Can our quality of life be gauged by way of our depth of true appreciation and gratitude?

An excerpt from Chapter VIII – Endeavor to Avoid Preference for the Sake of Preference – from my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…

“We have all experienced what we coin as ‘sentimental moments’ – those truly loving and warm, ‘spine-tingling,’ ‘spine-shivering’ sparks that move through our bodies. For most, these are likely very special moments, to say the least: They are often the result of some special insight congruent with a feeling of love, benevolence, goodness, and grace – likely all of the above. Albeit, the significant question herein is how often do we enjoy these not-so-little gifts? For many, these feelings come infrequently. What would life look like if we experienced these feelings MANY times each day? What if we could healthfully prefer to learn to purposely feel that light, that good, more and more often – like a finely-honed skill? Those suffering from machismo may say that such a thing is ‘only for the weak.’ In these health arts, it is one aspect of true strength.

Effort toward avoiding preference for the sake of preference and the consequent realization of healthful multiple spiritual insights each day, is promoting of, and is enhanced by an emotional and spiritual (even physical) lightness – a lightness of being. It is a meditative deportment in which we can learn to ‘lighten’ ourselves of thought. When appropriate to the given circumstances of the moment, we witness, versus think about the circumstance which we find ourselves. Such witnessing is clear, unblemished, without opinion, precognition, or preset patterns of thinking. It is without expectations which abbreviate true freedom. Gathering this sense of lightness by avoiding unhealthful preferences enables us to enjoy a true appreciation for the miracle of the moment: An impeccable love.

Familial, friendship, and romantic love are wonderful things. Even so, the sense of true appreciation spoken of herein IS MORE. It is an ‘impeccable love’ – a glimpse of heaven: It is the true living embodiment of healthful dignity, decency, goodness, and grace – thriving and compassionate, spiritual and divine. This is a level of insight, of being, where time seems to stop. It is Acting Without Acting: ‘doing the right thing for the right sake without the need for selfish recognition.’ It is a means of action in which the right way becomes clear. We all have this capacity – to love and be loved in such a significant way: In this and many fashions, we are all here in the same boat. We can do ourselves a ‘world of good’ if we learn to act like it – thereby displaying a healthful preference toward embracing selfless insight and compassion.

If Heaven exists, it is a place, so-to-speak, where there is no time, no space, no distance – nowhere to ‘hide behind.’ Here in this imperfect existence, these spiritual insights are a meaningful ‘glimpse’ of that perfect place. Preferring to develop a way-of-life in which one learns to take absolute responsibility for one’s own health and wellbeing necessitates realization of true effort. Even so, the journey does not have to be frightening. It can be full of blessings too numerous to count – each moment, each spiritual insight building upon the other. This is the learned gift of true health through true responsibility.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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Can I see clearly now…through the lens of true appreciation?

An excerpt from Chapter IX – “True Effort” – from my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…

“At its most basic level, the notion of ‘true effort’ supports this important ideal: If one wishes to realize genuine success in striving for an important objective, then this effort necessitates ‘doing it until it works’ – working at it…working at it…working at it…until nothing short of success is enjoyed – ‘never giving up’ – No Matter What. Through his character D. Juan Matus, Carlos Castaneda set forth a similar notion – “Trying is achieving” – or achieving is nothing short of “impeccable” indefeasible effort.

Too often we say we want to do something or accomplish something – until we discover how difficult it is. We realize that the journey toward the goal or objective is not enough fun – is too complicated – too nasty – too trying. We so often refuse to enjoy the miracle of the journey toward the goal – we focus our eye only on the reward – being unwilling to appreciate and objectively witness the ‘big picture.’ We are all capable of looking at this same issue through a more healthful lens: What a wonderful gift we can allow ourselves if we work toward a goal while displaying true appreciation of the miracle of the moment… each moment of the journey. This is impossible all of the time – albeit recognition of the significance of this practice is a key aspect of a true effort which cannot be separated from a healthful means of trying and achieving.

