Stoke the Flames or Put Out the Fire?

Mental Fitness, Motivational

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I recently read an article about a young man who was dealing with his wife and her depression. They had recently moved, bought a house, and started their own business all within a year. The stress of life had apparently caught up with the wife and she was, in her husband’s words, “…sad and angry all the time.” He went on to say how miserable he was (uh, yeah.), how helpless he felt, and how he tried 24/7 to make her happy. She had seen a doctor and was even on a medication.


SMALL PRINT: I’m not a doctor of any kind. Any knowledge I have has been gained from extensive reading and research (“reading” and “researching” people even more than books. Books don’t have a heart or a mind, afterall!) Primarily, my thoughts stem from common sense and experience.


Okay, having said that, I’d like to just give a few p.o.v.’s.

First of all, it is never, ever, ever anyone’s responsibility to make another person happy. Yes, she’s his wife. Yes, he wants her to smile. I totally understand that. If someone we love won’t smile, we can’t smile. However, if life has lost the ability to amuse Jane, why should John feel responsible for the loss and accountable for it’s return?

Second of all, if the medicine isn’t working, maybe the problem isn’t a chemical imbalance. Why keep taking something that isn’t doing any good? Maybe it’s time for a new doctor…..or no doctor.

I am treading on ever-thinning ice, but I think the human mind is capable of so much more than we ever give it credit for. It can do a lot more than we typically ask it to do. We look for more elaborate remedies from more elaborate sources, when very often we’re all we need.

My advice to the young husband? After giving him a quick, platonical just-because-you-need-it hug, I’d tell him to STOP trying to lift his wife up – he’s trying to carry himself as well as her and will be the first, ultimately, to go down. HE HAS TO MAKE HER FIND HER OWN LEGS. That’s the only way she’ll ever get any strength. It’s the best thing for him, sure, but more importantly – it’s the best thing for her. She’s suffering even more than he is.

I think the first thing to do would be to not mention her “depression” or “anger” at all. If she brings them up, change the subject. Sweep the words and similar phrases out of the house. Each time the words are spoken, they’re invited in, given a place to sleep and basically allowed to “move in, rent free.” Kick them to the curb – they’re the worst houseguest you could imagine.

It seems to me that the more we fixate on something, the more firmly rooted-in it becomes. This being the case, if we were to fixate on positive thoughts – we’d be a lot better off. It’s a fact of life, the more often we have THOUGHT A, the more real THOUGHT A becomes to us. Our primary thoughts create grooves that the rest of our thoughts fall into. If our primary thought is, “I am so depressed!”, how long will it be before our every thought is in tears? If our primary thought is, “I’m so angry!” or if someone keeps asking us, “Why are you mad?”, how long will it be before our every thought is defensive and sporting boxing gloves?

She, and anyone in her shoes, would do well to mentally wave a red flag everytime they “hear” their inner voice saying negative, depressing, or anger-based words and phrases. Furthermore, they’d be a lot healthier, mentally, if they replaced the negative thoughts with positive ones. The positive thoughts could be as simple as, “What a beautiful day.” or “My spouse loves me.” – as long as it’s positive rather than negative, steps are being taken in the right direction.

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

If you have misplaced your smile somewhere, e-mail me today, I’d love nothing more than to help you find it!

Make each moment count double,
Hollywood Yesterday

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