Sunday, February 21, 2016
Depression & Healing Love
I have no interest in watching human beings pummel each other to a pulp, so Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) doesn't capture my attention even though bouts draw huge crowds. I am aware that Ronda Rousey is a mega-star of the women's circuit and her recent defeat was a big deal.
I am interested in mental health, and so I paid attention when Rousey admitted on the Ellen Show that this defeat resulted almost immediately in suicidal thoughts. At age 29, having lost once, she wondered who she was and whether she wanted to live.
We never know what leads individuals to contemplate taking their own lives. We may have stereotypes of those who are suicidal, yet there are many triggers. Persons may appear competent, cheerful, "together" when in fact they are suffering terribly. Among the courageous celebrities who have been very active in promoting mental health awareness are the CBC's Shelagh Rogers and multiple medal winning Olympian Clara Hughes. Both are highly successful and outgoing, and both experienced serious and even life-threatening periods of depression.
As a clergyperson I am so aware of this for folk I serve and in my own life along the way. Life can become overwhelming, even when we are "on our game," and our congregations must be places of compassion, support, and the healing love of Christ.