In these contemporary times, we know that at almost any time we wish, it is a simple matter to just ‘be entertained,’ e.g.: television, computers, cell phones, video games…the list goes on…and on. Such activities require little of us – very little or no effort. What a godsend! Or is it? Food is clearly an important form of entertainment – particularly with such a plethora of it for the average person – and most particularly types of food which are so unhealthful – yet SO GOOD to the taste (and…entertaining). Exercise…’oh boy!’ It appears that for a large majority of us, exercise, e.g., moving the body in a fashion congruent with the way it was meant to…is clearly NOT a form of entertainment. For most of us, being healthy is clearly ‘no fun’: Eating healthfully and exercising (or just moving our bodies) requires, at least initially, serious amounts of effort.

In order to explore the multi-layered notion of true effort in a deeper fashion, we must be willing to look at a common trait which we often seem to blindly display when we exert effort in various circumstances: It is our craving for some sort of reward and/or recognition for said effort, and the positive outcomes thereof. The true health outlook herein is that we should move beyond this base desire or need: It sets forth that healthful change is always more deeply rooted and beneficial as we learn to avoid desire for reward and/or recognition for our effort. The more we embrace effort, versus reward and/or recognition for our effort and accomplishments, the ‘sweeter’ and more enlightening the benefit of our effort will be.

We all have the ability to succeed in this or that by way of our own effort – effort made possible by attributes both inherited and learned. We can choose to seek recognition for our learned/developed attributes – our ability to get things done – our self-efficacy: Much of our self-efficacy is due to our effort toward developing resourcefulness. Is it in any way healthful to desire recognition or reward for our resourcefulness, for reaching goals, accomplishing good things? To this issue it is significant that we ask ourselves this: “Why is it so important that we enjoy such recognition, that we take credit as such?” Or, one could say: “What is the ‘big deal’ as to whether or not we do so?” To this point, Albert Einstein said, “One hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer self depend on the labor of others, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received.” It seems clear that he enjoyed a deep abiding respect for the spirit of unselfish right thinking – reflected in a healthful willingness to reject craving of recognition.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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Is relaxation a skill?

An excerpt from Chapter VI – The Theory of Lightness: The Physical Facet – out of my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…

Definitive utilization of the notion of ‘true health through true responsibility’ necessitates substantive philosophical insight into the practical application of the physical tenet of the Theory of Lightness. The theory has a distinct association with ‘true relaxation’ – an ardent appreciation and genuine enjoyment of a lightness of being within one’s body, mind, and spirit. Realization of this high level of relaxation is inclusive of a sense of physical lightness, whether one’s body is stationary or moving. It is commonly accepted in contemporary empirical research that various types of stress and anxiety have a dramatic negative effect on our mental and physical health in myriad fashions. In promoting a genuine ‘lightness of being’ based on healthful practical philosophical objective insight, we can learn to control the stressors and/or anxiety which trigger a heavy sense of being weighted-down.

Light movement, or relaxation within movement, is graceful, relaxed, fluid, connected – not unlike a therapeutic formula for treating stress and anxiety. Such movement reflects one’s ability to move as if one’s mind, and each of one’s body parts enjoy a deeply enhanced intrinsic connection, e.g., not moving in heavy, stiff, disjointed, or jerky fashions. The ability or inability to do so is a true gauge of one’s ability to control stress and anxiety. In these traditions, various relevant notions are handed-down:

~ Those who step lightly, move mindfully and fluidly, know lightness of body, mind, and spirit.

~ Relax the stepping foot – step light, soft, not assuming that the floor of the stage of this comedy and drama is true.

~ If the elbows and knees are bent, and the hands, face, shoulders, and feet are relaxed, you are relaxed, and more and more able to curtain unhealthful anxiety-provoking thought.

~ Hurriedness is a frame of mind and an addiction.

~ Flexibility is life, stiffness is death.

~ The practice of refined abdominal breathing has made many a sick person healthy and many a healthy person remain so…once one becomes able to do it naturally, not just intentionally, it is a gift to oneself whose value cannot be measured.

~ Abdominal breathing in proper timing with gross motor movement is promoting of physical and mental dexterity, genuine strength of being, and
extended youthfulness/resiliency.

~ Consumption of food is a basic need, but our desire of food should not consume us and destroy our health.

~ Poor eating habits, lack of mobility, and overt stress and anxiety, impede circulatory quality of blood, lymph, bioelectric energy, and uptake of oxygen in our bodies…the root of a significant majority of maladies. The inherited natural make-up of our bodies may promote a greater propensity toward realizing particular maladies – you this, I that. Albeit, the fashion by which we treat our bodies both agitates our natural make-up and complements it.

