And, increasingly we have been moving away from many traditions and the religious institutions that offered both guidance on how to have a good life, and stability and comfort in times of difficulty. This is especially true of the trend away from church attendance and membership. Scandals, prejudice and a perceived lack of kindness and compassion have seriously challenged the image of the church that Jesus envisioned, which was more like a community emanating from an understanding of God as unchanging divine Love.Continue Reading
A leopard can’t change his spots. Right? Sometimes we are persuaded to believe that who we are is set in stone. “I am who I am, and I can’t change,” is something many of us believe and tell ourselves. In modern therapy circles, it’s sometimes called self-acceptance.
Yet, for some who might be struggling with depression, or with something as simple as unlikable or limiting character traits, it’s a belief system that can make us feel helpless and unable to experience greater health or happiness. Or, this self-acceptance might simply limit us from experiences that could greatly bless us and others.
Countless books and websites inform us that we need to be more self-aware and committed to a reinvention of ourselves. And, some of us do take on the challenge to change aspects of our human character, especially if we do not feel fully satisfied and we come to recognize that specific changes might enable us to be more in charge of our lives.Continue Reading
Each year the Easter season offers us a moment in time to take the opportunity to consider the deeper meaning of life.
Is life really just about the body and various ways to manage its limited age and health expectations? It’s not – and we inherently know that. We sense that things of the Spirit are present with us and eternal.
From legislation on assisted suicide, to discussions about the need for better palliative care, the death process has once again become a major topic of conversation in the news media, as well as in religion, medicine, politics and families. And the discussion surrounding the subject of death is often painfully emotional, divisive and full of fear.Continue Reading
In the 2006 movie, The Pursuit of Happiness, homeless, unemployed, single parent Chris Gardner struggles to find a home and financial security for his son. The movie includes numerous heart-rending scenes of Gardner (played by Will Smith) lining up with his son at homeless shelters while trying to hold down an unpaid internship at a Wall Street investment company. He sees success at that internship as his last chance to pull his little family out of poverty.
The movie is based on the memoirs of the real Chris Gardner, who did make it through that difficult period with his son and became a successful Wall Street investment banker and philanthropist. At the time of the movie’s release, Gardner and his son (now an adult) were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. At one point she asked Gardener’s son whether he remembered being homeless, and what it was like. Christopher Jr. answered – in essence – that he only remembers how wonderful and safe it always felt to be with his dad.Continue Reading