Culture, Depression, Happiness

The irony is that we all–secular or religious people alike–make our biggest life-changing decisions on faith. Like is too short to learn what you need to know to live well. So we make a leap of faith when it comes to what we should believe in, who we will marry, and our careers. Who we happen to meet, one conversation when you were eighteen, the college course you happened to sign up for, the teacher you liked, the elevator you missed and the girl you met in the next one, decide whole lives. You would have to live a lifetime to be qualified to make any big decisions. … Only the trivialities–say, buying cars, washing machines, or airline seats–are chosen on the basis of good information.

–Frank Schaeffer, Crazy for God

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Why It Takes Lifetimes to Make a Good Decisions

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Depression, Psychology

Name Your Demons to Tame Your Demons

The spirit seeps into my body unannounced. Conscious mind hardly recognizing it. There’s no overwhelming smell of pitch or sulphur, no nefarious cackle betraying its evil intention. Only after the energy, call it anxiety or agitation, has a firm hold do I see the shift has transpired.

From here the rest comes predictably, the way a tension headache comes on–just as you knew it would–hours after those first signs of cramped shoulders and swollen neck manifest before moving on to the muscles around the ears and eyes and deep into the head like a slowly turning cement screw.

Suddenly I’m discouraged, irritable, and distracted.

The progression to darker planes isn’t inevitable. Things could slow down here if I’m able to alert myself, “This is anxiety.” If I can identify and name the intruder. Changing my mind directly by sitting and meditating, or indirectly by changing my behavior by taking a quick walk or playing with the dogs, can interrupt it, knock it off the tracks. But too frequently I don’t catch it here. It marches on.

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