Mental Illness – ILLNESS

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Just STOP

Stop…Calling suicidal people weak-they are not weak but dealing with excruciating emotional pain that is both distressing and debilitating. The burden is so heavy that they can’t see any better option. That stigma is both ignorant and insensitive and a prime reason why those in distress don’t seek help.

Stop…Calling people crazy-mental illness is just that an illness- an insidious illness just like cancer. No one asks for it or deserves it but it will still come without an invitation.

Stop…Telling people to get over it-you don’t tell cancer patients to get over it. This is the worst thing you can say to someone. If it was just that easy to snap out of it they would. No one wants to be alive yet not living.

Stop…Telling people to just pray about it-nine times out of ten, they have prayed and prayed and is all prayed out, that’s why they have come to you. All you are really saying is, “I really don’t care, take your problem elsewhere.”

And finally,

Stop…Gloating/celebrating someone’s storm-Instead of spending an hour on the “chat line” with your friends to gleefully discuss the downfall of another, hit your knees in prayer for them. Pray that God will deliver them from evil and to loose the stronghold that has their mind.

More of Yourself

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I just finished watching the Queen Latifah show and the show was dedicated to her birthday-which is today. She had some great guests on her show, especially Terrance Howard…Gawd I love that man; but the biggest highlight, for me, came from Oprahs simple, yet effective statement, “That’s what getting older is about-becoming more of yourself”.

I just turned 39 on Thursday and I’ve noticed that my attitude about who I am has dramatically changed. I used to hide the real person I was in fear of rejection or persecution, but about a year ago, out of no where, I just didn’t care anymore. I looked at myself long and hard; I looked deep within myself and couldn’t find anything that made me unhappy. In fact, on that day, I was renewed. I fell deeply in love with myself and the woman I had become. “Why did I hide all this from the world?” “How could they not love me too?”, are the questions I asked myself. As I sat back and took it all in, a word I first heard, about a year and a half prior, came into my mind-Irie. Irie is a Jamaican word, mostly used by Rastafarians, and it means to be high on life or at peace with your present situation in life. From that day forward, Irie has become my everything and I no longer care if anyone else likes who I am and I will live my life for my own happiness, my own peace, and my own way-no longer afraid of how “they” would receive me.

I am older and more myself. I am….Irie! Thank you Oprah for giving me the “o.k.” and happy birthday Queen!

Entitlement Society

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I have had enough of these entitlement programs and people. We have become a nation filled with lazy, give me, give me, give me people. What happened to the old adage, “If you don’t work, you don’t eat”?

Wait! Let me back up,I don’t want you all to get the idea that I don’t believe in helping others, so let me get this clear. I believe that at any point, in any of our lives, we may fall on a financial hardship and need a little help to make it through another day, week, or few months while we pursue our financial independence.

With that being said, I believe in giving a hand up instead of a hand out. This is a temporary hardship that calls for temporary assistance because they are out seeking gainful employment in order to sustain themselves and their family-I can respect that and would be glad to help my fellow citizen with the basic necessities of life.

Now on the other side of those pursuing self-sufficiency, are those I first started talking about-the give me types. These are people who rely on the government or not-for-pofit agencies to take care of them. People who believe such agencies are responsible for their well-being. People who work dead end jobs just to keep their “benefits”; benefits such as food, shelter, transportaion, and clothing. People who turn down the education and career training opportunities that the same agencies offer them for a brighter, self-reliant future.

But I shouldn’t put all the blame on the “give me types”. In all fairness, they are a product of social services; the programs that have handicapped them. Think about it, as long as their income is low and/or they have children, they qualify for assistance. Now, the lower your income, the more babies you have, and oh…this is a big one, the more behavioral or psychologically challenged, you or your child(ren) are, the bigger the checks and benefits are.

What our society of well intentioned programs has done is crippled the mindsets and success of many in our nation. By not setting strict but manageable guidlines, such as making education and career training mandatory for assistance, and having a deadline in place, you encourage laziness. Make people accountable for themselves!

You can’t tell me that financial freedom and success isn’t possible in our beautiful country-I see it everyday. We are truly a nation of opportunity but you have to want it and pursue it. There will be hills and even mountains to climb but self-sufficiency, success, and wealth are attainable. If you don’t believe me, look around you, who do you see owning 90% of your local stores and businesses? They are people from other countries that came here with a dream to pursue happiness-and they did. They work harder than any American born citizen I know and they have more because they expect more out of themselves.

I believe our government should have a system in place to help those sustain the basic needs of life during a financial hardship, but I don’t believe it should be thousands of those programs with thousands of loopholes that allow people to become permanent dependents. If the government would start saying no then the “takers” would be left with no other option but to care for themselves. I’m just tired of the excuses. We know better and can definitely do better as a society.