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.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

HOW TO BE A FEARLESS PUBLIC SPEAKER


“According to studies, most people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. This means, at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.” - Jerry Seinfeld

About a decade ago I performed with a comedy group in college. Some nights I was "on," but other nights I'd get nervous about the crowd. Fear of embarrassment led me to forget my lines or stumble in my improv attempts. Joel, one of my fellow performers, was an audience favorite who never seemed to choke on stage. When I asked him for the secret to his fearlessness, his answer surprised me: "I just try to remember that there are people in the audience who are going through hard times. I have the privilege of helping them to laugh and feel happy, so each performance is my gift to them."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's Not About the Nail? Fixing and Validating Simultaneously


Never miss a post! "Like" me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, or sign up for my weekly newsletter.

You've likely seen the hilarious YouTube video about the wife with a nail in her forehead, telling her husband about the pressure and pain she constantly feels. He suggests that she get the nail removed and grows frustrated when she insists that "it's not about the nail," wanting him to validate her feelings instead of trying to fix her problem. It's a relatable struggle in a wonderfully ridiculous context.

Many couples get hung up on this dynamic (which is why the video is so popular), but what most fail to see is that validating and fixing are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they can be the same thing as long as the real issue is properly identified.