Claim Your Own Mental Fitness

12 Competing for Love

12 Competing for Love

When (God’s) love chooses, it chooses with a perfect sensitivity to the unique beauty of the chosen one, and it chooses without making anyone else feel excluded. Henri J. M. Nouwen Competing for love is a concept that probably dates back to prehistoric times when humanoids rightly feared death if they were excluded from their tribes because others won out in the struggle to demonstrate for strength, cleverness or beauty. While our brain evolved, ever-present danger may have helped to wire in the second Toxic Belief, that we have worth only if we compete successfully against others. This belief still […]

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9-s Reflect, Revise and Renew

9-s Reflect, Revise and Renew

Fake Fir (12/04) Always the scent of pine pitch In the chill night air, crushed out Of the carpet of needles lavishly strewn Over the corner tree lot. Always the hunt for the quintessential Tree-of-the year, just so tall, Just so irregular, just so fluffy. Often in the rain, always in the dark. Rebellion crept in slowly over the years, First, with fewer gifts mailed out, Then no more German Honey Bars, And last, the ultimate sacrilege. There it was on sale at McLendon’s: Frankly artificial and just the right size. Up a week earlier and not so prickly, With […]

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7-s Mental Fitness Promotes Compassion

7-s Mental Fitness Promotes Compassion

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama     XIV, The Art of Happiness   The Dalai Lama has had to leave his homeland, while it is under siege by China, to protect himself from assassination. He certainly knows and loves the people there, who look to him for spiritual guidance and are greatly at risk because they follow the beliefs he teaches. Yet I don’t recall seeing a picture of him without a radiant smile. Christians are also taught to have compassion as they offer love to each […]

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6-sToxic Beliefs Block Your Joy

6-sToxic Beliefs Block Your Joy

“Judge not, that you be not judged.” “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” “You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.”  Matthew 7:1, 5:44, 22:39 Here Jesus, speaking to his apostles in the Bible, gives them these rules for coping with others. In the past fifty years behavioral scientists have, most often without realizing it, identified the problems caused when people don’t follow these rules. The first three toxic beliefs trigger us into fight-or-flight, creating emotional distress, impairment of our Adult’s ability to manage things and impulsive reactions which create barriers between us and others. […]

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4-s There Is a River

4-s There Is a River

5. Thus says the Lord:  Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals and make mere flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the Lord. 6. They shall be like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see when relief comes. They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.  7. Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord.  8. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream, It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall […]

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14 The Golden Rule & Belief #3

14 The Golden Rule & Belief #3

Feliciana Netamba cares for her two children at their home in the Cacilhas village near Huambo, Agola, where the MENTOR Initiative is working to help control Malaria. Photo by Mike DuBose, United Methodist News Svc. See inm@greaternw.org for details. So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12 The Golden Rule, also called the ethic of reciprocity (see Wikipedia), has been embraced widely among religions and cultures throughout history. I think this came about as follows. At some point in evolution our uniquely human pre-frontal […]

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3-s Hot Enthusiasm and Cold Clarity

3-s Hot Enthusiasm and Cold Clarity

“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.” Jesus, speaking in Matthew 7: 7-8 All this talk about courage, serenity, discipline and perseverance can give many of us a headache and a nagging sense of guilt. As noted in the Mental Fitness Formula blogs, practicing the FORMULA I describe helps develop your ability to express these necessary traits. Some people have the gift of symptoms that prod them to practice and build their Adults and Wise Parents. I fought panic attacks and insomnia, definite motivators. But once […]

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2-s The Serenity Prayer and Your Wise Parent

2-s The Serenity Prayer and Your Wise Parent

God grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can And the wisdom to know the difference. Reinhold Niebuhr As you use the mental fitness formula to revise toxic beliefs that keep you from serenity, it’s important to put in their place new beliefs that nourish and support you. I’ve called this place your Wise Parent, neither too critical nor too indulgent. Part II, Chapter 7 of my book encourages you to seek wisdom from others who have tried to make their lives positive and meaningful. Every human culture has […]

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