Thinking Short-Term or Long-Term?

I think there are two ways to think.

Short-term and Long-term.

In therapy, those who are afraid to face and heal their pain are simply not willing to take short-term suffering.

“It’s hard to recall memories when I was abused and change habits,” said a patient with long years of addiction to alcohol, drugs, and sex.

Well, is it hard to live with addictions that damage one’s self and relationships?

Struggling though he was, this patient underwent therapy. He submitted to full accountability and life process change. He came to know his hidden deep-level wounds and “operated” on them.

Why? He learned that the pain of the process is just short-term.

He went through the short-term pain and eventually enjoyed the fruit of his labors in the long-term.

Same thing with other areas of our lives.

Health, for example. When you overeat and has heart attacks, you choose that life for yourself. No one forces you to do that.

You avoided the short-term pain of changing eating habits and exercising, but you didn’t realize you’re buying long-term pain.

Finances, another example. Lots of people are unhappy with their “secure salary.” They dream of owning their own business and becoming millionaires.

To accomplish that, you have to experience first the short-term pain of leaving your “secure salary,” working longer hours, and building your business.

If you say yes to short-term comfort, then you say no to long-term gains and profits.

Which one do you choose for your life? Short-Term or Long-Term?

The good news is, it’s never too late no matter how old you are.

But you have to make a choice on how you think.

Keeping Hope Alive

Awhile ago, I read of Major F.J. Harold Kushner in New York Magazine. He was an American marine held by the Viet Cong for 5 1/2 years. Something happened to him:

“Among the prisoners in Kushner’s POW camp was a tough young marine, 24 years old, who had already survived two years of prison-camp life in relatively good health. Part of the reason for this was that the camp commander had promised to release the man if he cooperated. Since this had been done before with others, the marine turned into a model POW and the leader of the camp’s thought-reform group. As time passed, he gradually realized that his captors had lied to him. When the full realization of this took hold, he became a zombie. He refused to do all work, rejected all offers of food and encouragement, and simply lay on his cot sucking his thumb. In a matter of weeks, he was dead.”

Famous author Philip Yancey says, “Kushner’s experience is a tragic, negative example of the need for some hope to live for.”

Can that happen to any one of us? Sure. I’ve seen this countless times in my therapy sessions. A loss of hope sickens the mind, heart, body, and soul.

As Dr. Carl Jung put it, “Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.”

But mind you, the loss of hope is gradual. Never overnight. It’s often imperceptible that you’re not conscious that it’s already happening to you. If you were, you’d stop the deadly disease.

The disease of hopelessness is like erosion. Silent. Never hurrying up. Slow but constant.

But the good news is, this disease is not terminal. It can be operated on, cured.

I have thought about this always. If you recall my previous sharings – both personally and professionally – a lot in this life would steal or take away our hope to move forward.

Hope and health are inseparably interconnected.

The medicine of hope is determination that refuses to quit when we encounter the pain that losses and sufferings bring into our lives. It must be worked though or else it remains a barrier to our health.

In the bestseller book, “The Road Less Traveled,” the author insightfully teaches us:

” … it is in the whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning. Problems are the cutting edge that distinguishes between success and failure. Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed they create our courage and wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually … this tendency to avoid problems and the emotional suffering inherent in them is the primary basis of all human mental illness.”

Your Best Life Ahead

Something new came into the life of Maria as a result of her husband’s infidelity – tears. She was still obsessed over processing all the events circling around the wound of her marriage and life. It was overwhelming, a deepest cut. And all she could do was look out the window and cry for months.

I asked her in one of our sessions if she’d ever run out of tears. I mean, a “dry cry.” She finally said, “Yes!” Of course, I suspect she remained crying as she always did, but no liquid present! That is one woman who had truly cried a river for some time. That was several years ago. Time and distance passed.

Then one day, she made a call and reappeared to me. I noticed a different Maria. In our talks, she reported significant accomplishments in her life after her unremorseful husband’s infidelity and separation from him. As the days, weeks, and months went by, things looked clearer to her that led to a successful writing and business career. By placing distance between her and her marital wound, she gained valuable progress in healing her self and building a new life.

Looking at Maria’s massive crisis that engulfed her life, it’s important to note one helpful action she did – she sought professional help. Since the situation was beyond her ability to handle and decipher, it made great sense to her to see a counselor from the beginning. According to her, that choice speeded up rather than prolonged her healing process. She honestly believed that something self destructive might had happened to her if she didn’t make that choice.

If you’re deeply hurt right now, I know your teary eyes may feel like heavy weights. But in time, as you take the right steps and commit your self to recovery over the long haul, you’ll be back at the top of your game. You’ll be brand new! And pretty much better rising out of the ashes. There is always the promise of hope beyond the pain.

