This week’s Sharing The Burden Podcast – Carrying the “Message”
Part-1: Happy Time versus Hurting Time
Our show begins with Ken and me discussing his getting through some rough times. He says, yes I made it by the grace of God! We are talking about the last phase of our Sharing The Burden program which we complete every December. It’s all about sharing the message or sharing our stories. We speak about supporting the hurting of any kind with a special emphasis on the mentally ill and the addict. We speak about this phase being all about making restitution and “keeping on going each day one by one”. We believe that by sharing our pain, others are drawn in to share theirs. I mentioned to Ken that scripture for the reading we were talking about, from The Life Recovery devotional said that, if we obeyed God’s law by carrying each other’s burdens, we would be fulfilling another commitment that we’re asked to make, namely, love your neighbour as yourself. Ken explains how in his own life, loneliness was a dangerous trigger that could cause him to go into behaviour that he found hurtful to himself.
When we chose the name “Sharing the Burden” we never expected that it would cover such a wide range of needs. As a matter of fact it’s almost the solution or at least part of the solution to anything! Beware of He Who Says “do this and that will happen”, do this other thing and this will happen”. This is the person who in reality is taking the place of almighty God by telling someone that she or he knows what the future would be if they did this or that or whatever. Do not tell people, especially do not give them advice that they did not ask for. The FIXER, RESCUER of other people is never successful! Ken shared how in his early life that he was a little over-disciplined and under-loved. Not to blame either of his parents or to say that they did anything intentionally. However, a foundation was laid and he was made to understand that unless Perfection were met, he was not good enough! Ken and I discussed how silence was often the answer to so many things and it was often the only answer of real support. Pointing out what I believe to be right where I believe you are wrong is simply divisive!
Part-2: It’s All About Sharing
To get maximum value from myself I must do the work and exploit my gifts! During a Sharing the Burden meeting, in order to get spiritual answers, each and every person must focus on the topic at hand. We must never share with the intent of fixing or offering a solution to another member’s problem! This would negate the possibility for a spiritual answer! We come together for spiritual answers, not the professional answer nor the answer that one participant believes is the right answer or solution to another’s problem. He or she cannot know anything about what would work in another person’s life!
This is the last phase of our program; am I really ready to undertake it? Have I realized that the RECOGNITION of POWERLESSNESS and MAKING RESTITUTION are two pillars of my program? Am I ready to share and have I taken all the other preparation steps?
The Intense Management and Therapy unit in one of the jails we support is home to many people with different mental illnesses and or addictions. I’m reminded here that we are looking for spiritual answers. We can attend but we cannot make them happen! There is no psychologist, psychiatrist, counsellor, therapist or social worker or any other helping profession whom I know of anyway, who can bring this type of meeting to a comfortable, cohesive and focused group of individuals! With Prayer and love, we are often able to be part of this happening, God willing of course! Everyone in the room becomes focussed, interested and quiet, wanting more of this invisible love that fills us all! A beautiful thing to see!
Ken shared how many people, who were not professed believers in God, could often give him the answer he needed at the time of need. He also said reading positive literature and scripture were a daily need for him to stay fruitful in life!
Part-3: Love Your Neighbour
Jesus says there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. We spoke of the program Medal of Honour and how the heroes would go beyond the Call of Duty and decide without a lot of thought, to risk their lives without concern for themselves! Always be humble with no want or need of acclaim!
I often share how I’m happiest in jail. There are no expectations, therefore no resentments are created! Love can flow freely to all, and it does! The sensation we carry away, which is shared with our inmate friends, is beyond words and it’s shared jointly among all persons in the meeting!
Love is the answer!
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