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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      What is borderline personality disorder (BPD)?
      If you have borderline personality disorder (BPD), you probably feel like you’re on a rollercoaster—and not just because of your unstable emotions or relationships, but also the wavering sense of who you are. Your self-image, goals, and even your likes and dislikes may change frequently in ways that feel confusing and unclear.
      People with BPD tend to be extremely sensitive. Some describe it as like having an exposed nerve ending. Small things can trigger intense reactions. And once upset, you have trouble calming down. It’s easy to understand how this emotional volatility and inability to self-soothe leads to relationship turmoil and impulsive—even reckless—behavior. When you’re in the throes of overwhelming emotions, you’re unable to think straight or stay grounded. You may say hurtful things or act out in dangerous or inappropriate ways that make you feel guilty or ashamed afterwards. It’s a painful cycle that can feel impossible to escape. But it’s not.
      BPD is treatable
      In the past, many mental health professionals found it difficult to treat borderline personality disorder (BPD), so they came to the conclusion that there was little to be done. But we now know that BPD is treatable. In fact, the long-term prognosis for BPD is better than those for depression and bipolar disorder. However, it requires a specialized approach. The bottom line is that most people with BPD can and do get better—and they do so fairly rapidly with the right treatments and support.
      Healing is a matter of breaking the dysfunctional patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving that are causing you distress. It’s not easy to change lifelong habits. Choosing to pause, reflect, and then act in new ways will feel unnatural and uncomfortable at first. But with time you’ll form new habits that help you maintain your emotional balance and stay in control.
      Read more here: 
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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Narcissism is a tricky concept. Although most people intuitively understand why narcissism is toxic to be around (the superiority complex that makes a person treat all others as beneath them, the aggressive need for control, the inability to take responsibility for their actions, and many other harmful behaviors), many still often find themselves ensnared by a narcissist's charm long before they actually realize the person they're with suffers from a serious personality disorder.
      If you find yourself dating a narcissist, it is possible to make the relationship work with a lot of strength, patience, and self-love—as long as the relationship hasn't turned abusive. But for many, narcissism is unbearable in the long term, and a breakup is absolutely necessary. The challenge, then, will be to get out safely.
      If you have decided that it's time to leave your narcissistic partner, you are likely in for a big challenge on multiple levels. Here's what to do to protect yourself.
      https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/break-up-with-narcissist
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      As more and more people discuss mental health issues in public forums, it seems to be lifting some of the stigma surrounding the topic. New research reveals that the number of students seeking help for mental health problems has risen considerably between 2009 and 2015.
      Anxiety, depression, and panic attacks are on the rise among U.S. college students, suggests a new study.
      Sara Oswalt, from the University of Texas at San Antonio, is the lead author of the new study, which was published in the Journal of American College Health.
      According to estimates that the scientists cite, around 26 percent of people aged 18 and above in the United States live with a mental health condition in any given year.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Date:
      March 12, 2018
      Source:
      University of British Columbia
      Summary:
      Therapy dog sessions for stressed-out students are an increasingly popular offering at North American universities. Now, new research confirms that some doggy one-on-one time really can do the trick of boosting student wellness.
      Therapy dog sessions for stressed-out students are an increasingly popular offering at North American universities. Now, new research from the University of British Columbia confirms that some doggy one-on-one time really can do the trick of boosting student wellness.
      "Therapy dog sessions are becoming more popular on university campuses, but there has been surprisingly little research on how much attending a single drop-in therapy dog session actually helps students," said Emma Ward-Griffin, the study's lead author and research assistant in the UBC department of psychology. "Our findings suggest that therapy dog sessions have a measurable, positive effect on the wellbeing of university students, particularly on stress reduction and feelings of negativity."
      In research published today in Stress and Health, researchers surveyed 246 students before and after they spent time in a drop-in therapy dog session. Students were free to pet, cuddle and chat with seven to 12 canine companions during the sessions. They also filled out questionnaires immediately before and after the session, and again about 10 hours later.
      The researchers found that participants reported significant reductions in stress as well as increased happiness and energy immediately following the session, compared to a control group of students who did not spend time at a therapy dog session. While feelings of happiness and life satisfaction did not appear to last, some effects did.
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Kurt
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Everyone knows that a dog is a man’s best friend, but a recently released Swedish study is giving that hackneyed saying a whole new meaning for men — and women — everywhere.
      The study, published in Scientific Reports on Friday, found that dog ownership may really help you live longer.
      The study tracked, over a period of 12 years, more than 3.4 million Swedish adults without a history of heart disease. Overall, the study concluded, dog ownership was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and "all-cause mortality" in the general population.
      The effects of dog ownership were especially pronounced in single-person households, where the presence of a pet lowered the risk of death by 33 percent and chances of a heart attack by 11 percent.
      The study linked ownership of breeds originally bred for hunting, including terriers and retrievers, with the lowest risk of CVD.
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      (CNN)The benefits that come with owning a dog are clear-- physical activity, support, companionship -- but owning a dog could literally be saving your life
      Dog ownership is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and death, finds a new Swedish study published Friday in the journal Scientific Reports.
      For people living alone, owning a dog can decrease their risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular related death by 36%, when compared to single individuals without a pet, according to the study. Chances of a heart attack were also found to be 11% lower.
      Multi-person household owners also saw benefits, though to a lesser extent. Risk of death among these dog owners fell by 11% and their chances of cardiovascular death were 15% lower. But their risk of a heart attack was not reduced by owning a dog.
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      HereÂ’s what they are:
      1. Be together for the right reasons
      DonÂ’t ever be with someone because someone else pressured you to. I got married the first time because I was raised Catholic and thatÂ’s what you were supposed to do. Wrong. I got married the second time because I was miserable and lonely and thought having a loving wife would fix everything for me. Also wrong. Took me three tries to figure out what should have been obvious from the beginning, the only reason you should ever be with the person youÂ’re with is because you simply love being around them. It really is that simple.
      – Greg
      Before we even get into what you should do in your relationship, letÂ’s start with what not to do.
      When I sent out my request to readers for advice, I added a caveat that turned out to be illuminating. I asked people who were on their second or third (or fourth) marriages what they did wrong. Where did they mess up?
      By far, the most common answer was “being with the person for the wrong reasons.”
      Some of these wrong reasons included:
      Pressure from friends and family Feeling like a “loser” because they were single and settling for the first person that came along Being together for image—because the relationship looked good on paper (or in photos), not because the two people actually admired each other Being young and naive and hopelessly in love and thinking that love would solve everything As we’ll see throughout the rest of this article, everything that makes a relationship “work” (and by work, I mean that it is happy and sustainable for both people involved) requires a genuine, deep-level admiration for each other. Without that mutual admiration, everything else will unravel.
      The other “wrong” reason to enter into a relationship is, like Greg said, to “fix” yourself. This desire to use the love of someone else to soothe your own emotional problems inevitably leads to codependence, an unhealthy and damaging dynamic between two people where they tacitly agree to use each other’s love as a distraction from their own self-loathing. We’ll get more into codependence later in this article, but for now, it’s useful to point out that love, itself, is neutral. It is something that can be both healthy or unhealthy, helpful or harmful, depending on why and how you love someone else and are loved by someone else. By itself, love is never enough to sustain a relationship.
      Read more: https://qz.com/884448/every-successful-relationship-is-successful-for-the-same-exact-reasons/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Feeling blue? You can now ask Google for help.
      The search giant wants people with depression to seek treatment and will prompt US users when they search for depression-related terms: “Check if you’re clinically depressed.”
      Users will then be directed to a clinically validated questionnaire, called a PHQ-9, to measure their level of depression, Google explained on its blog. The questionnaire is not meant to replace a mental health professional.
      Google — which partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to create the self-evaluation — hopes the confidential survey will spur more people to broach the subject with their doctor.
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      In the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, many of the genes required to form new memories are shut down by a genetic blockade, contributing to the cognitive decline seen in those patients.
      MIT researchers have now shown that they can reverse that memory loss in mice by interfering with the enzyme that forms the blockade. The enzyme, known as HDAC2, turns genes off by condensing them so tightly that they can’t be expressed.
      For several years, scientists and pharmaceutical companies have been trying to develop drugs that block this enzyme, but most of these drugs also block other members of the HDAC family, which can lead to toxic side effects. The MIT team has now found a way to precisely target HDAC2, by blocking its interaction with a binding partner called Sp3.
      “This is exciting because for the first time we have found a specific mechanism by which HDAC2 regulates synaptic gene expression,” says Li-Huei Tsai, director of MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the study’s senior author.
      Blocking that mechanism could offer a new way to treat memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients. In this study, the researchers used a large protein fragment to interfere with HDAC-2, but they plan to seek smaller molecules that would be easier to deploy as drugs.
      Picower Institute postdocs Hidekuni Yamakawa, Jemmie Cheng, and Jay Penney are the lead authors of the study, which appears in the Aug. 8 edition of Cell Reports.
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The age at which a male first sees pornography is associated with certain sexist attitudes later in life, according to a team of researchers from the University of Nebraska.
      Their survey revealed the younger the first viewing occurred, the more likely a male was to want power over women.
      While if they were older, they were more likely to be sexually promiscuous.
      Of the 330 undergraduates surveyed, with a median age of 20, the average age they first saw pornography was 13.
      The youngest was only five, while the oldest was 26.
      The unpublished findings were presented at a convention in Washington.
      Playboy lifestyle
      Lead researcher Alyssa Bischmann and her team asked the men, the vast majority of whom were heterosexual and white, when they first saw porn and whether it was intentional, accidental or forced.
      They were then asked 46 questions which measured how they conformed to one of two behavioural traits - seeking power over women or sexually promiscuous behaviour and living a playboy lifestyle.
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      At an office for Healthy Minds in High Wycombe, England, psychological well-being practitioners perform hourlong evaluations over the phone to decide what type of therapy is most appropriate for people who call asking for help. CreditAndrew Testa for The New York Times
       
      LONDON — England is in the midst of a unique national experiment, the world’s most ambitious effort to treat depression, anxiety and other common mental illnesses.
      The rapidly growing initiative, which has gotten little publicity outside the country, offers virtually open-ended talk therapy free of charge at clinics throughout the country: in remote farming villages, industrial suburbs, isolated immigrant communities and high-end enclaves. The goal is to eventually create a system of primary care for mental health not just for England but for all of Britain.
      At a time when many nations are debating large-scale reforms to mental health care, researchers and policy makers are looking hard at England’s experience, sizing up both its popularity and its limitations. Mental health care systems vary widely across the Western world, but none have gone nearly so far to provide open-ended access to talk therapies backed by hard evidence. Experts say the English program is the first broad real-world test of treatments that have been studied mostly in carefully controlled lab conditions.
