The Simple Truth

There are many things that I love about the work that I do as a mental health counselor.  I feel honored and privileged that my clients are able to confide very personal (sometimes embarrassing) information about themselves.  I love those “ah-ha” moments when the big picture finally comes into focus.  Most of all, I love seeing clients turn a simple dialogue into a life-changing event.

I’ve been humbled many times by clients who took a simple discussion and turned it into a life-changing event or decision.  I say humbled because it is often the simple truth that seemed almost unnecessary to utter that is responsible for great change.  Sometimes we need to be reminded of the simple truth.  I find that our present-day society values and seeks to be impressed by complexity, while the answers we are looking for are often simple.

Next time you or someone you know is looking for an answer, don’t shy away from the simple truth.  It could be exactly what that person needs to hear.  Even in all its simplicity, truth remains a burning sun that casts away all darkness.

Be a light to your world today!

 

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Helping the Needy

All humanitarian deeds draw inspiration from the Gospel verses on the Final Judgment: Mt 25: 37-40 “Whereupon the just will answer, Lord, when was it that we saw thee hungry, and fed thee, or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When was it that we saw thee a stranger, and brought thee home, or naked, and clothed thee?  When was it that we saw thee sick or in prison and came to thee?  And the King will answer them, Believe me, when you did it to one of the least of my brethren here, you did it to me.”

Those verses are inspirational and wonderful to think about.  We can all talk the Christian / good-deeds talk, but putting these words into practice is a different story.  While I was out for a walk on my lunch break today, I was approached by a homeless lady who wanted money to buy her own food and drink.  To make a long story short, I agreed to buy her some food to eat to make sure that she was really getting food and not supporting some addiction or other unhealthy habit.

Afterwards, I was bothered by it.  Why is it that we give so reluctantly to those in need?  Sure, we all hear stories about people asking for money and then using it for drugs… but you just never know when there can be a legitimate need for life essentials.  The needy can sometimes use guilt-tripping strategies to convince you to help them, but then again wouldn’t we be inclined to do so as well if we were in a desperate situation like that as well?

In the end, this did push me out of my comfort zone and I’m glad it did.  It’s also amazing that I have such an incredible and supporting wife who reassured me that I did the right thing.

What are your experiences with helping the needy?  What are your challenges?  Please feel free to share.

Be a light to your world today!

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Removing Road Blocks

In some previous posts, I’ve addressed the topics of dreaming big and fighting for our dreams.  Recently, I’ve become aware that my pursuit of dreams was hindered by roadblocks.  I have goals, but it seems doubtful that I’ll make it.  Perhaps the reason is that I won’t reach them if nothing changes.

Whether your own goals are to achieve financial or professional success, or to recover from depression or other mental health difficulty, or whatever they may be, you are likely hindered by a road block.  These road blocks, unfortunately, are usually not so evident.  They can seem harmless: the types of books you read, to company you surround yourself with, a comfortable under-stimulating lifestyle, etc.

My recommendation is to start by making small, concrete changes that will give you a nudge towards your goal.  If you want to achieve your goals, seek advice or read literature by those who’ve achieved similar goals before you.  If you feel there’s a part of your daily routine that doesn’t help you grow personally or draw closer to your goal, then perhaps a small change is in order.

You don’t have to revamp your life, just be open to change.  If the change is uncomfortable, keep in mind that it’s helping you move forward.  If you feel like you’re losing something, keep in mind that something greater is coming your way.

Be a light to your world today!

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Be The Best You Can Be

We all have dreams of making a difference.  Whether it be to invent new means of communication, to solve world hunger or poverty, or simply to be that positive voice others need to hear.  Whatever our dreams are, they are still dreams.  We’re not there yet.

Last post, I spoke of how fleeting time is in comparison with eternity.  Our life is relatively short, and we only get one shot at it.  So instead of dreaming, start living your dream.  To live your dream, focus on being that person you dream you become… the one that can make this dream come true.

You don’t have to be perfect.  You just need to be the best you can be.  Be Super You!  Super You does the little stuff with just as much passion and determination as the big stuff.  Super You has the ability to see obstacles as challenges to be overcome.  Super You doesn’t compromise with mediocrity.  Above all, Super You is still human.  So make sure you remain realistic with yourself while striving for your goals.

Be a light of “super-ness” to your world today!

How Long is Eternity? Very…

I once heard an analogy that sort helped me put life and eternity into perspective.  Say you take a rock the size of our planet.  Once a year, a bird swoops down and brushes its wing against the stone.  When that stone wears down to nothing, eternity will have just begun.

That sounds like a very long time.  How many lifetimes would it take?  More than all the human lives in history, from the first human to the very last to walk this earth.

The realization has always helped me to understand that this life we live is so short.  Even if we were blessed with a long life of say 200 years, compared to eternity, it’s hardly a blink of an eye.

Some of us believe that there’s life after death, some don’t.  Some believe in reincarnation, some believe that we all end up swallowed up by nothingness.  Whatever our beliefs or creed, one thing remains irrefutable… our life as we now it will have an end.  This, then, begs the question: What will I do with the time I have?  What’s really important for me?  We have a limited time to live this life and none of us know for a fact when it will all end.  If you want to leave a legacy behind, if you have goals on the back burner, perhaps you’d like to consider getting to work on those now.  Life’s too short to waste, and wasted time can never be regained.

Be a light to your world today!

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Witness and Judge

Picture yourself on trial.  Your the defendant.  Witnesses are being brought up and questioned before the court to testify.  Some of the testimony is in your favour… or perhaps not.  After hours of listening and consulting, the jury comes to a conclusion and pronounce their verdict.  Then the judge brings down the hammer.  What’s the outcome?  Are you deemed innocent or guilty?

This scenario is exactly what we go through every day, multiple times a day.  Our conscience puts our actions and decisions on trial all the time.  On the one hand, it bears witness to what we say and do, even when no one else is around.  On the other hand, it condones what is good and condemns what is bad, even when things happen secretly.

A healthy, guilt-free conscience grants profound internal peace and happiness, whereas a guilty, heavy conscience puts one in a state of conflict against himself, creates anxiety and stress, generates feelings of shame and fear.  The heavily burdened conscience does not leave you in peace.  It is a divine voice within you that persistently beckons you to a way of life worthy of your God-given dignity.

Living a moral life is therefore a crucial part of self-care, and one of the best anxiety management strategies.

Be a light to your world today!

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KISS – Keep It Simple, Silly!

Ever feel weighed down by the hustle and bustle of every day life?  I know I do.  You reach a point where you begin to look desperately for a way to squeeze in some down time or even a vacation, but you can’t seem to be able to justify fitting it in anywhere.  You’re worn out from driving around to run errands and chauffeur people around.  You and your significant other hardly spend time together that doesn’t involve talking about finances, children, or something that requires problem solving.  You want to pursue your life goals and realize that there’s not enough time in a day, or in a year for that matter.

My answer?  Kiss.  Yes, KISS… Keep It Simple, Silly!  We can run around pursuing all sorts of dreams, committing to all sorts of causes or sports.  In the end, how many of these are actually helping you attain your ultimate goal?  I’ve found simplicity to be an important part of self-care.  When it’s simple, it’s not very stressful.

Simplicity gives you a clear sense of direction, whereas complexity pulls you in many directions at once.  The key to happiness, in my mind, is not about having more or doing more, but in being the best version of yourself.  To do so, you need a clear sense of direction and purpose, which comes from simplicity.

Be a light to your world today!