~ Lightning bolts do strike, but most of the time, the heavy pernicious health difficulties we experience are by our own doing…nothing is of greater import than taking genuine responsibility for our own health and wellbeing: It is the right thing for the right sake in myriad fashions.

~ Our bodies evolved moving a lot, not sitting a lot.

When our bodies are not exercised or utilized in fashions congruent with the intrinsic needs which prompted it to evolve into (or be created into) its defined physiology, such a lack of exercise or use prompts it to deteriorate, ‘fall apart.’ The human body evolved walking, running, hunting, gathering, fighting, sleeping, among other things. It did not evolve doing a lot of sitting. Symptoms of this deterioration are reflected in various types or combinations of poor health and weakness – inclusive of disease and a lack of appropriate balance, strength, and relaxed deft coordination.

While most of us obviously are not going to be hunting, gathering, and fighting, etc., we do enjoy avenues by which we can move/exercise our bodies in ways which our bodies were intended. Walking, jogging, running, dancing, stretching, are means of this. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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Is there hope for us?

I believe a more healthful human consciousness is evolving and it has been predicated for a considerable time now. What are your thoughts on this? (An inquiry from a reader of my blogs and book.)

Response: Humbly and respectfully, I believe it is much about (and becoming more and more so) a deeper and deeper realization of the import of ‘true Health through true responsibility.’ It has a long way to go…but I believe there is a significant budding awareness as such. In the ages-old traditions that I teach, coach, and endeavor to practice, it is said: “The world would be a much different and better place when at least a slight majority are raised-up or raise themselves up to take true responsibility for their own health and well-being. Humankind will not evolve to a higher level….until this occurs.” This is the primary thesis of the ages-old Bright Beautiful School of Thought (as shared in my book).

It is requisite of a truly substantive amount of true honesty and true appreciation…which are promoting of true happiness and true freedom – but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind: Consistently (and in a deeply-meant healthful spirit of humility, respect, benevolence, and altruism), if there is a ‘key to the universe,’ this is most succinctly a substantive philosophical description. Its central feature is found in the notion of Acting Without Acting, i.e., endeavoring to do the right thing for the right sake…without the need for selfish recognition or hidden agendas. This ‘central feature’ is splendidly complemented by the notion that we are all much more in the same common boat than we often think and act…hence the primary fault of humankind is the notion that you are there and I am here. A path toward greater and greater insight and practical application into this ‘same boat theory’ is found in benevolently and altruistically supporting each other in our healthful goals. Once again, this is true health through true responsibility – it is recognizing what might or should be our most important goal, e.g., to endeavor to make the world a better place…each day, each moment. This quintessential spirit can prompt us to be more and more light and bright sparkling spine-tingling healthful conduits between Heaven and Earth. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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How spiritual is it to be TRULY spiritual?

“Glen, how does one go about being a genuinely spiritual person? The concept of spirituality does not always have the same meaning for everyone. What do you believe is honest spirituality for a genuinely spiritual person? I realize that the term ‘spiritual’ is a label, and that it often doesn’t make sense use such labels. Having said that, I am just curious as to your response.” (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blogs.)

Response: Great questions, thanks so much for asking.

I am not in any fashion a believer that one-size-fits-all, albeit, I believe that the following sayings (as set forth in my new book) speak succinctly to your point at hand (associated with the ages-old traditions that I teach, coach, and practice):

If There is a Heaven (as set forth in various places in my book):

“If there is a Heaven, if there is a ‘key to the universe,’ if there is a ‘sixth sense,’ they are rooted in true honesty and true appreciation, promoting of true happiness and true freedom…but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind.”

The following analogy complements this thesis quite succinctly (and in a deeply loving and altruistic spirit)”:

Lotus Flower Blossoms Analogy (as set forth in Chapter XV of my new book):

“There is a place where, wherever you are there, whatever you are doing…no matter what, in any given moment, there should be nowhere you would rather be. It is where you are right now – and you have the ability to so deeply and artfully appreciate your life and its living…to connect one healthful insight to the next, and make them all one…learning to witness this already-existing truth.

In the wilderness of our existence…a place of budding flowers about, about to unwrap in a showing of perfect appreciation for all to thrive upon, we are the flowers which can blossom again and again in each season of our deeper and deeper insights…all connected…each better and more healthful than before.