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      (Eph 5:21-30) An aerialist catapults from his swinging trapeze and folds into a human ball as he somersaults through the air. He snaps out of the spin and extends his arms toward his partner, confident she will be there to catch him. However, his partner is mad at him and unwilling to support him. She refuses to play her role in this very important part of the act. The result is a failed performance, a shocked audience and an injured aerialist. This illustrates the effort required from both husband and wife in a marriage. It takes two to make the marriage a success. However, if one mate refuses to play their God given role as set out in the Bible, the result can be disastrous. We should never let petty differences, or disagreements keep us from doing what God requires of us as a husband or as a wife. This becomes even more important when there is an audience, such as kids, in the home. The way the mother treats the father or vise versa can have a huge effect on them. It could even influence what type of husband or wife they will be in the future. If each member applies the counsel found in the Bible and works together, the "show" can be a success.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      If you’ve been through a rough breakup, where you've been mistreated in any way—cheated on, emotionally or physically abused, having had to deal with a narcissist, psychopath, or sociopath—you probably have the urge to exorcise those demons by talking out the bad stuff. And, while venting to a close, trusted companion or a therapist can be cathartic, you need to be careful about how and with whom you do it. Here are a few things to consider: 
      1. Many people prefer not to take sides.
      I’m sure you’ve heard people say, "You just weren’t a match." That’s what they say when they don’t want to take sides or get involved. Even your best friends might say this, especially if they’ve heard the same story too many times. They’ll give you a sympathetic ear for a while, but then they brush it off with "he/she just wasn’t right for you." Aggravating, yes, because, to you, it doesn't feel like a blameless breakup—but you’ve got to let them off the hook. They just want to see you happy and are hoping leaving your relationship that "didn’t work" will help you find your well-being again.
      2. Some people may need to keep interacting with your ex.
      Perhaps your ex still haunts the places where they socialize, maybe they see the person at work, or they just want to keep them as a Facebook friend. There's no need to create drama with the friends you still have, unless your ex was abusive and the only way to keep yourself safe is to cut all ties. In those cases, it's absolutely your right to expect your close friends to sever their connection with the ex as well.
      3. You can't save the next victim.
      This is often one of our strongest rationales for spreading the truth about an ex who turned out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing: to forewarn their next victims and save them years of misery. The only problem is that those conquests are not going to believe you. They’ll just chalk up your remarks to bitterness while continuing with their infatuation. As hard as it is, you just have to let them learn their own lessons, even if it has to be the hard way.
      4. Preoccupation feeds attachment.
      Whether you decide to speak out or not, limit the amount of time you spend talking and thinking about your ex. Even this potentially empowering act can perpetuate your unhealthy attachment if you give it too much power. And the longer you stay attached, the less able you are to move on. It’s unhealthy, it’s unattractive, and eventually, even you will find it boring.
      5. You'll be best served letting a therapist or support group be your open ear.
      There are places for venting—support groups, coaches, or therapists. If you were at all abused, reach out to counselors and support groups specifically intended for survivors. That's where real recovery begins.
      Read more: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/venting-about-your-ex-cathartic-or-toxic?utm_term=pos-1&utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily1&utm_campaign=170723
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Date:
      July 17, 2017
      Source:
      Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
      Summary:
      More than a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep, and growing evidence suggests it’s not only taking a toll on their physical health through heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and/or other conditions, but hurting their mental health as well.
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      By Leah Scott
      Breakups suck no matter how you spin 'em. But acknowledging the uncertainties and seeking out the positive in the tough moments can help you turn yours into an experience that's illuminating rather than embittering. Ending a relationship is never not painful, but it ended for a reason, right? Whether you were with someone who didn't treat you well or who wanted to be with someone else, you are free from that toxicity. So, why not focus on the good?
      Your mindset during this time is absolutely crucial to remaining positive and healthy. With that in mind, here are seven things I believe are essential to maintaining a positive outlook and turning your breakup into a blessing:
      1. Practice gratitude.
      Each morning when you wake up, think about what you’re grateful for. It can be as simple as the bed you sleep in, your children, or the fact that you have a roof over your head and a family that loves you. This period of your life will be tumultuous. Some days, everything will seem wrong, and you'll feel indescribably sad or angry. Some days you won't be able to think straight. It’s as if you’re in a fog. And some days, you'll be filled with hope and a sense of freedom. Gratitude will help you to see the beauty that's emerging from this storm.
      2. Breathe.
      Learning to breathe in the good and breathe out the bad is a crucial tool in navigating rough emotional waters. Take deep, cleansing, calming breaths before dealing with stressful situations like court dates, arbitration, or dividing your belongings: 4-4-4 breathing is great for providing structure to this practice when you feel out of control. It is breathing in for 4 seconds, holding that breath for 4 seconds, and exhaling for 4 seconds. Just focus on those breathing techniques until you feel ready to tackle whatever's coming.
      3. Let go of expectations.
      Whether it's a custody agreement or a conversation about how to deal with the holidays, not having any expectations will save you endless disappointment. According to the Second Truth of Buddhism, desire causes suffering. The desire for a certain outcome is what creates our expectations, and unmet expectations lead to inevitable disappointment. Let go of them, and embrace the uncertainty of this phase of your life. Whatever happens, you'll be able to handle it. Trust yourself.
      4. Enjoy your freedom.
      You are free to move, to travel, and to date and meet new people. Embrace that freedom. William Butler Yeats said, "The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper." This is a whole new chapter. What do you dream about doing? Does your work feed your soul? Find out what does, and go after it.
      5. Learn to forgive.
      The end of a relationship is inevitably painful, and it may be difficult to forgive your ex. It starts, believe it or not, with forgiving yourself. You are your worst critic, and when things like this happen, we tend to focus on what we did wrong. Reflecting on the past is only beneficial insofar as it helps you make better choices in the future. Learn the lessons, then let go. I’ve been going through a divorce for two years, and I still struggle with forgiveness. I am a stronger person because of what I've dealt with. Knowing that empowers me to forgive.
      6. Be present.
      Our lives are continually disrupted by text messages, phone calls, and social media. It's becoming more and more difficult to just be present. Think about what being present means to you. For me, it means communing with nature. It means going for a walk and noticing the bright sky, the trees changing colors, or the birds chirping. I try to look at the world the way my children see it. They see the ocean in a puddle, a forest monster in a pile of leaves, a valiant fortress in the boughs of a tree. Try to sharpen your sense and see the magic around you.
      7. Shed the toxic people.
      You can't make a toxic person happy, but they will likely succeed in bringing you down if you keep spending time with them. The end of a major relationship should be a time of cleansing, getting rid of the debris of your life. Reconsider your relationships in this new phase, and distance yourself from anyone who drains you. It is OK to distant yourself from people not adding value to your well-being. If you want to make the most of this next period in your life, you need to surround yourself with positive people who will uplift and support you through the hard times and the good.
      https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-keep-your-breakup-from-making-you-bitter?utm_term=pos-8&utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily1&utm_campaign=170713
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      When we find ourselves interested in a certain job or person our initial inclination may be to only focus on the things that we like about it. We zoom in on those aspects of the job or person and this can cause us to miss out on the bigger picture. That great job that pays very well may cause you to miss meetings or service. That guy with the dreamy eyes or that girl with the beautiful smile could have disgusting habits, may treat others poorly or may lack spiritual qualities. It's important that we learn how to back up and look at whatever we may be interested in objectively. Even more important it is to not make costly decisions without relying on Jehovah. Proverbs 3:5,6-"Trust in Jehovah with all your heart, And do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, And he will make your paths straight."
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Date:
      June 6, 2017
      Source:
      Michigan State University
      Summary:
      The power of friendship gets stronger with age and may even be more important than family relationships, indicates new research.
      The power of friendship gets stronger with age and may even be more important than family relationships, indicates new research by a Michigan State University scholar.In a pair of studies involving nearly 280,000 people, William Chopik found that friendships become increasingly important to one’s happiness and health across the lifespan. Not only that, but in older adults, friendships are actually a stronger predictor of health and happiness than relationships with family members.“Friendships become even more important as we age,” said Chopik, assistant professor of psychology. “Keeping a few really good friends around can make a world of difference for our health and well-being. So it’s smart to invest in the friendships that make you happiest.”
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      As the Harvard Women’s Health Watch reported, “Dozens of studies have shown that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”
      In a study of 7,000 men and women in Alameda County, Calif., begun in 1965, Lisa F. Berkman and S. Leonard Syme found that “people who were disconnected from others were roughly three times more likely to die during the nine-year study than people with strong social ties,” John Robbins recounted in his marvelous book on health and longevity, “Healthy at 100.”
      This major difference in survival occurred regardless of people’s age, gender, health practices or physical health status. In fact, the researchers found that “those with close social ties and unhealthful lifestyles (such as smoking, obesity and lack of exercise) actually lived longer than those with poor social ties but more healthful living habits,” Mr. Robbins wrote. However, he quickly added, “Needless to say, people with both healthful lifestyles and close social ties lived the longest of all.”
      In another study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine in 1984, researchers at the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York found that among 2,320 men who had survived a heart attack, those with strong connections with other people had only a quarter the risk of death within the following three years as those who lacked social connectedness.
      Researchers at Duke University Medical Center also found that social ties can reduce deaths among people with serious medical conditions. Beverly H. Brummett and colleagues reported in 2001 that among adults with coronary artery disease, the mortality rate was 2.4 times higher among those who were socially isolated.
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Did you know that one out of every five people is predisposed to experience higher levels of mental, physical, and emotional sensitivity? They're called highly sensitive people (HSPs) and I'm one of them. Many, but not all HSPs are empaths as well—meaning they can feel and absorb the emotions of those around them. 
      Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. was one of the first to study and bring awareness to the unique needs and behavior patterns of HSPs. Aron found that highly sensitive people interact with their environments and approach relationships in a way that’s slightly different from the rest of the population. You can read more about her findings in her book, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You, or take this test on her website to determine if you are an HSP.
      A few attributes of HSPs are that they're more likely to cry and become overwhelmed by sensory input; they also notice and respond to changes in lighting, sound, speech, and body language that others may not notice. Changes in plans, violent television shows, and even strong odors can completely throw HSPs for an energetic loop. This may cause a seemingly unwarranted emotional response or create a need for withdrawal on the HSP’s part. Sometimes when a highly sensitive person has reached his or her "limit," (s)he will begin to find ways to turn the noise down without explaining why to those around them.
      As I mentioned, many HSPs are also empaths. Empaths have the ability to absorb other people’s emotions and feel them as if they are their own. HSPs are more responsive to environmental stimuli—information coming to them from their environment and perceived by the five senses—while empaths are more responsive to energetic stimuli. An HSP can usually pinpoint exactly what’s triggering their response while an empath may be vaguer, citing that they just "know" or "have a feeling."
