I was at the local Greek Orthodox Church today in the morning to celebrate St John the Baptist. I forget what the precise name for the weekday service was called. Anyway, I enjoyed being there for the most part, except for when the thought entered my mind of the memory of being offended by some of the parishioners and the parish priest.
Everything was blissful and great until those thoughts arose. So I went away from the church feeling bitter and resentful. What could I of done instead? I will give some advice from mindfulness.
You can either A) replace the memory with a happy thought B) say ‘Lord Jesus Christ have mercy, hoping He will get rid of the troubling memory C) replace the memory with a reminder that I need to be humbled so as to cultivate humility, and thank the Lord Jesus Christ for their humiliation of me D) stop thinking altogether by focusing on the breath.
These things normally are excellent for the person without mental health issues, but the mentally ill person has to struggle a lot more with his thoughts than a normal person does. Hope this advice helps some people who stumble upon my blog!
As St John of Kronstadt says in his work ‘My life in Christ’: “those who endure dishonour in this life will not be subjected to it in the next.” So I have some practical things to think when faced with dishonour.
If a person insults you, calling you a worthless person, with or without coarse language, say ‘Yes! This is true! I deserve your words because of my sins! Thank you for your caustic words!’
If a person won’t talk to you, and repeatedly ignores you, leave them alone, and say ‘God told them to ignore me, because I have been ignoring God.’
If you are feeling lonely and empty on the inside, say ‘It is the will of God for me to feel this way, Jesus faced the same feelings and worse on the cross.’
If you are feeling rejected, and you can not find true love, say ‘I can not find true love because I reject the true love of God. It is all my fault, not my love interest’s.’
If you are excluded from a friendship circle because you are different, say ‘blessed are they, because they know how wicked I am, thus they are fulfilling the Lord’s admonition to the Israelites “put the evil out from under your midst.”
If you are being bullied needlessly by an accuser, say to them ‘God bless you. Thank you for your caustic words. By your words you drive out the serpents of arrogance and anger from deep in my heart.’