It is not unlike Heaven…and it can become Heaven, with enough insight and appreciation. It takes quite a few sparks, glimpses – spine-tingling moments…as a way-of-life which becomes more and more purposeful…more and more without time or space or distance. More and more there is less and less to hide behind.”

“So Glen, how would the behavior of a spiritual person then look like?”

Response: If I understand you properly…it is that of a healthful spirit – loving, selfless, peaceful, centered, dignified…full of goodness, grace, and decency. Albeit, it is devoid, or almost devoid of any level of codependency. It is a mien in which there is a dire recognition that one of the greatest gifts on this earth is that there is always room for improvement…with regard to deep objective insight and connecting-of-the-healthful-dots, i.e. ‘pattern literacy.’ It is consistent with an outlook in which healthful change is benevolently embraced. It is a strong awareness that we are all much more in the same common boat than is most often displayed…and deep realization of the true responsibility of supporting others in their healthful goals. It is the antithesis of the ‘three portents,’ i.e., hate, greed, and ignorance. It is avoiding preferences for the sake of preference. It is a mien of lightness and brightness – in mind, body, and spirit. It is a spirit and insight in which forgiveness for oneself and others is enjoyed…having released such unnecessary/terribly pernicious weight. It is a very deep and abiding awareness and true appreciation of true love…a love inclusive, yet more than just, familial, friendship, and romantic love. So quite importantly, it is a loving appreciation for the notion that one of our greatest of responsibilities is to make the world a better place…maybe even so much so as to be a glimpse of Heaven. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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How many miracles can we handle?

An excerpt from Chapter VII – True Appreciation of the Miracle of the Moment – out of my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…

“Most of us enjoy an awareness and appreciation for what we perceive to be major life-altering miracles: a life or lives being saved in a disaster, wonderful medical breakthroughs, great spiritual or religious events, etc. Certainly, many would agree
that the manifestation of these circumstances is miraculous – often beyond measure. After all, that is why we coin them as such: “true miracles.” The primary thesis of ‘true appreciation of the miracle of the moment’ displays no impetus toward competing with that notion: it simply implies that there are true miracles, by the tens of thousands each day, that most of us choose to ignore. These miracles are no less so – true miracles. According to this theory, awareness and true appreciation of these miracles, or the lack thereof, is a gauge of true health.

The notion that, each moment, we are living, breathing, thinking/intelligent, free-willed functioning beings, on a lava-filled rock/planet which supports us while we act out our innumerable comedies and dramas on its surface/stage setting, while spinning at 1000 miles per hour, traveling through space at an average of 66,000 miles per hour around a star, in a solar system tuned like a clock, in a galaxy in a universe moving at least at the speed of light, means, when one views it objectively, that each moment is by any rational and appreciative standard, a miracle without measure. And truly, this is just one example of the innumerable blessings for which we can choose to be appreciative of in our lives: Just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ so-to-speak.

No matter how difficult life is for us, no matter the many ‘thorns in our side’ in our daily lives, how dare we not appreciate the gift of each moment for the miracles that they are? Why do we not feel a deep and abiding rational, emotional, and even spiritual appreciation for each moment, in each moment?

It is likely true, that much of the time, each of us is ‘lost within ourselves’ – in our anxiety, in our sadness – not even knowing to, let alone wanting to be, objective and insightful – unwilling to ‘reach out of ourselves,’ our own ‘little bubble,’ our faulty private logic, our unhealthy habits, our addictive behavior. Such issues may be reasons to ignore the miracle of each moment. Albeit, they are not valid excuses…No Matter What. In the traditions of true health, nothing is more important than learning to embrace our discomfort as much as our comfort – to substantively face our internal problems so we can mature beyond them.

Even the most fundamental things, moments, are profound miracles – not just potential miracles. The ability to sit there and read this is a miracle. The ability to have a conversation with someone is a miracle. The ability to agree to disagree ‘without wanting to kill each other’ is a miracle. An appreciative awareness that we are all in the same boat, is a ‘really big’ miracle.

