Recently, well, let me back up and start over. A few weeks ago, I posted this picture and asked how many legs this elephant has. We received so many comments on this and I’d like to thank you for participating! I’d like to share some of those comments here:
“No matter how distorted my perception gets, elephants will always have four legs. I choose facts and truth over perceptions.”
“Our mind likes to make things up that aren’t really there. The elephant only has four legs but our mind and our eyes see more.”
“To get perspective, one must look at the base, the foundation. By doing so, you can see the hoofs. With that, I see five. Yet I know that is wrong!”
In addition, there were answers of ranges of 4 legs to 9 legs.
If we base our query on the idea that all elephants have 4 legs, does this little one have four legs?
If our mind is playing tricks on us, how can we be sure that the elephant has 4 legs and not as many as we see?
How do we know that the elephant has too many legs?
What makes the base, the foundation, the absolute point of reference?
So I’d like to ask…did anyone ask the elephant how many legs it had?
Okay. See, that’s how mental health stigma works. The elephant is mental health. Depending on how we look at it, we get a different perception. We have our own beliefs, our own conclusions, our ways of looking at things that we are often forgetting that there are other ways to look at the same thing. For example, do this little exercise for me.
So, if you would, please draw a box for me. Now, draw a stick figure beside it. Are you done? Great! If you decided not to do this, you’re missing out!
Now, is that box 3D? How big is the box? Is the box bigger or smaller than the stick figure? What COLOR is the box? You see, the answers to these questions are all based upon your perception. Everyone has preconceived notions about what constitutes a box and how big it should be. This simple exercise demonstrates that. Don’t believe me? Have someone else do the same thing and compare answers. No way that they are the exact same.
With that said, this year is going to be a HUGE year for the Mental Health Initiative. It’s the year of HOPE!!! We are working to change our perception of how we view hope and mental health. We want to change the way that we look at ourselves as deliverers of hope and to share the message that mental health doesn’t look the same for everyone. You can’t fit mental health in a box. We’re going to change the way we look at how we can help those who struggle with mental health while doing it for God’s glory. The way that we think that we can help others through the mental health initiative is all based on our perspective. It’s time to step outside the box and start our journey of HOPE.
We will be reminded that we will have HOPE in what we cannot see, regardless of how we think we see it or what we believe we are supposed to see. God’s greatest show of hope came when there seemed to be no hope at all. It’s time to HOPE.
April Brantley, CR Mental Health Team X-Factor