Don’t Get Discouraged!

Surgeon General Jerome Adams issued a Public Health Advisory stating that more Americans should be prepared to help victims suffering from opioid overdose by routinely carrying the drug Naloxone, a drug known to reverse the affects of opioids. In 2016, 42,249 people died from opioid overdose. That represents 119 people dying a very preventable death each day. What a heart breaking reality we are facing in America.

This opioid epidemic brings to my mind how powerful these drugs are at discouraging the human spirit to live and overcome obstacles. Addiction overrides our natural instinct to avoid things that will harm us. More of the drug is taken knowing that it may even cause death. Addicts can get to the place where their desire for the drug is so strong they get discouraged and give up hope to ever be freed. In this state of mind many just resign themselves to being lifetime addicts. And some may indeed intentionally overdose in exhaustion from the struggle.

The temptation to give up a difficult struggle is real. Whether it is a difficult marriage, a challenging class, a disabling illness, an impossible child – the temptation to quit and give up is an obvious option. When you are bombarded with heavy expectations that continue to be unmet there is always a temptation to give up and quit in an effort to remove the stress caused by the expectation.

The temptation to quit when things are hard and difficult is really a natural response to pain. Pain is a sensation that lets you know something is not right and may possibly be harmful for you. Homeostasis is that stable state all organisms and systems tend to seek that is self-preserving and safe. It is that normal relaxed status quo that makes up our comfort zone. When this comfort is disturbed all systems are activated to get things back to normal. This is why it is so hard to go to the gym and to keep exercising when it starts to hurt. That is why criticism often leads to defensiveness. The temptation to quit is often unbearable and irresistible because it feels like you are going to die. In order to keep from quitting one must overcome the urge with contrasting thoughts that say you are not going to die.

The old adage “no pain, no gain!” brings to my mind the picture of someone struggling to lift that last rep on the bench press. You’re not going to die but it sure feels like it. In these situations you must push through through the pain to reach your goals. In this sense, ignoring the pain is mostly a good thing.

But to avoid personal damage, that “you’re not going to die” thought should be truth based. It is very easy for us to slip into denial to convince

ourselves that what we are doing is not going to cause us harm when in actuality it will. Engaging in a forbidden relationship is an example of fooling oneself to think what they are doing will cause no harm. It is painful to resist lustful and infatuated feelings. But the truth that not resisting these emotions will ultimately cause you more harm must prevail. The truth, unfortunately, is often misaligned by popular opinion and behavior. Ignoring it though, leads to the demise of many.

Opioid overdose, the most popular preventable cause of death today, is often an example of being in denial about the truth that this thing will kill you. The pain of withdrawal really is the best option. Instead of the addict saying to themselves “I’ll be alright!”, “I can handle it.” or in despair “This is overwhelming me!”, they should say “No matter how strong my desire for this drug it is not necessary for my survival. This is dangerous behavior that I must stop. I must avoid this behavior no matter how difficult in order to avoid more pain and pain to my loved ones.”

If you are going through a tough time right now let me encourage you to consider the source of that pain and whether the pain means quit doing what you are doing or keep pushing through it. It is very important to get wise counsel when facing this decision. Your counsel can make the difference between failure or success.

Whatever difficulties you are facing, setbacks you have experienced or mistakes you have made, don’t forget that God is with you. He will help you make it through this challenge. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up. Keep trying! You may be just one strike away till the tree you have been banging on falls. Remember Thomas Edison’s light bulb worked on the one thousand and first attempt. You can do it!


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

What do you practice?

My sister fowarded me this profound video today that was so remarkable I had to share it with my readers. Let me know what you think.


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

Another Year Another Opportunity to Become a Better Lover

Happy New Year from Lifestyle!

