Role playing as coping with mental illness…

Comedy can be a cathartic way to deal with personal trauma. Robin Williams

Meditation: Mental Illness is still something our society does have difficulty talking about. Many have to hide their depression or other mental health diagnosis and pretend all is well. One way of coping is through humor and through acting or playing “the clown”. Being “funny” can serve as a way to remain part of community, as nothing is worse than struggling with mental health and then becoming additionally isolated. Building a relationship with a therapist can be a way to stop hiding. It can be a place to grieve and talk about the traumatic experiences that have happened and the consequent emotional challenges. Finding a relationship that is caring can feel like the image of the eagle hovering over its young. When we reveal our vulnerabilities without being judged, healing can happen. We discover more effective ways of coping than just pretending, using humor or acting. God uses people to emotionally and spiritually care for us. I wonder where we need to be found and attended to? What is our “barren and howling waste or desert”?

Prayer: Gracious God, You are seeking us. We pray for all who are in need for a safe place to heal from trauma – be it abuse, neglect, assault or tragedy. We pray that our society becomes less superficial and sees beyond role playing. Let us all become more aware of our own and others’ mental/soul health needs. Thank you for providing shelter in the presence of those who are trained to be with people who went through trauma. Let us all find healing and relief in our emotional struggles. Amen

In a desert land God found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; God guarded him as the apple of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft. Deuteronomy 32: 10-11

Generosity- an antidote against fear…

The only things standing between you and the compassionate, wise, and creative person you want to be are matters of choice. Your choice. No one can occupy your generosity except you. Gary Zukav

Meditation: When we are afraid and angry about “not having or being enough”, we hold on for dear life. We start hoarding. We start being competitive. We compare. We have to dominate. We envy. We hate people we don’t even know. We develop a mentality of scarcity. We feel that the universe is hostile and that there is no “good will for all”. This fear and dominance mentality has caused much harm in the history of this country, and it is once again intentionally created by the current political leader. The goal is to divide this country into many fractions and have mistrust and fear win people’s hearts. For when people are afraid and divided they forget where they come from and that they are really “one”, and they either follow the leader blindly or attack each other…

However, when we remember our history as a country of immigrants and allow the Spirit of generosity to heal our fear, we can open our hands. We start letting go. We start sharing and giving freely. We no longer need to compare and measure. We don’t have to judge others. We don’t hate, but develop a stance of generosity. We believe that the universe will take care of us and through us also of others who are in need. We believe that there is a universal “good will for all.” This country of immigrants was built on this Spirit of generosity. We would not be here without it. Let us choose to remember the oneness that comes with generosity and that has shaped and healed this country many times in its history…

Prayer: Generous God, stop the Spirit of hate, envy, and fear from winning the hearts of the masses. Instead pour out your Spirit of generosity into this country’s soul once again. Remind us that this is a country of millions of immigrants that sought refuge. Let us mirror your generosity by welcoming and sharing the abundance we have. Amen

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

In the end, there is truth…

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. Winston Churchill

Meditation: The Mueller investigation methodically has indicted person after person. Plea deals were made, immunity was granted. The persons who have been indicted are all former employees of the president. Some of them have over a decade worth of information. They agreed that under oath they would not lie: not about their own crimes nor about the crimes of anybody else they worked with or worked for. Today Mueller spoke up after two years of silence, contradicting the lies that were told about his report. We witnessed one more step on the journey of having the truth finally come out. The US government has not been here before. The president, his family members and his advisors are in the bright investigative lime light. What they have whispered in private rooms, thinking it would remain hidden, shall be proclaimed from the rooftops. A legal hurricane is building, getting ready to hit the Whitehouse. There is no global warming producing intense hurricanes? There is only fake news? Really? Mr. President, are you prepared for the legal hurricane to hit the Whitehouse?

Prayer: God of truth and of justice, we pray for protection for the legal processes in this country. We pray for the constitution to survive this storm. We pray for the witnesses to be on one accord so that no talking about “fake news” can blind the masses. And we pray that the legal storm that will hit the Whitehouse will cleanse it from all lies and deceptions and reveal to the world any illegal acts that have been committed. We pray for protection of the leading legal institutions and representatives in this country. Amen

Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. Luke 12:4

Being Bi-racial…

My dad is Caucasian, and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white. Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating. Meghan Markle

Meditation: When my biracial daughters were four years old they witnesses how a biracial man was sworn in as the US President. For eight years they watched with pride how this man and family were role models with high integrity. They felt represented and validated. About a year ago they witnessed a young feminist biracial American woman become part of the royal family in the UK and a few weeks ago, the first in history bi-racial British prince “Archie” was born. My daughters were elated. I am grateful that in the midst of the current American backlash against women and against minorities plus the reemergence of open racism and the oppression of free speech, my daughters have seen and still see examples of what is possible. There is no way back! There is no stopping! The future of our world will depend on the reconciliation of the races and the inclusion of minorities as equals and every person as an important member of society.