So, if you’re locked up inside, open the door. Open the window. Go outside. Take deep breaths. Pray. Look as far as you can see. Take responsibility. It’s wonderful. It’s worth the price to pay to live your best life ahead.

Strength At Broken Places

“Life breaks us all sometimes, but some grow strong at the broken places.”
— Ernest Hemingway

John had all the signs of a walking wounded dead. His wife’s cyber affair and departure ended their 20-year marriage. During those 20 years, he had accomplished a level of public recognition in his international work in the religious field.

Now, John was alone and very distraught. He found himself in tears each day. Many of his relatives and friends had turned their backs on him. His growing children were being alienated from him by his adulterous wife, blaming that he was the cause of her deeds.

When I met John in the session, he could not move on. His days were filled with depression, loneliness, and emptiness. For two years, he isolated himself. He refused to circulate around people and find support in church or communities.

Then, he finally gave in. He agreed to join support groups and reach out to new friends. Week after week, he shared his wounded thoughts and feelings through small group teaching and sharing times. All these while loudly proclaiming inside him that he’s hopeless.

Then a miracle happened to the innermost core of John’s self.

John’s tears began to dry up. Smiles were appearing on his face. He began to have stronger faith and realize that there was life for him after the trauma of his wife’s infidelity and abandonment. He was starting to receive more strength by reaching out to God and people.

Today, John is a millionaire entrepreneur and has a huge new circle of friends, and has written two best selling Recovery books. Among the communities where he became active, he is now easily one of the happiest and most sought-after teachers in his church family.

I believe John’s secret of his self healing was living out the principle of St. Paul, who wrote, “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Turning his brokenness into strength became his transcending choice.

Whatever the cause of your woundedness, you can choose to grow strong at broken places. I do my self, and a lot others, so do you!

Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous To Your Health

If you suffer from symptoms of depression or anxiety almost all psychiatrists will diagnose you with mental illness (DSM IV). Then they’ll prescribe brain drugs (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil etc.) for what they claim is your mental illness.

This is dangerous to your well-being. Evidence shows that drugs can damage mental health and even the brain itself.

Psychiatrists are the only doctors who diagnose illness when there is no pathology to support their diagnoses. There is no scientific or medical test to prove the existence of brain pathology in any of the 465 mental illnesses they claim exist.

Dr. William Glasser, author of the book “Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Hazardous to Your Health,” writes: “Psychiatrists, aided and abetted by huge drug companies with their advertising clout, will convince you that your unhappiness is a mental illness…and treat you with possibly harmful brain drugs for this non-existent illness and tell you there is nothing you can do to help your self. These are more the hazards of psychiatry.”

What a majority of psychiatrists won’t or can’t give you is what you need the most: counseling and psychotherapy. Part of the reason is that the largest part of training of psychiatrists in medical schools is “bio-chemical.” Another has to do with health-care pressures and exaggerations coming from billion-dollar drug companies (as noted by Dr. Glasser). A great number of psychiatrists treat patients with unproven neuro-chemical medication to have a quick fix (or profit) or cover up a lack of competence in the psychotherapy process.

Stay off “brain drugs.” They do harm. Instead, be free and healed by getting into shape – psychologically, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Does Your Child Have Psychological Illness?

Parenting is hard. Especially when your child is going through frequent disruptive behaviors. Withdrawing or disrespecting you. Having school failures. No matter what you do or what school does to help your child, nothing seems to work at all.

Your child may need special attention. Professional help. Look for some indicators or clues to know if this is the case:

* your child is violent, bullying, or hitting others

* your child is manifesting frequent mood swings or temper outbursts

* your child is harming his or body and in various ways

* your child lacks energy, drive, or motivation

* your child overeats or gets addicted to substances or certain behaviors

* your child ignores physical hygiene and appearance

New Year Resolutions

Although a New Year’s Resolution is always observed to get broken, it’s never too late to lead you to finally do something. For your over-all health. Psychological. Physical. Emotional. Social. Spiritual.

Here are some suggestions. Take your choice what to include in your own new year’s resolution. Every new year is a gift of 365 opportunities for your life.

* Forgive an enemy or one who hurt you deeply.
* Smile. Laugh and make good jokes.
* Spend less time on Facebook or on-line.
* Spend more time with your spouse and children.
* Listen.
* Lower your expectations or lessen your demands on others.
* Take up running.
* Seek help for your severe unprocessed pains or unresolved issues.
* Express appreciation.
* Speak kindly to a stranger.
* Join a small life support group.
* Eat fruits and vegetables each day.
* Pray, read the Bible.
* Give a soft answer even though you’re fuming inside.
* Enter into another’s sorrow or wound.
* Find the time to keep a promise.
* Make new friends.
* Apologize if you were wrong.
* Save money.
* Give a gift to someone. Anonymously.
* Pray for your extended family members, neighbors, city, and country.
* Encourage an older person.