate Sleep

The recommended amount of sleep we should have per night is from 7-9 hours.  Sleep deprived brains and bodies can not function at their peak.

Take Part In Regular Exercise

Half an hour a day is all it takes to get your circulation moving.  As a result, it builds muscle and eliminates fat and toxins out of your body that will have a good effect on your brain.

Be On Time

No boss will appreciate tardiness.  Get to work 15 minutes before you’re due to start your shift. This will give you time to prepare for the day ahead and will reflect on your reliability.

Be A Dependable Team Player

Be someone people can depend on.   As a society we are a social network of people who for the most part depend on one another.  At work we are a network of employees who rely on one another to get our jobs done.  One person can let a whole team down so make sure you do your share.

Don’t Take Your Problems To Work

Leave those at home as most situations can certainly wait and won’t go anywhere.  If you have excessive worries then talk to someone about it in confidence.  Decide if you should let your supervisor know what you’re experiencing.

Learn To Say ‘No’

There are times at work when we can be overloaded with tasks that require us to work late.  Too much work and not enough rest can lead to burnout.  We need to know our own limits and be able say ‘no’ to the added stress.

Learn to say no to the demands of your social life that affect your health, your work and your family life.

Originally posted on August 3, 2016

A Loving Relationship between a Man & Woman

As a mother the most difficult part of my job is watching my child suffer so she can learn her lesson. While I’m the one dishing out the discipline, (taking away privileges) I know the experience is making her wiser. She’s soon to become a teenager and currently shows a little interest in boys. But that’s all soon to change.

She’ll eventually grow up to make her own decisions and make her own mistakes, so I teach her the value of taking responsibility for her own actions. This teaching will come in handy when it comes to relationships. The person she settles with will come from a different family, have a different upbringing and have a different set of values, so she needs to be observant and remain alert when choosing.

I pray for her future husband and teach her to do the same. We’ve led by example and the legacy we leave behind with a loving relationship will hopefully have a positive impact. I’m hoping she’ll grow up to be the kind of woman that makes mindful decisions for her life and future.

I’m no relationship expert but I’m hoping my daughter will take hold of what has taken me a lifetime to learn.

  1. Treat each other with respect. Do not talk about your partner/spouse behind their back. Your loyalty is to each other. Don’t ignore the friendship.
  2. Your spouse/partner shouldn’t be totally dependent on you.  They need to have their own goals in life, a job, their own interests and enjoy living a healthy lifestyle.
  3. Nobody has the right to lay a finger on you.  Nor do you have the right to be violent with someone else.  There is no reason on earth why violence should be accepted in the home.  A lack of self esteem can trap women in violent controlling relationships. You are awesome. Get out as fast as you can and don’t go back. You might want to consider pressing charges should this happen to you. It might save another woman’s life.
  4. Feel secure in your relationship and know that you are loved.  You’re fine the way you are and the right person will accept you just as you are.
  5. You’re worthy of love and happiness. Love isn’t just about giving. It has to be reciprocated.
  6. Being together is fun.  Spending quality time together is even better and a must. Make time for each other, listen always and love with all your heart.
  7. Your opinion is to be respected.  You’re consulted on major decisions and what you have to say is valued.
  8. The foundation of your relationship is based on mutual love for one another not lust.
  9. Don’t ignore the sexual intimacy. Keep that healthy but sex must not be the foundation of your relationship.
  10. Any man who demands more than you’re willing to give to gratify his own sexual desire is not loving you more than his own need. Leave this guy fast! He’s using you like a sex toy. Don’t waste your time. Time is precious and you can’t get it back.
  11. Looking at members of the opposite sex appreciatively of their beauty is normal, but flirting is not acceptable.  This in my books is the same as window shopping.
  12. Choose the father of your children very carefully.  Marriage is a lifelong commitment. Work together to keep the relationship sweet. Get counselling if you need help as a couple. Pray for him. Trust your instinct.  It’s your call if you need to bail.