Reflections of 2012
As I reflect on 2012 I realise how wonderfully lucky I am. I have health, an amazing family, good friends and incredible connections with people all around the world. Turning 50 has again made me stop and think about who I am and what I want from this life, the search for meaning and purpose is so strong....
I feel I have an obvious purpose as a mother to nurture, teach and transform my children into positive vibrant, caring, intelligent young adults. I say obvious, but sometimes so much other stuff comes in the way - the drive to make recovery possible in mental health services across the world, has sometimes blinded me to what my own family need for their mental health. So driven to make it right for everyone else, I can neglect mine, Ron's and my children's mental well being. Trying to have enough of me to go around leads to frustrations on my part that there is not enough time in a day.
Thankfully, living on Lewis, 10 minutes outside - watching the sea, the storms come in, the wind, the light, vibrant rainbows, the pigs and poultry doing the same thing everyday - brings me back to my need, for my feet to be strongly grounded in the earth. When you see the huge waves pounding against rocks, millions of years old, it gives a sense of perspective of how tiny we are in this world. How significant our lives are, yet every positive thing I do, can impact on so many people. Every act of kindness, every moment of love, can make a difference for generations to come.
Love - it's a dirty world in Psychiatry. It's an embarrassment never to be mentioned, but every bone, sinew, gut instinct in my body, believes that if we do not act in every moment - with love and compassion we become less human.
What is better: to fill someone will pills, strap them to a bed and leave alone; or to sit beside someone in their madness, to really listen to their pain, anguish, joy, search for spiritual identity, search for peace, search for meaning. To explore with them the metaphors, to hear the messages of the voices, to help interpret, to hold a hand, give a hug, to bear witness to their story. To believe in them, to give hope, to help understand, to build resilience, to leave another person with a possibility for transformation - surely that is the work of every decent mental health worker, every decent citizen.
We can also choose to remain - embittered to be cynical of everyone's motives, to hate and despise rather than try to understand the other side, to be always looking for the negatives, we can put all our energy to this - or we can just get on with healing ourselves and each other. Perhaps that is what true peer support is, each human being taking care of those around them.
I truly believe this world can be full of light and hope, each one of us has the capacity to be another candle and embrace and nurture change in our system. To encourage every positive move anybody in the system makes, to stand beside those brave enough to want to make a difference.
I hope my children understand what Ron & I do - that they won't hate us for not always being there. I hope they have enough love from us, to also go out in the world and be candles to burn away other people's pain. I can't stop this work I do - yes I earn a good living, but everyday I see another person begin to understand their pain, to begin to want to live, to begin to love themselves - it is worth every sacrifice, every bit of energy I have for this world. Love is truly all we need.
Happy solstice, Christmas and New Year to all
Love Karen xx
Posted: 16/12/2012 00:52:37 by Global Administrator