You’ve heard it said that what it took to get her it takes to keep her. This is true for her just as much as him. Yet for many couples, one or both fail to exert the energy toward the relationship they did while dating. Think about it – when dating, you’re constantly thinking about each other. You take every opportunity to see one another. You do thoughtful things for each other to let the other know how much you love them. You are drawn to touch one another and express sexual attraction. You talk about how you are feeling in the relationship and otherwise. You talk about your future together. Your conversation is full and engaging as you feel this person is as interested in you as you are in them. You feel safe and protected. They encourage you and demonstrate their belief in you. There is also a lot of grace demonstrated as faults are easily overlooked or downplayed.
For too many couples they are unable to keep this up. Once other life issues come into focus less focus is given to the marriage. Most simply fail to keep their marriage in balance with the rest of their life. Others are emotionally unable to handle the weight of satisfying another person in marriage. One partner has to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to the relationship tasks. A healthy marriage requires two emotionally healthy individuals.
Emotional health consists of healthy thinking about oneself and others. It is the ability, amidst the challenges and stresses of life, to find happiness for oneself and contribute to the happiness of another. Emotional health is being able to admit one’s faults, accept criticism, and make improvements on oneself. Emotional health is the ability to criticise their spouse in a way that is sensitive and effective at producing change. It is the ability to comprehend one’s impact on the others thinking, emotions and behaviors.
Ultimately, I believe emotional health is something learned from one’s parents. If your parents were not emotionally healthy it’s not too late to learn new thought habits. It can really help to have an emotionally  more productive from an emotionally healthy mate. Or from an emotionally healthy surrogate family. Or through therapy or a combination of the above.
A couple must be open to discuss the unhealthy parts of their relationship in order for change to occur. Often these discussions turn into harsh arguments. But couples mustn’t allow the conflict to discourage them from addressing these issues. They should stay calm, present and listen to one another. This is where a Marriage and Family Therapist can be very helpful.

It’s a New Year! This is a great time to assess your marriage. It’s a great time to assess each other. Identify what you want to make better in your marriage this year so you can become a better lover. Some frown on making New Year’s resolutions. I strongly advise for you to do so. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Set goals for yourself and work toward them. They say people who set goals are more productive than those who don’t. Set the goal to become a better lover.

This year I plan to drop a weekly marriage tip and accompanying blog post to encourage couples in their marriage. Click subscribe to get these weekly messages. You can get my tips on Facebook as well.


 

Are you doing the right things in your marriage? Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage has been written to encourage couples to focus on what really matters to keep things sizzling hot in their marriage.

Ready to take your marriage to the next level? The How to Stop Arguing and Build a Happy Marriage Course will take you there.

The Sizzling Hot Marriage Show – DJ OZONE #1

Curious about what you will learn in therapy or from taking the Sizzling Hot Marriage Maker Course?

Watch Orlando and his wife grow their marriage through this process.

Schedule your Treatment Planning Session

Sow the Seeds

You have probably noted the farmers and gardeners are out these days working their fields. The farming cycle is one in which we should pay close attention. Late Fall early Spring farmers begin planting seeds and seedlings in anticipation of a Summer and Fall harvest. We must be careful to do the same thing in our personal lives. While we are not limited to a particular time of year, we should still be intentional about setting a regular schedule of seed sowing in order to produce a harvest of good not only in our lives but in the lives of others. Poverty comes when seeds are not sown, don’t produce a harvest or the harvest is destroyed or taken away. There is not much we can do about a failed harvest or its destruction. But failure to sow seeds is completely on us.
I’m excited to have completed my first book entitled “The Sizzle Mindset: Seven Secrets to Keep the Passion Alive in Your Marriage“. Look out for my next post where I will share with you how to get your copy to enjoy yourself or share with somebody else. I have sown many seeds into this book over the last four years. I have spent my resources of time and money to see this project to fruition. It is a blessing to see this seed emerge from the earth and germinate into, I’m hoping, a great harvest. My hope is that it will feed the hungry soul of couples around the globe who are seeking to make and keep their marriage strong and healthy. This book is an example of sowing seeds.
What seeds have you sown? What harvest are you seeking to reap? What harvests are you reaping right now?
I have other harvests I want to reap. One is spending more time with my family. Another is losing weight. Whatever harvest you are seeking to reap, remember, you must sow the seed first. Certainly God reaps where He has not sown. But He has not designed that we sit around and wait for Him to give us a harvest. We must get out there, do the work, make the sacrifice, and sow the seeds.

Getting in Shape

Is your fitness routine sporadic? If so you are a lot like me. I’ve been starting and stopping it seems all my life. So my wife and I started back at the gym in hopes of one more time getting buff (and getting rid of some of these unsightly bulges). The fact of the matter is that we are getting older and our bodies are wearing out. Research shows that individuals who regularly exercise are healthier and live longer. What got me on this particular article is that exercise actually retards aging. Wow that’s what I want – to slow down the aging process. Bringing up the rear of the baby boomers I figure its time for me to get more serious about getting in shape. How about you?