      As an HSP and an empath, I’ve found plenty of information about managing my responsiveness, sorting through what is mine versus what belongs to others, and what I call "pulling back to center," or grounding, after interaction with others. However, if you happen to be in a relationship with an HSP or an empath, then you're dealing with a unique kind of person, and you may be wondering what you can do to be a better friend, lover, and support system for them. 
      Here are a few pointers:
      1. We need you to choose honesty.
      Here’s the thing with HSPs and empaths; if we ask you what’s up it’s because we already know something’s up. We respect your privacy and understand that you may not be ready to share or talk about something we’ve noticed or sensed, but it’s better for you to say that instead of pretending that there’s nothing going on. 
      2. We need you to support our cleansing and grounding routine.
      Both HSPs and empaths know their limits, and most of us have learned what helps us reset our energy. That may be yoga, music, alone time, a break from talking, a particular art or craft, or time outdoors, etc. It helps for our friends or partner to take notice and support us by giving us space to reset, or joining us. It means a lot for a loved one to change speed, come to yoga class, or just walk in silence with us. We appreciate that and will repay you as soon as we move back into the emotional space to do so. That brings me to my next point.
      3. We need you to take no for an answer.
      When an empath or HSP is already vibing low (needing to reset or clear energy), it can be massively draining for a friend or loved one to "force" us to go out. We’re not depressed; we’re recharging. We’re not boring; we enjoy a different kind of adventure. So if you’ve asked an empath or HSP to go to the club or to a public event with you, and they’ve said no, simply leave the offer on the table, and let it be. 
      4. We need you to make sure things don't get one-sided.
      Empaths understand and care about your feelings and well-being; often we will compromise or move things around in advance for the sake of those around us. For this reason, our relationships can get one-sided rather quickly. We make amazing sounding boards and support systems, but don’t forget that we need that in return, especially from those who are closest to us.
      By Brittany Jackson
       
      https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-love-a-highly-sensitive-person?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=170601
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      by Donald Miller
      I’ve only had two friends (that I know about) who’ve looked me in the eye and told me lies. Both of them were trying to cover up mistakes. I certainly had grace for their mistakes, but I’ve wondered looking back if I didn’t have grace for their lies.
      Neither of these two friends are in contact anymore. We don’t talk. Being in a relationship with somebody who lies is tough. It’s not that you don’t love them or care about them, it’s just that you can’t connect.
      Without trust, there’s no relationship.
      Henry Cloud and John Townsend say people lie for one of two reasons.
      The first is out of shame or fear. Somebody may believe they won’t be accepted if they tell the truth about who they are, so they lie. You can see how religious communities that use shame and fear to motivate might increase a person’s temptation to lie.
      People who lie for this reason can get better and learn to tell the truth. Until they do, however, it’s impossible to connect with them, all the same.
      The second kind of liar is less fortunate.
      Some people lie simply because they are selfish. These liars are pathological. They will lie even when it would be easier to tell the truth. Cloud and Townsend warn that we need to stay away from these people. Personally, I think people like this are pretty rare, but I agree, we simply can’t depend on them emotionally or practically.
      Still I wonder if people who lie understand what they’re doing.
      I think some people want grace and certainly they can get grace, but when we lie, we make the people we are lying to feel badly about the relationships and about themselves. We like people who make us feel respected, cared about and honored. Lying to somebody communicates the opposite.
      Here are the things that lies did to my two relationships:
      When my friends lied, I felt disrespected and unimportant. They didn’t seem to care about me or trust me enough to tell the truth. This made me feel bad about myself, as though I were not important or trustworthy enough to be told the truth.
      When I found out the extent of one of the lies, I felt like a fool. Technically, my one friend didn’t really lie. She just told me “part” of the truth. It was as though she were testing out whether she was safe to be vulnerable. (She told many other lies, but this was just one of them). But it backfired. When I found out things were worse than she’d made them seem, I felt tricked and deceived. Again, without meaning to, she’d made me feel bad about myself because I felt like somebody who could be conned.
      I thought less of my friends. I knew they were willing to “cheat” in relationships. When we lie, we are stealing social commodity without having earned it. People can lie their way into power, and in one instance with a friend, she lied her way into moral superiority. Still, none of the authority or moral superiority (such a thing exists, and while it’s misused, it’s not a bad thing not unlike intellectual superiority or athletic superiority. It just is. An appropriate use of those two examples of superiority might be to lead a team or teach a class.)
      I felt sad and lonely. When we think we are getting to know somebody, we are giving them parts of our hearts. But when they lie, we know they’ve actually held back their hearts while we’ve been giving them ours. This made me feel lonely and dumb.
      I felt like I couldn’t trust them. The only thing more important than love in a relationship is trust. Trust is the soil love grows in. If there’s not trust, there’s no relationship. When my friends lied, our trust died. As much as I wanted to forgive them, and feel like I did and have, interacting with them was no longer the same. I doubted much of what they said. Sadly, I think both of them began to tell more and more of the truth. But it didn’t matter. Once trust is broken, it’s extremely hard to rebuild.
      If they didn’t confess (or lied in their confession) I felt like they didn’t care enough about me to come clean and make things right. They were still thinking of themselves.
      Here’s what didn’t happen.
      I didn’t think less of them. While I was angry, I wasn’t angry because I thought they were a bad person. The person who lied probably assumed I felt such things, but I didn’t. What really happened was I felt terrible about myself and when somebody makes us feel bad about ourselves, we tend to get hurt and move away.
      To be sure, somebody who lies has a lot of other stuff going on and it’s not so easy to come clean.
      For a liar to change, they need a lot of help.
      Lying is manipulation, so if a person is a manipulator and gets caught lying, they are most likely going to keep manipulating. They may tell more lies to cover their lies, or manipulate by playing the victim. They may try to find things other people have done that they see as worse and try to make people focus on that. What they will have a hard time doing is facing the truth (which would be the easiest way out of their dilemma. It’s just that they don’t know how to do it. (They’re survivors, scrappers and have learned to cheat to stay alive socially.)
      If you’ve lied in a relationship, though, and are truly wanting to LEARN to live on the up and up, what can you do? Well, there’s plenty.
      Life isn’t over yet. Here’s some places to start.
      Confess. And don’t half confess (just another lie) but actually confess.
      This may take some time for you. You may have to sit down with a pen and paper and write it all down. Your mind will want to lie, but you have to tame your mind. It may take you some time to even understand what the truth really is. You’re going to feel ashamed and at risk, but you have to go there anyway. People are much more kind and forgiving than you think. 
      And if they’re not, you should confess and find people who are more safe.
      Accept the consequences. You’re going to have to pay for your lies.
      People will not and should not trust you as much as they did before. However, getting caught in a lie and confessing a lie are two different things. The former will cost you everything. The latter will cost you a bit, but you can rebuild quickly. Another thing to consider is that the truth might have lost you a small battle, but you’d have won the war because in the long run people would have trusted you. From here on out, be willing to suffer the slight, daily consequences of telling the truth. You’d be surprised at how much less tension there is in your life when you walk openly and honestly.
      Don’t expect the relationship to be the same.If the person doesn’t forgive you, just know you can move on.
      You’ve confessed and hopefully apologized and you aren’t beholden to them anymore. They need to wrestle with forgiving you and that’s now their burden. It’s an unfair burden, but we all have to face such things.
      Don’t lie anymore. It’s not important that everybody like you or approve of you. Allow people to get used to who you are. Telling the truth may mean you don’t get to be in control anymore or that people won’t like you as much. That’s fine. At least they are interacting with the real you. The deep connections you’ll make from telling the truth are worth it.
      http://storylineblog.com/2015/05/22/the-devastating-power-of-lies-in-a-relationship/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      “Like a sandcastle, all is temporary. Build it, tend it, enjoy it. And when the time comes, let it go.” ~Jack Kornfield
      I picked up the butter cookies and a small postcard-sized painting I had brought for her.
      I took the third-floor hotel elevator down.
      Closing my eyes, I took several deep breaths.
      The elevator ride was less than five seconds, but our time spent apart was five years.
      Five years after the divorce I had flown up to see her again.
      I’m not sure what led to this meeting. We had emailed each other a couple times out of the blue, and before you know it, we were meeting.
      It could have been our final goodbye, the closure we needed. Or maybe even in the back of my mind, it was the new beginning that I’d secretly imagined.
      I don’t know. I walked out to see her after a five-year hiatus. In our memories were the international long-distance romance we had, the difficult marriage we had endured, and the painful divorce we had gone through together.
      When we initially parted ways, she was still pursuing her education and getting adjusted to life in America.
      Yet, today she was different. She spoke of her new travels, new experiences, new house, and new job.
      She talked about the ups and downs of the different relationships in her life.
      Close friends, social events, and the search for the “one”—her “one”—were her focus.
      As we spent the day together, a startling but simple realization came over me.
      She had moved on.
      Life was on the up and up. She seemed to have let go of everything we had shared.
      She was a bird that was soaring, while I felt like a bird that hadn’t gone very far from the same branch I was still sitting on.
      She seemed to have moved on like our past had never happened. I was holding on like it was still happening.
      I realized it was way past time to completely let go of what we had shared.
      She had moved on, and I need to finally move on as well.
      If your ex has already moved on, perhaps my lessons will help you do the same.
      Shift your perspective on the relationship.
      Whatever story you’re telling yourself about the relationship, you need to be retell it. You’re likely holding onto the sad and tragic version. You were left behind as the victim as your ex was the heartbreaker who didn’t give the relationship a chance.
      Shift the story to the one that is the most empowering for you. How about a story of how you both gave it your best? You fought, you loved, you laughed, and you cried. You tried over and over when things didn’t seem to work. You fought, forgave, broke up, got back together, and finally called it off for good.
      You both gave it your all but it didn’t work out. It wasn’t for lack of trying. It was you coming to the conclusion that you were different people, both good people, who were incompatible for each other. You both helped each other grow and become better versions of yourself.
      The more you can flip your perspective on your ex and the relationship, the easier it will be to move on.
      Release blame, anger, and resentment once and for all.
      If you haven’t completely let go of the relationship, you may still be holding on to instances of on injustices by your ex. You may still be feeling betrayed, hurt, or angry about something your ex did.
      Until you can let go of these feelings of resentment on anger, you’re not going to be able to let go or move on.
      You’re not going to lose anything by releasing these feelings, but you will gain your peace of mind and freedom.
      Let go for yourself.
      Even if your ex was entirely at fault and deserves the worst kind of karma, you’re not going to get caught up on it. You are not the universe’s policeman.
      Your ex is human and made mistakes. You’re going to release the resentment and anger and forgive your ex for what they did.
      If you made mistakes, you have to be willing to forgive those too.
