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The Pope Terry Shiavo Contrast and Sweet Guy
Posted by: admin - March 13, 2007
Question: Dear David, This (past week) has been some week. First there was the death of Terri Schiavo and then Pope John Paul II. Iím not Catholic, but Iím wondering about the psychological influence and impact on society of these two deaths coming so close together. A Weary News Watcher Answer: Dear Weary I think youíre making an important contrast. News that the pope's health had worsened dramatically came just a few hours after Schiavo's death. The bitter feud over whether she would have wanted to be kept alive with a feeding tube after suffering a devastating brain injury riveted Americans and sparked national debate about end-of-life issues. Many people, I think, became enmeshed in the division by psychologically joining one side or the other, but no sooner was the debate reaching fever pitch, than we were united at the bedside of Pope John Paul. When Parkinsonís disease and old age struck this once vigorous man, he could well have slumped into depression, but John Paul II drew the opposite conclusion: he used his affliction as a gift, to open a new chapter in his ministry. The Pope used his disease to reorient his entire papacy, putting himself up as a living example of the message he had been espousing. He made this explicit some years ago saying "The Pope must suffer so that every family and the world should see that there is, I would say, a higher gospel: the gospel of suffering, with which one must prepare the future," he said then. Throughout his infirm years, the Pope dismissed suggestions that he stand down. "Did Christ come down from the Cross?" he once asked. Not many will have read Salvifici Doloris, the Popeís 1984 Apostolic Letter on the redemptive power of suffering, but millions watched him live out his rejection of the notion that life in a hospital bed is not worth living. In the final stages of his life, the Popeís key message was made clearer than ever: the human body may get weary and be frail, but human life is sacred and the human spirit unconquerable. This man truly modeled his motto, ďDo not be afraid.Ē What a lesson for us all. Question: Dear David, Iím confused. Women say they want an understanding, sweet guy, but when I act that way, women get bored with me. I get anxious and run out of things to say. What can I do to become more appealing? Bothered in Bossier City Answer: Dear Bothered, Become interesting to yourself. What makes people interesting is being curious about and interested in things and developing these interests to the point of passion. That passion is a natural draw for others toward you. In addition, it will turn your attention away from inside yourself so you arenít so focused on your own performance.
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