If all of this is true, then perhaps the greatest gift and miracle of all is the ability to love – deep abiding love of others, but most particularly, a truly healthful love of oneself. Is it possible that if we can realize true love of the self, that we can also realize true appreciation? By employing genuine effort, can we enjoy a peace of mind in which we can take true responsibility for our own health and wellbeing? Wouldn’t our world, The World, be a much better and different place as such?” — Dr. Glen Hepker

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Are bullies the real cowards?

Glen, what are your thoughts on the issue of bullying? It is steeped in fear and ignorance. Is it taught? Generational? (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blogs.)

Response: Speaking as a trained psychologist, studies show that bullying (being a most pernicious form of cowardice) is both learned and passed down. In this and many fashions, it is not unlike all forms of abuse/abusive behavior. Bullying is rooted in hate, greed, ignorance, pride…and is the cause of most of the wars and famines throughout human history. The wars and famines of our spirits are reflected back and forth between each of us and the greater world. It is of significant import that our popular culture learn to view bullies as cowards…bullies would not bully if they thought that they might come out on the bottom. Congruently (in association), as one of the ‘seven deadly sins,’ pride is the root of the other six. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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How light and bright can our spirits be?

Glen, could you share your thoughts on the Buddha’s spiritual teachings? I am just learning about Buddhism and would really like to learn more. (An inquiry from a reader of my book and blogs.)

QUITE humbly and respectfully, I personally believe the Buddha’s teachings were so much about taking loving and selfless ownership of a genuinely healthful way of life…learning to better and better gather a deep, benevolent, and altruistic true appreciation of the miracle of the moment. This is quite consistent with learning to better and better play the part of the unblemished Witness to one’s internal and external environments. It is congruent with endeavoring to do the right thing for the right sake, without the need for (and weight of) selfish recognition or hidden agendas…once again True Appreciation. It is much about displaying oneself with dignity, decency, goodness, and grace – and figuring out how to TRULY mean it, no matter what. It is realization that we are all much more in the same common boat than we often think and act…AND recognition of the import of lovingly supporting others in their healthful goals. If there is a Heaven, a ‘key to the universe,’ even a ‘sixth sense,’ they are rooted in true honesty, promoting of true happiness and true freedom – but most importantly, needing less and less to hide behind. It is learning to lovingly embrace a ‘being’ (a mien/spirit) in which fear becomes less and less an issue (whether from within or from without – accordingly, the wars and famines of our spirits and the greater world reflect back and forth like powerful mirrors). As we gain stronger and stronger footholds into this SO-healthful spirit, we can finally know what it means to say…”there is a True Love, inclusive, but so much more than, familial, friendship, and romantic love.

Additionally, in the ages-old chi kung traditions that I teach and practice, the Theory of Lightness sets forth the notion of lightness of being (inclusive of in stillness AND movement), and the so-beautiful notion of the ‘accumulation of light.’ This practice promotes a more and more impeccable lightness of being, a loving self-awareness/mindfulness, an accumulation of light/energy vs. reflecting it as much or (at times), if at all. Granted, off-the-cuff it sounds a bit or quite a lot from ‘left field,’ but one can’t know until one is willing (i.e., exercising of the true faith) to work for decades or a lifetime to even begin to be good at it.

With less and less weight of desire, craving, and fear of healthful change, it could be more and more common to realize resplendent quintessential ‘glimpses’ of a so-to-speak existence, where there is no time, no space, no distance…again, nothing to hide behind…all is known…lighter and lighter and lighter…and being more and more of light itself. — Dr. Glen Hepker

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In what way is it a ‘true responsibility’ to support others?

An excerpt of Chapter X – The True Responsibility of Supporting Others – from my book, A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health…

“It is likely that a great majority of us recognize the importance of displaying heartfelt support for others in their abilities and pursuits. The ‘true responsibility of supporting others’ goes a step further. Its basic principle sets forth that each one of us has no greater responsibility to ourselves, than that of being supportive toward others.

To be clear, this notion does not in any way infer that we should ever be blind or codependent to what may be the silly unhealthful whims, dalliances, and/or unsound aspirations or judgments of others. It does infer that there is no greater means by which to assist ourselves or others toward substantive realization of true health/true happiness, than our support of others in their healthful choices and objectives – and most importantly, their ability to succeed therein. Such mindful and deliberate acts, when displayed in a healthful selfless spirit of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace, are in significant congruence with taking true responsibility for our own health and wellbeing.