      When you don’t forgive your ex or yourself, it keeps the past injustices and pain still burning like it happened today.
      Forgive for yourself. Forgive for your peace of mind.
      Thank your ex for how far they brought you forward in your life.
      Instead of focusing of how much better off your ex is doing or how you’re falling behind, while they are moving ahead, reflect on how far you’ve come yourself.
      While our marriage was difficult and our divorce was soul-crushing, honestly, I grew so much from this relationship. I had so many insights about myself, made drastic life changes, and became an entirely new person.
      You can either compare and mourn or thank your ex and appreciate how far they’ve brought you along.
      You might not have welcomed the pain, but it’s likely made you into a newer and improved version of yourself.
      Remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
      Yes, when you’re comparing yourself to your ex, you might feel bad about yourself and like you’re stuck, but it’s not wise to compare yourself to someone else. If you feel a need to compare, then compare yourself to where you were before.
      In my case, I was stuck in dysfunctional relationship patterns, I was carrying around a lot of emotional baggage, and I was stuck in a soul-crushing career.
      Regardless of where she’s at today, enough therapy and learning has helped me become a new person. I have many more tools to navigate life, and I’m doing work that sometimes doesn’t even feel like work.
      I’m living more in line with my values today and have the freedom to pursue my creativity and writing.
      You don’t have to be soaring like your ex.
      Just remember that you’re not stuck crawling like you were in the past.
      Remind yourself that today is the only thing you can do something about.
      You cannot change the past, the relationship, or your ex.
      You cannot go back and un-do your mistakes or do something different.
      There’s no point in wallowing in regret, past disappointments, and failures that you can’t do anything about.
      Focus on what you can control—the changes you make today.
      You can become the person you’re capable of becoming today.
      You can create the life you want today.
      Keep bringing yourself to the moment you can do something about: the present moment. In this moment, you can shift your perspective. You can make different choices. You can create the life you want.
      Live less in the futile past and more in the hopefulness of today.
      See the uncertainty in your life as an adventure.
      The most difficult part of my marriage ending was the uncertainty of my life.
      See, when you’re married or in a relationship, you have a location. The world identifies you in a certain way. You know who you’re spending your weekends with or who you have to plan the holidays with. You know who you list in the relationship column of Facebook.
      Yet, after a breakup, all these questions are uncertain and more than likely, unknown. I’ve discovered that I, and humans in general, hate uncertainty.
      We would rather tolerate an unbearable situation than the unknown.
      You can view uncertainty as a tsunami about to happen or a surfing vacation in Hawaii.
      The more you see your future life as an adventure that is filled with excitement and novelty, the easier it will be for your to welcome in the life waiting for you.
      Pursue the life you visualize every day.
      You can get stuck focusing on where your ex is at or what your ex is doing, but this is neither healthy nor productive.
      Instead, get super clear on what you want.
      What is the life you envision for yourself every day? What values and principles do you want to guide your life?
      How would you like your life to look each day?
      Now, you may not be able to create that life instantly, but you can start doing small things each day that get you closer to the life you want.
      If you envision spirituality in your life each day, create time for a spiritual practice or class.
      If you see creativity in your life each day, make time for your creative ventures.
      If you see self-care as a necessity for your best life, reduce your commitments and take better care of yourself.
      You might not have the life you envisioned right now, but if you start taking small steps each day to live the life you want, before you know it, your visions will be your reality.
      What’s helped you let go of the past when your ex has already moved on?
      https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-move-on-when-your-ex-already-has/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Lindsay Dodgson/Business Insider
      May 11, 2017
      Unless you're a genetic anomaly, it's likely you will meet people you don't like throughout your lifetime. Whether it's your mother-in-law or one of your colleagues, you're bound to come across someone you simply don't click with.
      According to Deep Patel, author of the book A Paperboy's Fable: The 11 Principles of Success , it helps to remember nobody's perfect. That includes you.
      In a blog post for Entrepreneur.com , Patel highlights some tips successful people use to deal with people they don't get along with. After all, it's unlikely you'll simply be able to avoid people you don't like - in fact, Patel argues if you restrict who you can work with, you are only limiting yourself.
      Instead of burying your head in the sand, try and shift your perspective in the ways successful people do. Here are some tips from Patel and other sources such as Psychology Today .
      1. Accept that you can't get on with everyone.
      As much as we hope to like everyone we meet, it often simply isn't the case. Patel says the first step to dealing with the people you don't click with is accepting nobody gets on with everyone, and that's okay. It doesn't mean you're a bad person, and it doesn't mean they are either (not necessarily, anyway.)
      According to psychologist Dr Susan Krauss in a blog post on Psychology Today , it's likely that you and the person just aren't a good fit. Consultant and author Beverly D. Flaxington explains in another blog post on Psychology Today that our behavioural styles can get come between people. Some are dominant, whereas others are timid. Some people are optimists and others consider themselves "realists."
      A research paper by Hamstra et al looked at something called "regulatory fit," which translates as: we are much more likely to put effort into the things we like doing. Chances are you don't enjoy interacting with the people you don't like, and so you don't put much effort in. Over time, this lack of effort can turn into contempt.
      2. Try and put a positive spin on what they are saying.
      Krauss says you could try and look at how people are acting differently. Your in-laws might not have meant to imply that you aren't smart, and your co-worker may not actually be trying to sabotage you.
      Even if the person you're having difficulty with is aggravating you on purpose, getting angry about it will probably just make you look bad. So try and give them the benefit of the doubt.
      3. Be aware of your own emotions.
      Patel says it's important to remember your own emotions matter, but ultimately you alone have control over how you react to situations. People will only drive you crazy if you allow them to. So don't let your anger spin out of control.
      If someone is rubbing you the wrong way, recognise those feelings and then let them go without engaging with the person. Sometimes just smiling and nodding will do the trick.
      The key, Patel says, is in treating everyone you meet with the same level of respect. That doesn't mean you have to agree with a person you don't like or go along with what they say, but you should act civilised and be polite. In doing this, you can remain firm on your issues but not come across like you're attacking someone personally, which should give you the upper hand.
      4. Don't take it personally and get some space.
      More often than not a disagreement is probably a misunderstanding. If not, and you really do fundamentally disagree with someone, then try and see it from their perspective.
      Try not to overreact, because they may overreact in return, meaning things escalate quickly and fiercely. Try to rise above it all by focusing on facts, and try to ignore how the other person is reacting, no matter how ridiculous or irrational. Concentrate on the issue, Patel says, not the person.
      If you need some space, take it. You're perfectly within your rights to establish boundaries and decide when you interact with someone. If you feel yourself getting worked up, take a time-out and get some breathing space. President of TalentSmart Dr. Travis Bradberry explains it simply in a post on LinkedIn : if they were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? No, you'd move away and get some fresh air.
      5. Express your feelings calmly and consider using a referee.
      Usually, the way we communicate is more important than what we actually say. If someone is repeatedly annoying you and it's leading to bigger problems, Patel says it's probably time to say something.
      However, confrontation doesn't have to be aggressive. Patel recommends you use "I" statements, such as "I feel annoyed when you do this, so could you please do this instead."
      Being as specific as possible will make it more likely the person will take what you're saying on board. It will also give them a better opportunity to share their side of the story.
      Krauss says it might be a good idea to use another person as a mediator in these discussions because they can bring a level of objectivity to a situation. You may not end up as friends, but you might find out a way to communicate and work together in an effective way. She says learning to work with people you find difficult is a very fulfilling experience, and it could become one more way of showing how well you overcome barriers.
      6. Pick your battles.
      Sometimes it might just be easier to let things go. Not everything is worth your time and attention. You have to ask yourself whether you really want to engage with the person, or your effort might be better spent just getting on with your work, or whatever else you're doing.
      Patel says the best way to figure this out is weighing up whether the issue is situational. Will it go away in time, or could it get worse? If it's the latter, it might be better expending energy into sorting it out sooner or later. If it's just a matter of circumstance, you'll probably get over it fairly quickly.
      7. Don't be defensive.
      If you find someone is constantly belittling you or focusing on your flaws , don't bite. The worst thing you can do is be defensive. Patel says this will only give them more power. Instead, turn the spotlight on them and start asking them probing questions, such as what in particular their problem is with what you're doing.
      If they start bullying you, call them out on it. If they want you to treat them with respect, they have to earn it by being civil to you, too. Dr Berit Brogaard, a neuroscientist, explains in a blog post on Psychology Today that workplace gossip and bullying can be a method of power play, or a way of bullying others into submission.
      If you want to be sneaky to get someone to agree with you, there are psychological tricks you can use. Research suggests you should speak faster when disagreeing with someone so they have less time to process what you're saying. If you think they might be agreeing with you, then slow down so they have time to take in your message .
      8. Ultimately, remember you are in control of your own happiness.
      If someone is really getting on your nerves, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture. However, you should never let someone else limit your happiness or success.
      If you're finding their comments are really getting to you, ask yourself why that is. Are you self-conscious about something, or are you anxious about something at work? If so, focus on this instead of listening to other people's complaints.
      You alone have control over your feelings, so stop comparing yourself to anyone else. Instead, remind yourself of all your achievements, and don't let someone gain power over you just because they momentarily darken your day.
      This story originally appeared on Business Insider.
      http://time.com/money/4774379/how-to-deal-with-people-you-dont-like/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Relationship issues are inevitable; they are a part of our human experience. And this part of our life, essential to our well-being, can bring us to our knees or make us feel bad about who we are.
      Have you ever heard yourself say these things?
      "I hate the way you make me feel." "What you are doing makes me insecure, and when you stop doing that, I will be happy." "I can't deal with the way this relationship makes me feel anymore." We are all affected by our relationships in some way. However, no matter what you are experiencing, there is one thing you can always do that will immediately affect how you feel and, in addition, will empower you and make you feel good about who you are instead of leaving you feeling depleted, exhausted, or lost. So what can you do in the moment that you are at your wit's end, feeling hurt, upset, or confused?
      Simply reconnect to yourself and use this very challenge, issue, or difficulty to become stronger and more of who you are meant to be. Use this challenge to become stronger and more powerful instead of allowing it to break you down or make you feel like a victim.
      Here are three ways to take back the reins of your life and immediately change how you feel about yourself and your relationship:
      1. Let go of the concept of "right and wrong."
      Very simply, instead of focusing on what the other person did or didn't do, observe how you're feeling and identify what you need. By doing this, you are turning your attention back to yourself instead of being paralyzed and disempowered by pointing the finger at the other person.
      If you've ever said, "If you would just change, everything would be OK," you know how easy it is to focus your attention on what the other person has said or done. The next time you find yourself doing this, ask yourself, "If this is the perfect person to help me become who I'm meant to be, what am I supposed to be learning from this relationship?"
