Totally Fixed Where We Are

The Marsh Family sung their parody ‘Totally fixed where we are’ on ‘Comic Relief’ a month ago. Lockdown had prevented them from doing normal things and going to normal places…

Lockdown’s physical restrictions lead to a mental ‘totally fixed where we are’. For some totally-fixedness is comfortable and secure: returning to the old normal or discovering a new normal is a scary prospect.

Mental health experts say: ‘We should be prepared for the fact that the end of lockdown might be as hard for us as the start was. Just as it took us time to find ways of coping during lockdown, we should also expect that it will take time to find our way back, and to reconnect with life.’

Last night’s BBC Panorama programme on racism in The Church of England included our friend Peterson Feital… the Church had discussed and written reports about racism but failed to act on them…

The disturbing, conclusion that The Church was ‘deeply institutionally racist’ was a clear example: ‘Totally fixed where we are’.

Reinhold Niebuhr’s prayer, often called ‘The Serenity Prayer’, has appeared in many versions. Here’s the most well-known:

‘God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.’

This prayer has been adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step programmes. Friends who have lived with and come through addiction have faced up to ‘totally fixed where we are’, recognising what can and what cannot be changed,.

‘Totally fixed where we are’ needs to be challenged in society where there is prejudice, injustice and wrong; it needs to be challenged at a personal level because I need to change.

My faith speaks of a friend who walks alongside me, encouraging me and giving me the motivation and power to be totally unfixed where I am…

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