Prayer: God, we pray for Harry, Meghan and their son Archie as they courageously create history as the first multicultural and bi-racial British royal family. May their marriage and family find the freedom and support they need to thrive. May our children who represent the next generation be inspired by this young couple’s courage, integrity and their positive use of power and influence. Thank You that the current hate filled “Zeitgeist” will in the end not be able to overcome the larger worldwide movement of inclusion, acceptance and reconciliation of different races and classes. Amen

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” Acts 10:34-35

Psychopathology of the Masses…

The psychopathology of the masses is rooted in the psychology of the individual. Carl Jung

Meditation: How in the world did our country end up in the situation we are in? Did our individual mental condition become manifested in a collective psychopathology? Our current time in the US can maybe best be described with the words of a trauma survivor. Eve Ensler said: “I think culture is where things change in us deeply. But right now, I think that people are very traumatized. They are very scared. Having grown up in a house with a perpetrator who was violent every day and terrorizing every day, I feel like that this country is suddenly very much like the house and the family I grew up in. Every day we are glued to our phones, glued to our television; “What is this psychopath going to do next? How will he embarrass us? Who will he bully or hurt or humiliate today? It’s so easy to get locked into a syndrome where the perpetrator is ruling your life.”

Prayer: God, our country is going through a severe mental illness. Collectively we have experienced several traumatizing external events in the past years, and then we experience also severe traumatizing reactions and handling of those events. We are afraid. We are feeling trapped in a “family situation” that traumatizes us daily. God have mercy on our country. Restore us to health. Help us to make decisions that lead us collectively out of this system as it is set up currently. Free us from all oppression. Amen

There are six things the Lord… detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. Proverbs 6:16-19

Collective Narcissism

Nationalism is a form of collective narcissism, where the citizens possess an inflated self-love of “their own people,” to the exclusion of other human beings.  Bryant McGill

Meditation: Our nation is led by a pathological narcissist who evokes the worst traits that our country is capable of: nationalism as collective narcissism. Decisions are being made that sacrifice whole groups of people on the altar of self-adoration. The current leaders justify their oppressive new laws by splitting into declared “good versus bad”, “us versus them”, “Christians versus Moslems”, “citizens versus immigrants”, “healthy versus those with a precondition” . This primitive and narcissistic defense mechanism of splitting causes great suffering for many innocent people. I am afraid even more minorities will be left behind in the coming years. Many will fall through the intentionally cut holes in our social safety net. Holes and road blocks are being established everywhere: The powerful leave others to be without power: to not have a way to get a legal visa, to not find a way to get affordable health insurance, to have no way to escape bigotry nor get away from increasingly hateful and threatening talk and behavior…

Prayer: God, we pray for our nation that is being torn apart by collective narcissism. We pray for those judged, discriminated against, jailed, and tossed aside. Your heart aches for those sacrificed on the altar of self-idolatry. God, we pray that Your will be done. Let the church become a place of refuge, a beacon of hope, a voice in the wilderness that prophetically claims Your values that are opposite of what is currently happening in this country. Stop the craziness. Let those who Your Spirit leads stand up against the exclusion of the vulnerable, the sick, the stranger and the declared “other”. Heal our nationalist exclusivism and our country’s collective narcissism. God, have mercy. Amen

 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

The 2020 election…

Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote. William E. Simon

Meditation: The past months and even years now, I have felt paralyzed. How in the world can a democratic system sell out to an oligarch and align itself with an oppressive regime? How can an elected Western president betray his country’s legal system and surrender to the person who invaded and manipulated it’s social media and voting system? As a German the history of the Soviet Union and its successor represented in Putin are very present to me. Many Americans don’t seem to experience the devastating urgency of the recent events. Many seem unaware how Russia is out to undermine all and any democracies, how it wants to conquer the parts of Europe back that had belonged to the Soviet Union, and how it positions itself to become the ultimate ruling power in the world. The urgency of our times could not be greater. A narcissistic, greedy, incompetent, compromised and dependent American president is selling the American people and its democracy out to the Russians. An urgent political development the Americans have never seen before. The 2020 election will be the most important elections in America’s history yet.

Prayer: God, awake in this country the awareness that the life and death of democracy itself is currently at stake. Awake in us the awareness that our voting is the only power we have to choose life and oppose death, so that we and our children may live. God, have mercy on us. Amen

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19