      2. Give up trying to change the other person.
      Although this isn't easy, make a commitment to yourself to work on accepting the other person as they are. Each person brings their own "stuff" to a relationship—we all have our own history with our own issues, wounds, and challenges to overcome.
      The next time you feel yourself taking on the other person's issue or trying to "fix" them, remind yourself that the only person you can change is you. And affirm for yourself, "I will focus on how I'm being affected and what I need to work through and will allow the other person space to work through their issues as well." By declaring this, you will be better equipped to not take on the other person's issues or take their actions personally.
      3. Learn how to stop basing your worth on the condition of your relationship.
      Give yourself the gift of diving deeper into your own inner exploration and development. By doing this, you will become more at peace with who you are and will know at a deep level that you are OK—even when your relationship isn't perfect or when things are happening that are hurtful or upsetting.
      Begin by making a commitment to your growth. Affirm that reconnecting to yourself is the most important journey you will ever take. Then take one simple action this week: Start reading a self-help book, research a personal development course, or take 10 minutes each day to check in with yourself and identify what you need by asking, "What can I do in this moment to reconnect to who I am and what I need?" A few examples could be writing down three things that make you feel good about yourself, looking at some photos that bring a smile to your face, or spending some time in nature today.
      Relationships are in a constant state of flux and bring a level of complexity to our lives that is out of our control. The one thing we always control is whether we will use our challenges to grow, expand, and become more of who we are meant to be or, instead, allow them to hold us back and limit our potential.
      Today, make a declaration that you will use even the most difficult relationship in your life for a monumental purpose—your life's purpose—to grow and evolve into the person you are meant to be. And then do just that.
      https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-29951/the-one-shift-that-will-immediately-change-how-you-feel-in-your-relationship.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=170424
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      ‘I’m busy,’ signals you don’t have room for friends; be specific or cut back your calendar
      I recently asked a friend I haven’t seen in months if she wanted to get together and catch up. I envisioned us gabbing over cocktails at the new Vietnamese restaurant in our neighborhood. Or maybe I could fix her dinner.
      Her reply: “Sure. Why don’t you stop by for 45 minutes to an hour on Monday night around 8:30.”
      Continue reading
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      We all want to feel understood, respected, and appreciated in our relationships. But life can often get in the way and undermine the connection we used to have with our significant other, leaving our love feeling lackluster. It doesn't take much to feel like you're moving in opposite directions.
      Then there are the couples that appear to have perfect relationships. They light up when they see each other, speak highly of their significant other, and rarely seem to bicker. It's easy to assume that there is a magical connection between them that only a few get blessed with.
      But what if they were doing a few simple things that were responsible for keeping their relationship healthy?
      There are some basic things you can do to foster that sense of deep love and connection, even when you feel like your relationship is already starting on the back foot. These tips have the ability to significantly improve how happy and satisfied you both feel in your relationship. It's these behaviors that keep those happy relationships flourishing.
      Here are 3 ways you can start fostering positivity in your relationship:
      1. Start with your personal happiness.
      Happy people create positive relationships. If you are waiting for someone else to make you happy, you will always feel let down. When you're happy within yourself, you reflect that back into your relationship. Start with recognizing how you would rate your level of happiness currently. If you're not as happy as you'd like to be, ask yourself, "What can I do to support myself to feel happier?" The answer could include restarting a hobby, beginning a new health routine, connecting more with friends, or taking steps to follow a passion that is deep within your heart. The crucial element is that you need to step up and take responsibility for your own well-being. By taking action, you will feel more empowered and recognize that happiness ultimately has to be an inside job. This change in energy will move into your relationship.
      2. Look for the good.
      We're all happier when we feel appreciated. It's therefore hardly a surprise that relationships need more positive interactions than negative ones if they are going to thrive. Dr. Gottman's famous research found that you need to have five positive interactions for every negative interaction if your relationship is going to stay happy. Begin with consciously watching for what your partner is doing right, rather than consistently focusing on what they are doing wrong. Look for opportunities to voice your appreciation and aim to add as many positive interactions into your shared experience as you can. Feeling positive emotions is a precursor to a happy relationship. You have the ability to focus your attention so that you look for and appreciate the good in your partner. This simple action ultimately helps to remedy the balance of positive-to-negative interactions and set a relationship back on a healthy track.
      3. Make space to nurture your connection.
      Positive relationships are sustained by a foundation of strong connection. Just like a small child needs attention to feel truly happy, a relationship needs nurturing if it is going to continue to stay healthy. It is important to put time aside exclusively to connect with your significant other. Rather than assuming it will just happen, create it. It may be a monthly date night (where, thankfully, there is no TV to distract you), taking a walk together, scheduling a vacation, or choosing to fall asleep while cuddling on the couch rather than going to bed alone. Remember that time and energy dedicated to fostering your union is essential. Where your energy goes your attention flows. Attention is the fuel that will help your partner feel important and valued in your life, which will likely lead to the reciprocating of care and kindness.
      Even when your relationship isn't as happy as you'd like it to be, there are things you can do to improve it. When you take care of yourself and resolve to show up positively for your partner, things begin to flourish. The result—you'll feel both happier in yourselves and in your coupling.
      http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-29027/3-ways-to-improve-your-relationship-that-have-nothing-to-do-with-your-partner.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=170316
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Opposites attract, so date someone who's nothing like you. But, wait a minute—isn't it important to find someone who has a similar background, values, and goals? There's so much conflicting dating advice out there, how can you possibly figure out how to find love?
      While it's true that finding a partner with qualities that differ from yours can add balance and excitement to a relationship, problems can arise when there are too many differences. The more compatible you are with your partner, the more successful your relationship will likely be.
      Here are seven areas of compatibility to examine when choosing a partner. They don't all have to line up perfectly, but the more aligned you two are, the better the relationship will be.
      1. Temperament
      Do you get along well most of the time or find that he/she irritates you on a regular basis? Do you find yourself saying, "If only she'd think before she spoke" or "I wish he'd be less lazy"? Is he overly anxious? Does her alphabetized music collection make your skin crawl? What you see is what you get; so if you don't like your partner's temperament, don't try to fix it. Find someone whose personality is more compatible with yours.
      2. Communication style
      Are you direct or indirect in communicating what's important to you? Are you passive while she's assertive? Do you hold things in until you explode or speak your mind clearly and directly? If you can both communicate clearly and in a similar fashion, you'll have a much higher chance for a successful relationship.
      3. Friends and family
      Do you like and get along with each other's friends and family? Do you agree about how much time to devote to both? And if you're both single parents thinking about tying the knot, are you clear about how you'll parent? If friends and family issues become too stressful, they will have a very negative effect on your relationship.
      4. Nutrition and fitness
      Are you a gluten-free vegan while he is a Big Mac addict? Do you surf the waves on the weekend, while she's home surfing the web? This may seem like a minor point, but think about how many meals you will share with each other. How do your partner's food choices and attention to fitness align with your lifestyle and values? If you're not a good match in this area, you will probably have big challenges in your relationship.
      5. Financial
      Many people say that they are seeking a partner who is financially secure. In today's volatile financial market, financial security is not something you can count on. A few more appropriate questions are, "Are you responsible with finances? Are you generous? Do you contribute to charities?" Money is one of the things couples fight about most often. It is helpful if you share similar financial goals and habits.
      6. Education
      I don't believe you have to be with someone who has the exact same level of education. In fact, there are many brilliant people who never graduated college (Steve Jobs, Rachael Ray). However, couples who share similar backgrounds in education (and that includes self-study), life, and professional experience are usually better suited for each other. They have more in common and can relate to each other in a deeper way. They are on the same wavelength and truly "get" each other.
      7. Intimacy
      There are many things that come under the category of intimacy, including romance and public display of affection. Some couples have different sexual needs, which can lead to anger and resentment. An essential component of a lasting loving relationship includes having similar ideas about frequency and style of intimacy. So if you're more Mr. Fifty Shades and she's Ms. Low Libido, you will have issues in your relationship.
      What can you do if you are not compatible?
      It doesn't have to mean things can never work, but these are your options:
      Accept things as they are. Work on yourself and the relationship. Leave the relationship. Remember that the only person you can change is yourself. You partner will only change if he/she wants to.
      If you are dating to find a lasting, loving relationship, it is far more effective to choose a compatible partner from the start than to try to fix a relationship with a weak foundation. Don't be afraid to walk away if your basic needs are not met. There are millions of singles in the world. Move on and find a better fit. And make sure to use the most powerful four-letter word in dating—"Next!"
      http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-29324/7-signs-youre-dating-the-right-person.html?utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_content=daily&utm_campaign=170315



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    • Eric Ouellet

      Que vos prières soit préparées comme une encens apaisante pour Jéhovah

      Chez les Israélites, l’offrande d’encens était un symbole approprié pour désigner les prières que Dieu entend. C’est pourquoi le psalmiste David a chanté à Jéhovah : 

      “ Que ma prière soit préparée comme l’encens devant toi. ”
      — Psaume 141 : 2
      JÉHOVAH DIEU a chargé son prophète Moïse de préparer un encens sacré à l’usage du culte qui lui était rendu dans le tabernacle d’Israël. Il a donné lui-même la formule de ce mélange composé de quatre ingrédients aromatiques qui dégageaient une bonne odeur. — Exode 30:34-38.
      L’alliance de la Loi dans laquelle la nation d’Israël avait été admise prévoyait de faire brûler quotidiennement de l’encens (Exode 30:7, 8). Ce geste avait-il une signification particulière ? Oui. En témoignent ces paroles du psalmiste : “ Que ma prière soit préparée comme l’encens devant toi [Jéhovah Dieu], l’élévation de mes paumes comme l’offrande de grain du soir. ” (Psaume 141:2). De plus, dans le livre de la Révélation, l’apôtre Jean dit de ceux qui se tiennent autour du trône céleste de Dieu qu’ils ont des bols d’or pleins d’encens. “ Et, précise le récit inspiré, l’encens représente les prières des saints. ” (Révélation 5:8). Il apparaît donc que la combustion d’encens odorant symbolise les prières agréées que les serviteurs de Jéhovah offrent jour et nuit. — 1 Thessaloniciens 3:10 ; Hébreux 5:7
      Pour que Dieu agrée nos prières, nous devons le prier au nom de Jésus Christ (Jean 16:23, 24). Au demeurant, comment pouvons-nous améliorer la qualité de nos prières ? L’examen de quelques exemples pris dans les Écritures devrait nous aider à préparer nos prières comme l’encens devant Jéhovah. — Proverbes 15:8.
