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Hurting Other People’s Feelings

For most people, and especially I believe most Southerners, “Thou shalt not hurt thy neighbor’s feelings” is right up there with the Ten Commandments, except higher. They would much more freely admit to lying, coveting and idolizing than to saying or doing something they knew would hurt someone’s feelings. The problem is that the truth hurts, especially the truth that sets us free from illusions and bad habits. So who …Read More

Overcoming Anxiety and Worry (Part 2)

The key to managing worry and fear is learning how to change the channels in your mind. We learned last time how to switch awareness from the involuntary nervous system that takes feelings TO the brain, and give it to the voluntary nerves taking messages FROM the brain out to the muscles. We also learned how to go into the right brain that imagines scenes, and change the channels there. …Read More

Forgive? Why? Who? What? When? and really, How?

Perhaps the number one killer of mental and relational health is the refusal to go through the learning experience of emotional pain.  But I believe our next biggest mental health buzz kill is our refusal to forgive others and ourselves. I just have to take a stab here at trying to reduce just a little bit this colossal waste of serenity. Forgiveness is a private act.  It is first of …Read More

The Lost Art of the Effective Apology

THE LOST ART OF THE EFFECTIVE APOLOGY Imagine that you have messed up big time—physically abused your child, cheated on your wife, stole money at work, or lied to your husband about where you were.  And let’s say you really want to make sure that both you and the people you’ve hurt can trust that you have learned your lessons of how and why not to do that again.  How …Read More

How to Get Depressed

You can feed your depression these body-building nutrients, or you can starve it to death.  Can you see how self-defeating and avoidable these behaviors and attitudes are?  1.  Shame:  Hurt somebody, and don’t ask them or God for forgiveness.  Don’t make amends either, or learn from it–just forget about it.  That way you can’t forgive yourself either. 2.  Resentment:  Expressing anger is the normal human response to injustice.  Hold it inside so it can turn its energy against …Read More