shortbread

short, sweet, and to-the-point — by Keith Elder

Archive for the tag “health”

“The Ultimate Occupational Therapy”

“Love one another.”

It was a commandment (the greatest according to Jesus), but it was also a sort of primal occupational therapy.  When a person is hurt or has a surgery that incapacitates them, occupational therapy gradually prepares then to resume their normal activities.  Love does that.

Example: You are depressed.  Then, love one another. Go out there and help alleviate the suffering of someone else.  Volunteer at the homeless shelter once a month.  Talk to the people.  Listen to their stories.  Go around to the tables refilling water or tea glasses.  You will feel better.

You are grief stricken.  Then love one another.  Reach out to family and friends who are hurting as well.  Call them. Drop by to see them. Share your stories.  Laugh with them, cry with them.  Grieving takes time—but love leads to a speedier recovery.

You are lonely. Then go to where people are—but go to places that will make you feel better and not worse.  It’s a club centered around one of your interests. It’s an art class or a book club or a church small group.  Once you get there, love one another.  Make it more about them and less about you.

You are angry.  After you have had a little time to cool down, get over it and love one another. Say a prayer for the person you are so frustrated with.  You may recall, Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  Maybe you write a note to them saying, “Let’s get together and talk—life’s too short to spend it mad.”  Nothing sucks the heart out of a good day like unresolved anger.

Maybe you have shame or regrets.  Maybe you have let yourself or others down.  Then, love one another.  Baby step your way out of those dark places by very concrete acts of care and kindness.  Altruistic acts have been documented to give people an endorphin kick, not to mention the fact that it reminds us we may not be so bad after all.

It’s pretty amazing how we can love our way out of most holes.  And as for the one’s we can’t?…well, God loves us out of those.

–Keith   10-6-13

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“Choose Life”

It’s probably not what you think.  I’m not thinking about the big “Choose Life” you see on the bumper stickers; I’m thinking micro-choices, mini-choices.  (In no particular order….)

I choose life when I…

…choose a healthy meal or snack over the unhealthy options;

…drink more water and less soft drinks, caffeine, sugars, etc.;

…pack my gym bag the night before and go exercise first thing in the morning;

…read materials that motivate and inspire rather than bottom-feeder news;

…turn off the television and work on cool projects;

…go to bed at 10 or 11 at the latest;

…make a point of speaking to my neighbors and touching base with family;

…take time to read a psalm and sit with God a few minutes in the morning;

…help when I see a need I can fill;

…check my facebook a couple of times a day rather than twenty.

I choose life when I…

…write notes of encouragement;

…practice all along–rather than cramming for the test;

…listen more and talk less—particularly when praying;

…let go of those old ghosts of the past—the hurts, the failures, the debilitating shame;

…do my best to do my best—then move on;

…savor the beautiful, the excellent, the noble;

…ask people ahead of me on the path for their take on my situation;

…encourage those behind me on the path;

…stand up for the little guy;

…help somebody every day.

I choose life when I…

…remind myself that I am mortal, and I can’t do everything;

…downsize;

…just say no when I know I should just say no;

…remember my roots and the people who have believed in me;

…let a few trustworthy souls into what’s really going on in my heart and mind;

…stop comparing my weaknesses to other people’s strengths;

…seize the moment and savor the day;

…do unto others as I would have them do unto me  (Jesus’ idea);

…grow a moral spine and do the right thing;

…love better, deeper, wider.

I hope my list jumpstarts yours.  Choose life.

Keith   9/29/13

 

e-mail: keitheldermusic@gmail.com        website: http://keithelder.com

 

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