      Prions avec foi
      Si nous voulons que nos prières montent vers Dieu comme un encens de bonne odeur, il nous faut les lui offrir avec foi (Hébreux 11:6). Lorsque des anciens ont affaire à une personne spirituellement malade qui réagit bien à leurs conseils bibliques, ‘ leur prière de foi rétablit celui qui est souffrant ’. (Jacques 5:15.) Notre Père céleste prend plaisir à voir quelqu’un le prier avec foi et étudier consciencieusement sa Parole. Un psalmiste qui manifestait cet excellent état d’esprit a écrit : “ Je lèverai mes paumes vers tes commandements que j’ai aimés, et je veux m’intéresser à tes prescriptions. Enseigne-moi la bonté, le bon sens et la connaissance, car j’ai exercé la foi en tes commandements. ” (Psaume 119:48, 66). ‘ Étendons nos paumes ’ en priant avec humilité et exerçons la foi en observant les commandements de Dieu.
      La prière un lien véritable à la sagesse divine
      Supposons que nous manquions de sagesse pour surmonter une épreuve ; par exemple, nous pourrions ne pas être convaincus qu’une certaine prophétie soit déjà en train de se réaliser. Plutôt que de laisser cette incertitude nous déstabiliser spirituellement, prions pour recevoir de la sagesse (Galates 5:7, 8 ; Jacques 1:5-8). N’escomptons pas cependant que Dieu nous réponde d’une manière spectaculaire, mais démontrons la sincérité de nos prières en faisant ce qu’il attend de tous ses serviteurs : qu’ils bâtissent leur foi en étudiant les Écritures à l’aide des publications fournies par l’intermédiaire de “ l’esclave fidèle et avisé ”. (Matthieu 24:45-47 ; Josué 1:7, 8.) Nous avons besoin également d’augmenter notre connaissance en prenant part régulièrement aux réunions du peuple de Dieu. — Hébreux 10:24, 25.
      Certains chrétiens semblent avoir perdu de vue que nous sommes à un stade avancé du “ temps de la fin ”. (Daniel 12:4.) C’est ce que révèlent l’orientation qu’ils donnent à leur vie et leurs centres d’intérêt. Il convient de prier pour que ces chrétiens ravivent ou affermissent leur foi dans les preuves que fournit la Bible que la présence du Christ a commencé en 1914 et que, ayant été intronisé au ciel par Jéhovah cette année-là, il règne depuis lors au milieu de ses ennemis (Psaume 110:1, 2 ; Matthieu 24:3). Nous devrions tous être bien conscients du fait que des événements annoncés, tels que la destruction de la fausse religion (“ Babylone la Grande ”), l’attaque satanique de Gog de Magog contre les serviteurs de Jéhovah et l’intervention salvatrice de Dieu le Tout-Puissant lors de la guerre d’Har-Maguédôn, peuvent survenir avec une rapidité saisissante et s’enchaîner sur une période relativement courte (Révélation 16:14, 16 ; 18:1-5 ; Ézékiel 38:18-23). Aussi, prions Dieu de nous aider à rester spirituellement éveillés. Puissions-nous tous prier avec conviction pour que le nom de Jéhovah soit sanctifié, pour que son Royaume vienne et pour que sa volonté se fasse sur la terre comme elle est faite au ciel ! Puissions-nous aussi continuer à exercer la foi et à démontrer par des actes la sincérité de nos prières (Matthieu 6:9, 10) ! Que tous ceux qui aiment Jéhovah puissent vraiment chercher d’abord le Royaume et Sa justice, et participer le plus possible à la prédication de la bonne nouvelle avant que vienne la fin ! — Matthieu 6:33 ; 24:14.
      Louons et remercions Jéhovah
      Une manière importante de ‘ préparer nos prières comme l’encens ’ consiste à louer et à remercier Dieu du fond de notre cœur. Le roi David a prononcé une prière de ce genre quand lui et le peuple d’Israël ont fait des contributions pour la construction du temple de Jéhovah. Il s’est exprimé ainsi : “ Béni sois-tu, ô Jéhovah le Dieu d’Israël notre père, depuis des temps indéfinis et pour des temps indéfinis. À toi, ô Jéhovah, sont la grandeur, la puissance, la beauté, la supériorité et la dignité ; car tout, dans les cieux et sur la terre, est à toi. À toi est le royaume, ô Jéhovah, Celui qui t’élève aussi en chef au-dessus de tout. La richesse et la gloire sont grâce à toi, et tu domines tout ; dans ta main il y a force et puissance, et dans ta main est le pouvoir de rendre grand et de donner de la vigueur à tous. Et maintenant, ô notre Dieu, nous te remercions et nous louons ton nom magnifique. ” — 1 Chroniques 29:10-13.
      Quelles splendides expressions de louange et de reconnaissance ! Même si nos prières ne sont pas aussi éloquentes, elles peuvent témoigner de la même sincérité. Les actions de grâces et les louanges abondent dans le livre des Psaumes. Les Psaumes 148, 149 et 150, en particulier, louent Dieu en des termes particulièrement choisis. La gratitude envers Dieu imprègne également de nombreux psaumes. “ J’ai demandé une chose à Jéhovah, a chanté David, — c’est ce que je chercherai : Que j’habite dans la maison de Jéhovah tous les jours de ma vie, pour contempler le charme de Jéhovah et pour regarder avec admiration son temple. ” (Psaume 27:4). Agissons en harmonie avec de telles prières en participant avec zèle à toutes les activités des “ foules rassemblées ” par Jéhovah (Psaume 26:12). Ajoutons à cela la méditation quotidienne de sa Parole, et nous aurons quantité de raisons de louer et de remercier sincèrement Jéhovah.
      Recherchons humblement l’aide de Jéhovah
      Nous avons l’assurance que Jéhovah entend les appels à l’aide de ses Témoins qui le servent d’un cœur entier (Isaïe 43:10-12). C’est ce qu’illustre un épisode de la vie d’Asa, qui a été roi de Juda pendant 41 ans (977-937 av. n. è.). Après dix premières années de règne marquées par la paix, le pays a été envahi par une armée de un million d’hommes conduite par Zérah l’Éthiopien. Bien qu’infiniment moins nombreux, Asa et ses hommes sont sortis à la rencontre de l’ennemi. Cependant, avant de livrer bataille, Asa a prononcé une prière fervente, dans laquelle il a exprimé sa confiance dans le pouvoir salvateur de Jéhovah. Implorant son aide, il a dit : “ Sur toi nous nous appuyons et c’est en ton nom que nous sommes venus contre cette foule. Ô Jéhovah, tu es notre Dieu. Que le mortel ne conserve pas de vigueur contre toi. ” En conséquence, Jéhovah a sauvé Juda à cause de son grand nom ; il a donné aux Israélites une victoire totale (2 Chroniques 14:1-15). Qu’il nous délivre de l’épreuve ou qu’il nous donne la force de l’endurer, il est hors de doute que Dieu entend nos appels à l’aide.
      Soyons certains que Jéhovah entend tout autant nos requêtes lorsque nous ne savons pas comment agir dans une certaine situation critique. C’est ce qu’a pu vérifier le roi de Juda Yehoshaphat, dont les 25 ans de règne ont commencé en 936 avant notre ère. Quand Juda s’est trouvé menacé par les armées coalisées de Moab, d’Ammôn et de la région montagneuse de Séïr, Yehoshaphat a fait cette supplication : “ Ô notre Dieu, n’exécuteras-tu pas le jugement sur eux ? Car en nous il n’y a pas de force devant cette foule nombreuse qui vient contre nous ; et nous, nous ne savons que faire, mais nos yeux sont tournés vers toi. ” Jéhovah a répondu à cette prière humble : il a combattu en faveur de Juda en semant la confusion dans les rangs des ennemis de sorte que ceux-ci se sont entretués. À la suite de cela, la crainte a saisi les nations d’alentour, et Juda a connu la paix (2 Chroniques 20:1-30). Lorsque nous manquons de la sagesse nécessaire pour résoudre une grave difficulté, reconnaissons, comme Yehoshaphat : ‘ Nous ne savons que faire, mais nos yeux sont tournés vers toi, Jéhovah. ’ L’esprit saint peut nous rappeler alors à la mémoire des pensées bibliques qui nous donneront la solution, à moins que l’aide divine ne revête une forme qui dépasse l’entendement humain. — Romains 8:26, 27.
       Avant de recevoir l’aide de Dieu, peut-être nous faudra-t-il persévérer dans la prière. Nehémia a mené deuil, a pleuré, jeûné et prié pendant des jours à propos de la muraille en ruine de Jérusalem et de la situation pitoyable des habitants de Juda (Nehémia 1:1-11). Ses prières sont manifestement montées vers Dieu comme un encens de bonne odeur. Devant la mine abattue de Nehémia, le roi perse Artaxerxès lui a un jour demandé : “ Que cherches-tu donc à obtenir ? ” “ Aussitôt, raconte Nehémia, je priai le Dieu des cieux. ” Cette requête courte et silencieuse a été exaucée : Nehémia a reçu l’autorisation d’accomplir ce qui lui tenait à cœur : se rendre à Jérusalem pour y rebâtir la muraille. — Nehémia 2:1-8.
      Jésus nous apprend à prier
      De toutes les prières qui ont été conservées dans les Écritures, il en est une particulièrement instructive ; c’est la prière modèle, que Jésus Christ a présentée comme un encens de bonne odeur. Voici ce que nous lisons dans l’Évangile de Luc : “ Un [des] disciples [de Jésus] lui dit : ‘ Seigneur, apprends-nous à prier, comme Jean aussi l’a appris à ses disciples. ’ Alors il leur dit : ‘ Quand vous priez, dites : “ Père, que ton nom soit sanctifié. Que ton royaume vienne. Donne-nous notre pain pour le jour selon les besoins du jour. Et pardonne-nous nos péchés, car nous-mêmes aussi nous pardonnons à tous ceux qui nous doivent ; et ne nous fais pas entrer en tentation. ” ’ ” (Luc 11:1-4 ; Matthieu 6:9-13). Cette prière n’était pas destinée à être récitée, mais plutôt à donner une indication de ce pour quoi il faut prier. 
       “ Père, que ton nom soit sanctifié. ” Jéhovah accorde à ceux qui le servent et lui sont voués le privilège spécial de l’appeler Père. Comme des enfants qui confient tout à un père qu’ils savent miséricordieux, nous devrions prendre régulièrement le temps d’adresser à Dieu des prières empreintes de dignité et de vénération (Psaume 103:13, 14). Nos prières devraient traduire l’intérêt que nous portons à la sanctification de son nom, que nous aspirons à voir lavé de tout l’opprobre dont il a été couvert. Oui, nous voulons que le nom de Jéhovah soit mis à part et tenu pour saint, ou sacré. — Psaumes 5:11 ; 63:3, 4 ; 148:12, 13 ; Ézékiel 38:23.
