Giving Thanks

Gianna posted Peter Breggin’s post on Giving Thanks on her blog, "Bipolar Blast," and I really enjoyed reading it. I don’t agree with all of it, but overall, it’s something we should all try to incorporate in our daily lives. Here are some highlights:

1. Love is joyful awareness. Love life–people, animals, nature, gardening, art and music, sports and exercise, literature, God–anything and anyone that brings you a joyful awareness of the wonder of being a living creature.

3. Gratitude is the antidote to self-pity. Feeling sorry for oneself is ruinous. Especially don’t fall into believing that we live in the worst of times. It takes little imagination to know how much worse it has been for other people in previous ages and in other places. Be grateful for this life.

8. Approach every single challenge in life with determination to master it. Otherwise you won’t handle it. Feeling helpless in the face of adversity is a prescription for failure. Deciding to take on the challenges is a prescription for self-satisfaction and makes success more likely.

9. Don’t hide from or stifle your painful emotions. Feeling pain signals that there is something wrong in your life that needs immediate attention. Invite your painful emotions to tell you everything they can about what you really want out of life. All psychoactive substances, from illegal drugs to psychiatric medications, suppress our real emotions and should be avoided, especially in time of suffering and fear when we especially need to know what we are feeling.

10. Reject being labeled with a psychiatric diagnosis like depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety. There are no "psychiatric disorders;" only life disorders. All of us have to struggle, to go through hard times, and to find a way of becoming more in control of our emotions and more successful in our actions.

11. Don’t think of yourself as a survivor. Intending to survive guarantees little more than getting by. Think of yourself as some who intends to triumph.

12. Forgiving other people liberates us from hate. You won’t get even by hating, you’ll get miserable, bitter and spiritless. Take care of yourself by forgiving, and if necessary by avoiding hurtful people, but don’t waste a minute hating.

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