Love Holds Together What Fear Divides

Neill Neill, Ph.D.

I think of love as a universal potion or glue that binds us all together. Love has been called a lot of things, from the ultimate high to a dangerous psychosis. It is certainly at the core of self growth and [tag-cat]spirituality[/tag-cat]. The topic of love is broad, but we can narrow the focus by exploring the opposite of love. Consider the following collection of negative emotions:

anxiety, anger, shame, guilt, loneliness,
jealousy, envy, regret, unfriendliness,
feeling insulted, feeling abandoned,
need to control, need to be right,
feeling judgmental, feeling worried,
resentment, embarrassment, panic,
feeling unloved, depression

It’s quite a collection of negative emotions, but consider what they all have in common. They all share three related things:

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Judge Bans Christmas Trees From Courthouse

Neill Neill, Ph.D.

A judge in the Province of Ontario recently ruled that it could be offensive to some minorities to place a [tag-tec]Christmas[/tag-tec] tree in the courthouse, and so ended a long tradition. I call this “bizarre.” So I got to thinking about other erosions of traditional celebration in the name of political correctness.

I realized something else had been bothering me. I would start to wish someone a Merry Christmas.  Then I would find myself qualifying my well-wishing with “I know it’s not politically correct to say this, but…”

What I found interesting was that without exception everyone I said this to expressed similar frustration with the pressure to be politically correct.  The universal refrain was “Why can’t I just wish someone well in my own tradition?”

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Giving and Receiving Are Spiritual Acts

Dr. Neill

How good are you at receiving?

We are coming down the home stretch of a season that for most of us is filled with giving and receiving. With all the stress and increased financial pressure of family gift giving, we still try to open our hearts and our wallets to others in need.

But for giving to mean anything there have to be receivers. A receiver is different from a taker. We pay taxes, but we usually don’t think of ourselves as “giving” taxes. The government takes them. Perhaps the Receiver General or the IRS would be more honestly named the “Taker General.” Paying taxes for services is an economic exchange, not giving and receiving.

Contrast the taxation exchange with donating to the Salvation Army Christmas food program. The less fortunate among us, who ultimately receive the food hampers, are receivers. They are aided by an army of givers of time, the volunteers. The volunteers accept our gifts of food and money on behalf of our community’s needy that otherwise might not be able to have a special holiday dinner.

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Reduce Holiday Stress with Positive Psychology

Neill Neill, Ph.D.

I just read an inspiring post on a friend’s blog: “50 Ways to Find Serenity During The Holidays (when serenity is the last thing on your mind!) “. This is a good time of years to think about reducing [tag-ice]holiday stress[/tag-ice], or to put it in [tag-tec]positive psychology[/tag-tec] terms, enhancing calm and serenity.

The topic is a bit unusual for Coach Maria; she typically writes about business topics. Maria Marsala is a business coach who calls herself “The Resource Queen.” If you are in business, her sites are a goldmine of practical information about being successful with your business, so do get on her mailing list.She leads her article with

In the normal course of living, we sometimes feel “overwhelmed”, “burnt out” or “stressed-out”. I know I do, which is why I created this special list of things to do when I’m feeling less than peaceful. And around holiday time those feelings sometimes feel even more unmanageable.

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