Friday, November 28, 2014

IS GUILT HEALTHY OR HARMFUL?


In my observation there are two schools of thought about guilt. The first is that it's a healthy emotion that inspires us to change our behavior, while the second argues that guilt contributes to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness that impede our growth. So is guilt healthy or harmful?

The truth is, it can be either. Like fire, guilt can be beneficial or destructive depending on its use. Here are two simple questions to determine whether your guilt is healthy or harmful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

December on NETFLIX: What's Coming, What's Going, and What to Watch for Christmas


Jonathan's note: Occasionally I stray from the topic of relational and emotional health to give fun recommendations to couples, families, and individuals.

With Exodus, The Hobbit, and Into the Woods coming to theaters and Interstellar, Mockingjay, and Big Hero Six already there, moviegoers have plenty to choose from this holiday season. But then, so do homebodies, with hundreds of worthwhile entertainment options on Netflix streaming.

Allow me to help you keep track of what's expiring, what's arriving, and what to watch for Christmas. Keep in mind that Netflix sometimes adds movies without announcing them (like Agents of SHIELD,  Batman and Arachnophobia in November). Also, just because something is listed here doesn't mean it's appropriate for all audiences, so do your research :) Now, let's dive in!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

WHAT HUSBANDS CAN LEARN FROM THE STRIPLING WARRIORS

Image: "It's True, Sir. All Present and Accounted For" by Clark Kelley Price

Jonathan's note: Although I am a religious person, I learn from many different faiths. I respect the variety of beliefs held by my clients, friends, and readers. The target audience of this particular article is fellow Latter-day Saints, but it's written to be accessible to anyone, as the principles have universal appeal. My intent is not to convert my readers, but to strengthen marriages and families. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

"EVERYONE POOPS" (OR THE IMPORTANCE OF ALLOWING YOURSELF TO GRIEVE)


It was definitely one of the stranger approaches I've ever tried in therapy. The woman in front of me (story shared with her permission) was struggling with the death of her husband several months earlier. Like so many widows, she tried to cope by immersing herself in child-rearing and work commitments, staying busy so that she hadn't the time to grieve. She hated mourning because, as she put it, "every time I cry I turn into an blubbering, uncontrollable mess, and the timing is always awful. I'm usually around people and it's very embarrassing." In fact, she asked me to help her speed along the grieving process.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BALANCING SELF-CARE WITH HELPING OTHERS

When I was young, my father and I bonded over archery. Dad taught me that I had to unstring the bow when I wasn't using it, allowing the wood to straighten and the cord to dangle loose. If I didn't allow the bow to rest, or in other words, if I left the cord tight and the wood bent, I'd ruin the bow. It would no longer be taut. The wood would splinter and snap while the cord would fray. "If you don't unstring the bow," he explained, "it won't be any good to anybody.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

EINSTEIN, GANDHI, AND THE DISAPPEARING STAR- A LESSON IN FINDING JOY


One night, while stargazing near Brian Head, Utah I noticed an especially bright star in my right periphery. Stunned by its brilliance, I shifted my gaze to admire it directly. It disappeared. Black space existed where the star had been. Thinking that I was mistaken, I looked elsewhere only to have it appear again, shining brightly once more in my peripheral vision! Time and again, when I looked right at it, the star vanished. When I focused instead on the surrounding stars, it reappeared.

Friday, September 19, 2014

HOW SUFFERING HELPS US TO HELP OTHERS

"The Ascent" by David Linn
"Why me?" This ubiquitous cry of the suffering displays an urgent craving for answers. We try desperately to find reasons for our pain, the assumption being that purpose will help us to endure our sorrows, while meaninglessness makes them unbearable. The answers you find depend largely on what you believe, but there is a universal usefulness for our misery: everything we suffer empowers us to help others.