      “ Que ton royaume vienne. ”
      “ Que ton royaume vienne. ” Le Royaume représente la domination que Jéhovah exerce par l’intermédiaire du gouvernement céleste messianique qu’il a confié à son Fils, Jésus, et aux “ saints ” qui lui sont associés (Daniel 7:13, 14, 18, 27 ; Révélation 20:6). Bientôt, ce Royaume ‘ viendra ’ contre tous ceux sur la terre qui s’opposent à la souveraineté divine et il les fera disparaître (Daniel 2:44). Après cela, la volonté de Jéhovah sera faite sur la terre, comme elle l’est au ciel (Matthieu 6:10). Quelle joie ce sera pour toutes les créatures qui servent fidèlement le Souverain de l’univers !
       “ Donne-nous notre pain pour le jour selon les besoins du jour. ” En demandant à Jéhovah la nourriture “ pour le jour ”, nous montrons que nous ne cherchons pas à avoir abondance de biens, mais seulement de quoi satisfaire nos besoins quotidiens. Tout en comptant sur Dieu, nous travaillons et mettons à profit les moyens à notre disposition pour nous procurer la nourriture et les autres choses nécessaires à la vie (2 Thessaloniciens 3:7-10). Nous devrions évidemment remercier notre Bienfaiteur céleste, car c’est grâce à son amour, à sa sagesse et à sa puissance que nous avons tout cela. — Actes 14:15-17
       “ Pardonne-nous nos péchés, car nous-mêmes aussi nous pardonnons à tous ceux qui nous doivent. ” Étant donné que nous sommes imparfaits et pécheurs, il nous est impossible de nous conformer absolument aux normes parfaites de Jéhovah. Nous avons donc besoin de le prier de nous accorder son pardon en vertu du sacrifice rédempteur de Jésus. Mais pour que ‘ Celui qui entend la prière ’ applique le mérite de ce sacrifice à nos péchés, il nous faut également nous repentir et accepter toute discipline qu’il juge bon de nous administrer (Psaume 65:2 ; Romains 5:8 ; 6:23 ; Hébreux 12:4-11). Enfin, nous ne pouvons nous attendre à ce que Dieu nous pardonne que si nous “ avons remis à nos débiteurs ”, c’est-à-dire à ceux qui ont péché contre nous. — Matthieu 6:12, 14, 15.
       “ Ne nous fais pas entrer en tentation. ” Quand la Bible dit que Jéhovah fait telle ou telle chose, c’est parfois simplement pour dire qu’il permet qu’elle se produise (Ruth 1:20, 21). Ce n’est pas lui qui nous tente pour nous faire pécher (Jacques 1:13). Les tentations de commettre le mal viennent du Diable, de notre chair imparfaite et du monde. Satan est le Tentateur qui essaie par ses manœuvres de nous faire pécher contre Dieu (Matthieu 4:3 ; 1 Thessaloniciens 3:5). Lorsque nous prions Dieu de ‘ ne pas nous faire entrer en tentation ’, nous lui demandons en fait de ne pas permettre que nous cédions si nous sommes tentés de lui désobéir. Il peut nous indiquer la voie à suivre pour ne pas succomber ni nous laisser vaincre par Satan, le “ méchant ”. — Matthieu 6:13 ; 1 Corinthiens 10:13.
      Agissons en harmonie avec nos prières
      Comment pouvons-nous agir en harmonie avec les prières dans lesquelles nous demandons à être heureux en mariage et dans notre vie de famille?
      La prière modèle de Jésus aborde les points principaux, mais il y a toutes sortes de choses qui peuvent faire l’objet de nos prières. Ce peut être, par exemple, le désir d’être heureux en mariage ; ou bien celui de rester pur jusqu’au jour des noces. Dans ce cas, prions pour avoir de la maîtrise de soi. Mais soyons également conséquents avec nos prières en rejetant les lectures et les divertissements impurs. Soyons déterminés aussi à ‘ nous marier seulement dans le Seigneur ’. (1 Corinthiens 7:39 ; Deutéronome 7:3, 4.) Une fois mariés, ne nous contentons pas de prier pour être heureux : appliquons les conseils venant de Dieu. Si nous avons des enfants, aspirons-nous à les voir devenir de fidèles serviteurs de Jéhovah ? Alors, tout en priant dans ce sens, faisons tout notre possible pour leur inculquer les vérités divines en étudiant la Bible avec eux et en les emmenant régulièrement aux réunions chrétiennes. — Deutéronome 6:5-9 ; 31:12 ; Proverbes 22:6.
      Prions-nous pour que Dieu bénisse notre ministère ? Agissons en harmonie avec ces prières en participant de façon significative à la prédication du Royaume. Si nous prions pour avoir des occasions d’aider les autres à emprunter le chemin de la vie éternelle, ayons soin de bien prendre note des personnes qui manifestent de l’intérêt et soyons prêts à adapter notre programme pour y inclure des études bibliques. Enfin, si nous poursuivons l’objectif de devenir pionniers afin de prendre part à l’œuvre d’évangélisation à plein temps, allons dans le sens de nos prières en augmentant notre participation au ministère et en prêchant avec des pionniers. Nous montrerons ainsi que nous agissons en harmonie avec nos prières.
      Si nous servons Jéhovah fidèlement, nous pouvons être certains qu’il répondra aux prières conformes à sa volonté que nous lui adresserons (1 Jean 5:14, 15).. Faisant une comparaison avec l’odeur agréable de l’encens que les prêtres offraient dans le temple, la Parole de Dieu nous donne cette assurance : “ La prière des hommes droits est pour lui un plaisir. ” — Proverbes 15:8.
       

      · 0 replies
    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Hello Eric, as tu déjà préparé le sujet des joyaux du 10 novembre concernant le but des sacrifices et offrandes, sachant que nous devons d'abord présenter le livre du Lévitique. Comment être concis?
      Le but des sacrifices et des offrandes.dot la Mer Morte.pps
      · 1 reply
    • Emma Rose

      Would a kind soul please help me with how to reply using the quote more than once.
      · 5 replies
    • Dee Gordon  »  T.B. (Twyla)

      HI TWYLA...DEE GORDON HERE.  WOULD LIKE  TO CHANGE MY EMAIL ADDRESS YOU SEND MY MEETING WORKBOOK TO.  I DON'T USE FACEBOOK BUT WOULD LIKE TO CONTINUE TO RECEIVE THE WORKBOOK INFO AND WATCHTOWER NOTES PLEASE . THIS ONE STILL RUNNING YOU HAVE ME SIGNED UP FOR...JUST THAT IT WOULD BE MORE CONVENIENT AT THIS TIME.
      · 3 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Apprenons à craindre Jéhovah
      “ La crainte de Jéhovah est le début de la sagesse. ” — PROVERBES 9:10.

      IL FUT un temps où dire de quelqu’un craignait Dieu était un compliment. Beaucoup jugent aujourd’hui désuète et illogique l’idée de craindre Dieu. " Pourquoi craindre Dieu s’il est amour?" s’étonnent-ils. C’est que la crainte est à leurs yeux un sentiment forcément négatif, voire paralysant. Or, la crainte de Dieu, la vraie, est bien autre chose que de la peur et, comme nous allons le voir, elle ne se résume pas à un sentiment.
       La Bible présente la crainte de Dieu sous un jour positif (Isaïe 11:3). Craindre Dieu, c’est éprouver envers lui un profond respect et désirer vivement ne pas lui déplaire (Psaume 115:11). C’est aussi accepter ses normes morales et s’y conformer strictement, appliquer dans notre vie ses critères du bien et du mal. Un ouvrage de référence indique que cette crainte salutaire exprime “ un rapport à Dieu, une disposition d’esprit dominante, qui incite à se conduire avec sagesse et à rejeter le mal sous toutes ses formes ”. La Bible dit d’ailleurs que “ la crainte de Jéhovah est le début de la sagesse ”. — Proverbes 9:10.
      La crainte de Dieu influe sur de nombreux domaines de l’existence. Outre la sagesse, elle favorise la joie, la paix, la prospérité, la longévité, l’espoir, la confiance (Psaume 2:11 ; Proverbes 1:7 ; 10:27 ; 14:26 ; 22:4 ; 23:17, 18 ; Actes 9:31). Elle est étroitement liée à la foi et à l’amour. Pour tout dire, elle touche tous les aspects de nos relations avec Dieu et avec les humains (Deutéronome 10:12 ; Job 6:14 ; Hébreux 11:7). Craindre Dieu, enfin, c’est avoir la ferme conviction que notre Père céleste se soucie de nous personnellement et qu’il est disposé à pardonner nos transgressions (Psaume 130:4). Il n’y a donc qu’aux pécheurs non repentants que Dieu devrait inspirer de la terreur. — Hébreux 10:26-31.
      APPRENONS À CRAINDRE DIEU
      Puisqu’il est indispensable de le craindre pour prendre de sages décisions et recevoir ses bénédictions, comment "apprendre à craindre Jéhovah"
      dans le bon sens du terme (Deutéronome 17:19) ? De nombreux exemples d’hommes et de femmes qui craignaient Dieu ont été consignés dans les Écritures “ pour notre instruction ”. (Romains 15:4.) Intéressons-nous à la vie de l’un de ces personnages, le roi David.
      Saül, le premier roi d’Israël, avait la crainte du peuple, mais pas la crainte de Dieu. Cela lui a valu d’être rejeté par Jéhovah (1 Samuel 15:24-26). David, lui, était un homme qui craignait vraiment Dieu ; sa vie et son intimité avec Jéhovah en témoignent. Les nombreuses nuits à la belle étoile qu’il avait passées dans sa jeunesse à faire paître les moutons de son père l’avaient certainement aidé à comprendre ce qu’est la crainte de Jéhovah (1 Samuel 16:11). De l’immense univers, il n’avait contemplé qu’une infime partie, mais cela lui avait suffi pour saisir l’essentiel : Dieu mérite respect et adoration. “ Quand je vois tes cieux, les œuvres de tes doigts, la lune et les étoiles que tu as préparées, écrira-t-il plus tard, qu’est-ce que le mortel pour que tu penses à lui, et le fils de l’homme tiré du sol pour que tu t’occupes de lui ? ” — Psaume 8:3, 4.
      Il était normal que David soit impressionné quand il comparait sa petitesse à l’immensité des cieux étoilés. Mais, loin de l’effrayer, cette connaissance le portait à louer Jéhovah. “ Les cieux proclament la gloire de Dieu, a-t-il écrit ; et l’œuvre de ses mains, l’étendue l’annonce. ” (Psaume 19:1). Ce profond respect le rapprochait de Jéhovah ; il lui donnait envie d’apprendre ses voies parfaites et de les suivre. Percevez-vous les sentiments qui l’habitaient quand il chantait ce psaume : “ Tu es grand et tu fais des choses prodigieuses ; tu es Dieu, toi seul. Instruis-moi de ta voie, ô Jéhovah ! Je marcherai dans ta vérité. Unifie mon cœur pour craindre ton nom. ” — Psaume 86:10, 11.
      Quand les Philistins ont envahi le pays d’Israël, leur champion, Goliath, a provoqué les Israélites du haut de ses trois mètres. " Envoyez donc quelqu’un m’affronter en combat singulier ! les narguait-il. S’il me bat, nous serons vos serviteurs. " (1 Samuel 17:4-10). Saül et toute son armée étaient terrifiés. Mais pas David. S’il devait craindre quelqu’un, c’était Jéhovah, et non un homme, si fort soit-il. “ Je viens vers toi avec le nom de Jéhovah des armées, a-t-il lancé à Goliath. [...] Et toute cette assemblée saura que ce n’est ni par l’épée ni par la lance que Jéhovah sauve réellement, car à Jéhovah appartient la bataille. ” Grâce à Jéhovah, une fronde et une pierre ont suffi à David pour abattre le géant. — 1 Samuel 17:45-47.
      Il peut arriver que nous nous trouvions devant des obstacles ou des ennemis aussi intimidants que ceux qu’a dû affronter David. Que faire alors ? Imiter David et d’autres fidèles du passé en s’armant de la crainte de Dieu. La crainte de Dieu l’emporte sur la crainte de l’homme. À ses compatriotes en butte à l’opposition, le fidèle Nehémia a adressé cette exhortation : “ N’ayez pas peur à cause d’eux. Souvenez-vous de Jéhovah le Grand et le Redoutable. ” (Nehémia 4:14). C’est parce qu’ils avaient son soutien que David, Nehémia et d’autres ont réussi à faire ce que Jéhovah attendait d’eux. Nous le pourrons également si nous craignons Dieu.
      Après celle sur Goliath, Jéhovah a accordé d’autres victoires à David. Jaloux, Saül a tenté de tuer le jeune homme, d’abord dans un geste de colère, puis par des moyens détournés, enfin en mobilisant toute une armée contre lui. Même si David avait reçu l’assurance qu’il serait roi, pendant des années il a dû fuir, se battre, et attendre le moment fixé par Jéhovah. Dans toutes ces situations, il ne s’est jamais départi de sa crainte du vrai Dieu. — 1 Samuel 18:9, 11, 17 ; 24:2.
      À un moment donné, David s’est réfugié auprès d’Akish, le roi de Gath, ville philistine d’où était originaire Goliath (1 Samuel 21:10-15). Les serviteurs d’Akish l’ont dénoncé comme ennemi. Comment a-t-il réagi à cette situation périlleuse ? Il s’est confié à Jéhovah de tout son cœur (Psaume 56:1-4, 11-13). Il s’est finalement sorti du guêpier en simulant la démence, mais il était bien conscient de devoir son salut à Jéhovah, qui avait béni son stratagème. David a prouvé qu’il craignait vraiment Dieu en plaçant toute sa confiance en lui. — Psaume 34:4-6, 9-11.
      À l’exemple de David, nous montrerons que nous craignons Dieu en ayant confiance en sa promesse de nous aider dans les épreuves. “ Roule ta voie sur Jéhovah, compte sur lui, et c’est lui qui agira ”, a affirmé David (Psaume 37:5). Cela ne veut pas dire qu’il faut mettre nos problèmes entre les mains de Jéhovah sans rien faire d’autre qu’attendre son intervention. David ne s’est pas contenté de prier et de voir venir. Il a cherché une solution à son problème en utilisant les capacités physiques et intellectuelles dont Jéhovah l’avait doté. Pour autant, il ne pensait pas que ses efforts d’humain suffiraient. Cette façon de voir devrait aussi être la nôtre. Faisons tout ce qui est en notre pouvoir, puis laissons Jéhovah se charger du reste. Cela étant, il est fréquent que nous ne puissions rien faire d’autre que compter sur Jéhovah. C’est là que la crainte de Dieu revêt un caractère très personnel. Combien est réconfortante cette réflexion de David : “ L’intimité avec Jéhovah appartient à ceux qui le craignent. ” — Psaume 25:14.
      Il s’agit donc de ne pas banaliser nos prières et nos relations avec Dieu. Lorsque nous nous ‘ avançons ’ vers Jéhovah, nous devons “ croire qu’il est, et qu’il devient celui qui récompense ceux qui le cherchent réellement ”. (Hébreux 11:6 ; Jacques 1:5-8.) Et quand il vient à notre aide, il nous faut, conformément au conseil de l’apôtre Paul, ‘ nous montrer reconnaissants ’. (Colossiens 3:15, 17.) Ne ressemblons jamais à ceux dont un chrétien oint expérimenté a dit : “ Ils prennent Dieu pour une sorte de garçon de café. Ils aimeraient qu’il réponde à un claquement de doigts dès qu’ils ont besoin de quelque chose, et qu’il disparaisse dès qu’ils ont eu ce qu’ils voulaient. ” Où est leur crainte de Dieu ?
      Le fait que Jéhovah l’ait secouru a augmenté la confiance et la crainte que David éprouvait envers lui (Psaume 31:22-24). Trois fois, cependant, David a mis notablement sa crainte de Dieu entre parenthèses, ce qui a eu des conséquences tragiques. La première fois, c’est quand il a décidé de faire transporter l’arche de l’alliance à Jérusalem sur un chariot, et non sur les épaules des Lévites comme le prescrivait la Loi. Ouzza, qui conduisait le chariot, a saisi l’Arche pour l’empêcher de tomber. Dieu l’a fait mourir sur le champ pour cet “ acte d’irrévérence ”. Certes, Ouzza avait commis un péché grave, mais c’est bien David qui, pour n’avoir pas respecté la Loi divine, était responsable de ce drame. Craindre Dieu suppose que l’on fasse les choses comme lui l’entend. — 2 Samuel 6:2-9 ; Nombres 4:15 ; 7:9.
      Une autre fois, sous l’impulsion de Satan, David a procédé au dénombrement des hommes de guerre en Israël (1 Chroniques 21:1). Là encore, il a cessé momentanément de craindre Dieu, ce qui a coûté la vie à 70 000 de ses compatriotes. Bien qu’il se soit repenti devant Jéhovah, lui et le peuple ont beaucoup souffert en la circonstance. — 2 Samuel 24:1-16
      C’est aussi parce qu’il avait oublié sa crainte de Dieu que David a couché avec Bath-Shéba, la femme d’Ouriya. David savait qu’il était mal, non seulement de commettre l’adultère, mais aussi de désirer la femme d’un autre (Exode 20:14, 17). Tout a commencé quand il a aperçu Bath-Shéba qui se baignait. La crainte de Dieu lui commandait de détourner son regard immédiatement et de maîtriser ses pensées. Mais il a manifestement ‘ continué à regarder ’, si bien que la passion l’a emporté sur sa crainte de Dieu (Matthieu 5:28 ; 2 Samuel 11:1-4). David a oublié que Jéhovah devait être présent dans tous les domaines de sa vie. — Psaume 139:1-7.
      De son adultère avec Bath-Shéba est né un fils. Peu après, Jéhovah a envoyé le prophète Nathân dénoncer le péché de David. Retrouvant la crainte de Dieu en même temps que la raison, celui-ci s’est repenti. Il a supplié Jéhovah de ne pas le rejeter et de ne pas lui retirer son esprit saint (Psaume 51:7, 11). Jéhovah lui a pardonné et a atténué le châtiment, mais il ne lui a pas épargné toutes les conséquences de ses actes. Le fils de David est mort ; les malheurs se sont succédé dans sa famille. Quel prix à payer pour avoir momentanément fait abstraction de la crainte de Dieu ! — 2 Samuel 12:10-14 ; 13:10-14 ; 15:14.
      Aujourd’hui de même, ne pas craindre Dieu dans le domaine de la moralité peut avoir des conséquences graves et durables. Imaginez la douleur de cette jeune femme qui découvre que son mari chrétien l’a trompée lors d’un déplacement professionnel à l’étranger. Choquée, anéantie par le chagrin, elle enfouit son visage dans ses mains et pleure toutes les larmes de son corps. Combien de temps faudra-t-il au mari infidèle pour regagner la confiance et le respect de sa femme ? Des situations aussi pénibles peuvent être évitées grâce à la crainte de Dieu. — 1 Corinthiens 6:18.
      Satan détruit les valeurs morales de la société humaine les unes après les autres, et il cherche particulièrement à corrompre les vrais chrétiens. Pour ce faire, il exploite le chemin le plus direct vers le cœur et l’esprit : nos sens, avec une prédilection pour l’ouïe et la vue (Éphésiens 4:17-19). Comment réagissez-vous quand, involontairement, vous vous trouvez exposé à des images ou à des paroles obscènes, ou encore en présence d’individus immoraux ?
      Voyez le cas d’André. Cet ancien et père de famille est médecin dans un pays d’Europe. Quand il était de garde de nuit à l’hôpital, des collègues féminines avaient pris l’habitude d’épingler sur son oreiller des mots doux ornés de petits cœurs pour l’inviter à coucher avec elles. André s’interdisait résolument d’accorder la moindre pensée à ces avances. Mieux, pour se soustraire à cet environnement malsain, il a changé d’établissement. Sa crainte de Dieu s’est révélée sage et lui a valu des bénédictions, puisqu’il effectue aujourd’hui une partie de ses activités au siège des Témoins de Jéhovah de son pays.
      Troquer nos précieuses relations avec Jéhovah contre quelque chose auquel nous n’avons pas droit : voilà où nous risquons d’en arriver en cultivant de mauvaises pensées (Jacques 1:14, 15). Si nous craignons Jéhovah, en revanche, nous nous tiendrons éloignés — et même nous nous écarterons délibérément — des gens, des lieux, des activités ou des divertissements qui pourraient nous faire baisser notre garde (Proverbes 22:3). Quel que soit l’inconvénient ou le sacrifice que cela implique, il n’est rien à côté de la perte de la faveur divine (Matthieu 5:29, 30). La crainte de Dieu nous commande de ne jamais nous exposer intentionnellement à quoi que ce soit d’immoral — à commencer par la pornographie sous toutes ses formes —, mais aussi de faire en sorte que nos yeux “ passent sans s’arrêter à la vue de ce qui n’est que néant ”. Soyons convaincus que Jéhovah, alors, nous ‘ gardera en vie ’ et nous donnera tout ce dont nous avons réellement besoin. — Psaume 84:11 ; 119:37.
       Assurément, c’est toujours faire preuve de sagesse que de laisser la crainte de Dieu dicter nos actions. C’est aussi la source du vrai bonheur (Psaume 34:9)

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