It may be accurately said that “there is nothing perfect on this earth,” albeit employment of healthful loving compassion in our support of others may be among those things that are ‘as close as it gets.’ In these traditions, realistic and compassionate support of others is a common means by which to enjoy those wonderful ‘spine-tingling’ feelings, coined herein as one aspect of a glimpse of heaven. As opportunities arise in which we can allow ourselves the true freedom to support others in their ability to succeed, we may learn to objectively witness, grasp…a true appreciation of the miracle of the moment.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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How important is forgiveness with regard to our health and wellbeing?

An excerpt from my book – A Glimpse of Heaven: The Philosophy of True Health – Chapter IX/”True Effort”…

“What healthful changes would you like to make in your life? What changes would you like to see in the broader world – changes which would make it a more healthful, safer, and better place overall? The problems which we have as individuals are often reflected to and from the broader world. The means by which each of us can make our world a better place is most often accomplished by promoting healthful change within ourselves; a more and more healthful way-of-life manifests a healthful model for others. Once again, this is our true responsibility, and obviously, it is not an easy thing: It requires true effort to make such changes and sustain them. Ghandi made a striking point which can be applied succinctly to the notion of making such healthful changes: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” His simple statement speaks profoundly .

Some problems can obviously seem overwhelming and may be inherently fixed to our level of maturity – individually and as a species. The great psychoanalyst Carl Jung, spoke eloquently to this point: “The greatest and most important problems of life are all in a certain sense insoluble…they can never be solved, but only outgrown.” Congruently, and according to the traditions of the health and wellness arts which I teach and coach, no serious illness can be cured – the problem of any bad habit, weakness, or tendency cannot be absolutely solved or eliminated. Such can ONLY be healed and/or made unattractive or unnecessary – though it will always be a part of our make-up, even if it is not outwardly viewable or manifested. This ‘outgrowing’ or ‘growing-up’ necessitates true effort toward educating ourselves about the nuances of health and wellness and ever-evolving critical thinking skills. Such ongoing development is what growing-up is all about.

Probably the most painful and arduous aspect of true effort is the notion of true forgiveness. It is inclusive of forgiveness of ourselves and forgiveness of others: In actuality the two often reflect upon one another and/or are one-in-the-same. In learning to witness this issue in a clear and unblemished fashion, we may realize a sense of true compassion – gathering significant insight into the notion that we are all in the same boat: Hence, the ‘same boat theory,’ e.g., the primary fault of mankind is the notion that you are there and I am here.

Our entire outlook on life can quite commonly have a direct connection with the issue of forgiveness. In being faithful to the spirit of truth, we all can obviously look at our experiences and see that each of us has uncountable things for which we can choose to forgive or choose not to forgive in ourselves and others: It is likely we have all made the same mistakes that we see others make. Within each of us, wars and famines of our spirits are reflected back and forth between us and the greater world. For instance, when wronged by others, we have a choice as to how to respond: We can choose to make matters worse by acting in spite, or we can choose a healthful mien through which we can forgive – displaying true (unadulterated) compassion in a spirit of dignity, decency, goodness, and grace – all-the-while making it clear to the wrongdoer that the behavior is wrong and unacceptable.

It is likely that for a majority of us, we have more often than not been unforgiving – in fact we have displayed varying levels of hostility and/or have acted to reflect the wrongdoer’s action back toward them. In the traditions herein, it is said: “true self-defense is self-defense against ourselves and our own bad habits.” This concept is similar to a common saying, e.g., “we are our own worst enemy.” In acting upon this knowledge, we can choose to exercise true effort toward healthful growth, or we can choose an unhealthful ongoing regression toward greater and greater misery which is filled with self-loathing and hatefulness. Having great role models will obviously be helpful toward making healthful decisions; it certainly ‘can’t hurt.’

I am not intentionally promoting religiosity in this writing – I am setting forth notions of a healthful philosophical way-of-life. Even so, I cannot think of a more profoundly powerful, impeccable, and immaculate example of a role model consistent with the notion true effort and true forgiveness: According to Christian teachings, as Christ was being put to death on the cross, he said, “Forgive them…for they know not what they do.” It seems quite clear that this level of true effort and forgiveness would truly be even more than just a glimpse…of heaven.” — Dr. Glen Hepker (Copyright 2011)

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