Thursday, May 9, 2013

Overcome Evil with Good

Looking at the evil things in this life can become overwhelming if we let it. Addressing memories of abuse is important for good mental and physical health, but it does not need to be a twenty-four hours a day preoccupation. One good way to maintain balance while working through bad memories and difficult counseling sessions is to make an extra effort to pratice gratitude. This isn't about pretending that bad things aren't so bad (minimization). This is about seeing the bad things that have happened and  also seeing that there are good things in life that we can rejoice in (realistic balance). We can save ourselves from becoming caught up in a non-ending self-pity loop or a fatalistic belief that there will never be any good things in life for us.

Look for positive moments in your day. Take the time to notice how God is blessing you and tell him thanks. Simple things like sparkling snow covered bushes, an encouraging phone call, or laughter with one of your children counts. Be on the look out, I know you'll find things.

Create positive moments. Intentionally give a smile, a friendly wave or a hug as a way to express gratitude to the people in your life. Watch a comedy. Say thank you to anyone who serves you in any way today.

As you attend to your emotional and physical needs, thank your Creator for your emotions and your body. As you eat, say thank you for the provision of food. As you drive, thank God for your vehicle or as you ride the bus thank Him for public transportation.

If you're blue about your past, try grounding yourself in the present--be grateful for something or someone in this day. You're on a marathon of healing, not a sprint. Taking time for gratitude will make it a more enjoyable journey. Gratitude for the good in your life increases hope, decreases stress hormones and raises our courage--its a behavior that will bless you and others as you walk toward wholeness.

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Recommended Books

  • 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages by Karla Downing
  • A Way of Hope by Leslie J. Barner
  • Angry Men and the Women Who Love Them by Paul Hegstrom
  • Battered But Not Broken by Patricia Riddle Gaddis
  • Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Bradshaw on the Family by John Bradshaw
  • Caring Enough to Forgive/Not Forgive by David Augsburger
  • Codependent No More by Melody Beattie
  • Healing the Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allendar
  • Keeping the Faith: Questions and Answers for the Abused Woman by Marie M. Fortune
  • Perfect Daughters by Robert J. Ackerman, Ph.D.
  • Recovery: A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics by Herbert L. Gravitz and Julie D. Bowden
  • Safe People by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • Slay Your Own Dragons by Nancy Good
  • The Cinderella Syndrome by Lee Ezell
  • The Dance of Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D.
  • The Search for Significance by Robert S. McGee
  • Turning Fear to Hope by Holly Wagner Green
  • When Violence Comes Home: Help for Victims of Spouse Abuse by Tim Jackson and Jeff Olson
  • Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft