Friday, April 24, 2009

LOST Lessons

“Oh, stop thinking how ridiculous it is and start asking yourself whether or not you believe it’s going to work. That’s why it’s called a leap of faith, Jack.”

I heard this quote on a recap episode of LOST the other night & for some reason it stuck out. I’m pretty sure that you could replace Jack’s name in that quote w/ any one of our names. Ben & I have been struggling w/ our faith lately. Not in the “do we believe in God” sense, but in the “do we really, really believe in God enough to move across the world & share our faith w/ others” sense.

Most people in our life stage & situation would think it’s “ridiculous” to even consider this & that’s ok - we need Christians everywhere. We are in the unique situation where we possibly feel called to do this work & it’s tough. I guess we are still in the “should we go back to the island” stage. At least we don’t have to suffer through a horrific plane crash in order to get back there! I think we are definitely LOST.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Wife Hinders My Prayers

I have been thinking a lot about the marriage relationship, and it was prompted even more by The Truth Project video series we are watching on Wednesday nights. I’m baffled by the call we have to honor, respect, and love our spouses, and especially with how that call was made 2000 years ago when the husband/wife relationship was even more rigidly socially controlled.

As I wrote that I realized how the husband/wife relationship today is probably as much rigidly socially controlled as it is was back then, but for very different reasons (and I am afraid to write the words “feminist movement” for those same reasons, so I will also write the words “abuse of power” in reference to men). I must head that tangent off right now…

Anyway, the man in this video series briefly looked at I Peter 3:7:

7 “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”

Despite the seemingly woman-hating part about the “weaker partner,” which I am pretty sure is not woman-hating, there is a very serious implication about what happens to a husband’s prayers when he is not considerate of his wife—they are hindered, run aground, unable to reach God. Unlike what my woman-hating blog title suggests, my wife does not hinder (also translated “run aground”) my prayers, I do that when I do not treat her with consideration and respect.

Of course, this begs the question, “Why do good things happen to bad husbands?”

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Man Hug

Also known as the Manbrace. It sounds like something Seinfield would make a joke about and then base a show around. The Man Hugger would be that guy that always gives hugs to Jerry, and somehow Jerry can't get away from him. "What's the deal with this guy? Does he think I need a hug? Do I look like a giant teddy bear?"? Then we'd all laugh and further stigmatize the Man Hug.

When did the Man Hug become awkward? Why does the three-tap ING hug have to exist? Do we fear the possibility that we may appear attracted to each other? Manbracing in celebration of a sports feat is acceptable, but less acceptable at other places, like when meeting at a restaurant for dinner.

I think it is based on the loss of emphasis society puts on the male relationship; and as a result, the father-son relationship has become one of the most neglected relationships today. I believe the de-emphasis on the male relationship has caused shame in many men, and because of the distant father-son relationship, men are not learning how to connect with each other. For those of us that are married, there is this tendency to think that our wives can and should be able to give us everything we need. What a terrible lie! For single men, you deal with the emphasis of being man, strong and not in need of anybody, especially not another man. Besides, what would people think?

Have you had your Man Hug today?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Go to Your Appointments

As I sit here waiting for clients to show, I decided to be a little altruistic and help out all the counselors out there who do not get paid unless clients show up for their appointments. I am doing this in the form of a plea, although I am certain anyone who reads our blog does not stand up their therapist. Here’s my plea: Go to your counseling appointments if you schedule them!

You can always make the claim that your unconscious kept you from going and made you forget, but I hold this as a very rare occurrence. You may have decided your therapist is an idiot and/or is not helping, so you are not going—which is true in some cases, but still let him know. Of course, if you talk to a therapist about why you do not want to see her anymore, you risk her making it about you, which can be really annoying, especially if it does have a little to do with you. You also risk being referred to somebody who can help you, but then that might mean you’re not helpless after all. Other times, you are just stuck and frustrated, and don’t feel like going.

Here is my second plea: Don’t lie to your therapist. Not telling a therapist why you are not going to go to sessions anymore does not help him become a better therapist. Don’t say, “you did a great job, and I am better now,” if you, as the client, do not feel satisfied. Our egos don’t need to be inflated any more. We are trained to hear criticism, good and bad, and it really does help us get better at our jobs. Also, if you do not feel like you need help anymore, let your therapist know, and don’t keep going for their benefit. Sounds funny, but it happens.

Finally, therapy can help, especially for those things you are really stuck on. I’ve seen it make the difference, sometimes in just one or two sessions. I believe our tendency in therapy is to avoid what we really need to talk about, because it is really hard to be vulnerable with a stranger. Defense systems spring into action in therapy, especially when confronted with something that may touch on something about you that you don’t like.

Well, another no show/no pay. I hope this is another case of miracle counseling where just the fact that they decided to go to counseling made the difference. By the way, this blog entry is for entertainment purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of an expert in the mental health field. The thoughts above are not clinically researched and are based on personal observations.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An Afternoon Conversation...

“Is it weird that I get furious when 5 million people stand by my office every day to make copies on the copier?” m
“It’s not like you come to their office & make copies all day.” b
“Yeah, & what have they ever accomplished in their life that’s so great?” m
“Nothing, that’s why they make spinal implants.” b