9602 82 Ave. Edmonton, AB T6C 1A1
We're here to help - we dare to listen!
Compassionate Listening Society was incorporated in Edmonton, Alberta. But as an internet based service our goal is to reach anyone with access to the worldwide web. We hope that through our website and our chat line, we can offer compassionate and non-judgmental ears to persons experiencing emotional difficulties. Particularly people who are feeling suicidal. If you are contemplating suicide we hope that you read the message below and that you click the button at the end of the article (right side) to chat with a person who cares about you. If no one is online then please email us and we will have someone online as soon as possible.
If the telephone rang and you were convinced that on the other end is the Lord God telling you not to worry, that you are well loved, and you will never be abandoned, you would undoubtedly feel better and the negative thoughts that torture you would be kept under control.
We believe these things to be true about God. As the saying goes, if you are comfortable for too long then you’re not growing. Human life is about growth towards purity of heart and conscience. We are moral beings with free will to make choices, which affect not only us but many others. The people around us, friends, family, coworkers, and even acquaintances, such as bank tellers and bus drivers help us discover who we are. They make us feel good and happy but sometimes they make us envious and angry, they may even go out of their way to hurt us. And at times it is we who are rude to them or who purposely hurt them. The point is that it is through these experiences, many of them painful, that we grow morally. And it is often in the midst of pain that we discover who we are. And this is why we often say that we go through past difficulties to get to where we are now. Pain never lasts.
The existence of pain and sorrow perhaps pose the most challenge to belief in a loving God. Yet it is more painful to imagine a world brought about by chance, a world in which God does not exist. For if there is no God then everything that happens to us is, at some level, entirely the result of chance, with no reason or purpose behind it, and hence no hope of a reprieve from pain, whatsoever. But that our world would be gloomy without God is not proof of the existence of God. In my opinion the most potent argument for God’s existence is that steadfast faith yields positive results.
And so there are things we can do in the midst of difficulties that will bring relief and sustained peace and contentment and which according to psychologists may even shield us from future pain.
Today start forgiving those who have wronged you.
“To err is human, to forgive is divine,” the saying goes. We have all been hurt by other people. And we too have hurt people over the years. The effect of these hurts, those that we receive and those that we inflict, linger in our lives and interfere with our ability to enjoy sustained peace and happiness. Even minor grudges hold us back.
The good news is that practicing forgiveness therapy has been shown by psychologists to: eliminate depressive symptoms
Increase hopefulness in people
Lower rates of psychiatric illness
Facilitate the restoration of relationship closeness
Forgiving others however may not be easy as the quote below illustrates:
Maybe the reason it seems hard for me to forgive others is that I do not fully believe that I am a forgiving person. If I could fully accept the truth that I am forgiven and do not have to live in guilt or shame, I would really be free. My freedom would allow me to forgive others seventy times seventy. By not forgiving I chain myself to a desire to get even, thereby losing my freedom. A forgiven person forgives.
Nonetheless, we must learn to forgive if we are to begin to heal. “... Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us...,” The Lord’s Prayer reads. We encourage you to take the next moment or however long it takes, to call to mind the people who need your forgiveness and begin the process. The more you work on forgiving other people the easier it is to forgive yourself and the better you will feel. If you are feeling down you should know that a study by psychologists, McCullough, Pargament & Thoresen, showed that practicing forgiving can significantly increase positive outlook and attitude. Forgiveness brings happiness!
Cultivate a habit of Charity or Kindness to fight gloom and to foster happiness.
Dr. K Sheldon and Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky conducted a study to find out if simple acts of kindness have an effect on people’s level of happiness and well-being. The participants in the study were asked to do the following:
Drop coins into strangers parking meter Donate blood
Help a friend with a problem set
Write thank you notes to a former teacher
The people who did these things became significantly happier than the control group.Another study simply asked people to “count their blessings”. Amongst the blessings the participants recalled were:
Getting over my first set of midterms Having supportive friends
The car my dad bought me
My parents telling me they love me.
Again the students in the study were happier than the control group. And yet another study, found that people who practiced gratitude regularly enjoyed greater sense of-being. These are just examples of things that can quickly lift you out of emotional difficulties, and, when practiced regularly, bring sustained happiness and well-being. And we have the promise of God that we will never face more than we can handle. The Apostle Paul wrote that:
My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, or lose heart when you’re punished by God; for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves, and chastises every child whom he accepts. Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is taking you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?