Sunday, December 14, 2014

WHAT JESUS WANTS FOR HIS BIRTHDAY


I'm not sure how I'd feel if, for my birthday, my friends gave gifts to everyone but me. Yet that's exactly what Christ wants. One of his most familiar teachings gains fresh meaning when applied to the Christmas season:

Saturday, December 6, 2014

ALL HANDS ON DECK - My Poem about Despair, Redemption, & Christ

Image credit: "Stilling the Storm," by Ted Henninger

Jonathan's note: Although I am a deeply religious person, I have the utmost respect for those who do not share my beliefs. I share this deeply personal poem, which I wrote years ago in a time of personal turmoil, in the hope that it will bring spiritual relief to those looking for such. 

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 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.