Thursday, October 7, 2010

Self-Help Helps Me Only So Much




Being a Christ-follower who is a therapist I believe that a person has incalculable worth and value. I believe we have unbelievable potential and capabilities. Unbelievable, but not limitless. I don't believe the popular mantra "You can do anything!" It sounds good on Oprah but doesn't seem to play out too well back home in every day life. Check out this video a friend included in his blog.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rDgE9d3GXE&feature=player_embedded



I can accomplish a number of phenomenal tasks. I can overcome daunting obstacles. But I need intervention from outside myself if the core of who I am is going to transform from being selfish to compassionate. Will power is not going to morph me from being judgmental to becoming a man characterized by mercy. Self-talk of "I can do it! I can do it! I can do it!" is not going to uproot hatred and transplant it with love.


I need Someone outside myself to intervene. I need an Other who is infinite to do what my finite capabilities cannot. I also need forgiveness--not only bestowed by myself but by the One against whom I have transgressed.


If our efforts at mere board-smashing are often futile, what or who do I rely on for that which truly matters?

9 comments:

TimothyNYS said...

Being a therapist who is an atheist I find you tube videos like that incredibly inane. When Oprah or whomever say you can do anything, I'm pretty sure she is counting on some common sense and intellect to part of the decision about what you want to do. I really don't think she is saying an 82 year old in a wheel chair can train and become an astronaut. Some things are just common sense. And one can absolutely convert anger into tolerance by telling themselves that here is nothing to support anger and plenty to support tolerance. Humans believe what they tell themselves. Children believe what their parents tell them, with age, people believe what they tell themselves. Oh, I consulted with a mutual blogger and it was suggested that I ask you this question (I think it was a great suggestion, btw) Do you blog to initate a dialoge via comments or do you blog to put your message out there and if someone comments, it ends there. Not ends there but I can't think of a better way to say it. Long day.

Steve said...

yes. Long day.

TimothyNYS said...

Earlier in the day: What was "yes" in reply to, I am not sure?
Tim

Steve said...

You had asked, "Do you blog to initiate a dialogue via comments or do you blog to put your message out there and if someone comments, it ends there?" I replied, "Yes." An evasive reply, yet whimsical with a dose of sarcasm marinated in irrationality.
(I'll attempt to give you a serious reply after a night of sleep.)

JeffK said...

common sense: our common enemy.

Steve said...

Tim, I will now briefly but seriously reply to your 10/7 comment and question. I like the idea of dialogue regarding a particular blog post, but hesitant to engage in it much due to 1. it's time consuming and I'm not sure I have lots of time to engage in thoughtful dialogue 2. I don't want to monopolize the space by engaging in ongoing dialogue with another individual 3. I barely have the discipline to blog to the extent I do, much less carry on dialogue after posting.
Obviously, I have reservations. I would be willing to try but with the understanding that if I felt it was becoming too cumbersome/time-consuming/not enjoyable I would discontinue and no one is take it personally and start sending me hate-mail. :>)

TimothyNYS said...

Okay dude, if that was brief, I totally get your point.

Steve said...

Tim, that made me laugh--and at 5:53 a.m. I'm not usually in a knee-slapping frame of mind.

TimothyNYS said...

smile