Living or Surviving

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About a hundred years ago, the average life expectancy in the USA was under 55. As of 2018, the average has gone up to about 78. Advances in medicine, science, and a better understanding of the body have contributed to the longer life expectancy. It’s truly a blessing to many. However, I’ve observed that although many people live 23 or more years longer than their predecessors, often times those extra years are full of chronic conditions and illnesses, hospital trips, and medication, severely limiting what one is able to do in their later years. In fact, the latest research conducted in the US and Mexico shows that 55% of adults take 2 pharmaceutical drugs regularly, and 38% of adults over the age of 56 take at least 4. These conditions are unpleasant and have lead me to believe there is a difference between living longer and surviving longer. Continue reading

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Cleaning Out the Fridge

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Recently my wife and I cleaned out our fridge. We knew we had to clean it, but it wasn’t until a weird smell started coming from the fridge that we decided to do something about it. As expected, we found food that had gone bad. However, there was more bad food in there than we had anticipated. Odds are that many people reading this have had similar experiences; you go to clean something only to find that there was a bigger mess than originally expected. As I thought about the incident I realized how relatable it was to life. Continue reading

Snake Bite

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I live in Utah, in the United states. It’s a desert, and like all deserts, we have snakes. Thankfully, though, most snakes tend to live more in the mountains and southern part of the state. An interesting thing I once heard, is that the most dangerous part of a snake bite was not the bite itself. Rather it was the poison. If someone gets bit and only attends to the wound, worse damage will happen internally because of the poison. The person must be treated for the poison. Without proper treatment any superficial bandaging is virtually useless. This is very similar with us.

We all receive metaphorical snake bites from time to time. These come in the form of people taking advantage of us, talking behind our back, betraying trust, abusing us; basically anytime someone does something harmful to us. Just like a snake bite, these legitimately hurt. It’s not pleasant when someone breaks a promise or if a spouse decides to leave. However, as painful as these experiences can be, they are not the most damaging. Continue reading

Invest in Yourself

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“Invest in your future.” Have you ever heard this phrase before? I had heard it several times when I was in high school and in my early years of college. In general, people who use this phrase are referring to receiving an education or getting their finances together. These two areas are both great and important things to invest in, but we often forget other areas of our lives that require investing. If we don’t invest now, we can end up broke, and not necessarily financially. Continue reading

Forgiving Yourself

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Why do we have a hard time forgiving ourselves? As I’ve thought about this question I’ve narrowed it down to three main reason. 1. Shame 2. An incorrect view of the experience or mistakes in general. 3. A misunderstanding of how we learn.

Shame is a different emotion than guilt. Guilt is actually a healthy emotion that helps us in our development. When we do something that goes against our own values or our divine nature, we feel guilty. This emotion is a message from the body to let us know we are not in line with our values. We can then correct the issue and move forward.

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The Secret Ingredient

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In the movie Kung Fu Panda, we follow the journey of Po, a young panda who is told that he is a prophesied warrior destined to achieve greatness and become the protector of the land. The problem is, Po is overweight, clumsy, and seemingly not at all the warrior type. He spends a portion of the movie training, doing his best to catch up with the Kung Fu masters, but he fails spectacularly at first. He starts to believe that he is nothing special, and will never be the great hero he’s supposed to be. Continue reading

Splinters

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Recently I was driving home with my kids, when my four year old said, “Mommy, do you remember when I had that splinter and you had to take it out?”

“Yes, I remember” I replied

“Well, that hurt.”

“I know, sweetie, but it would hurt more to leave it in.”

As I thought about that, the impression came to me that many of us are living with emotional splinters. We leave them there, because we think it will be easier than to pull it out.

Although emotional splinters can represent many things, today I want to focus on forgiveness. Continue reading