Strategies and Principles for a Successful Life
by Kerri Sadler
This is a concise online book compiled of well known life strategies and principles taken from numerous sources including the bible.
IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU.
The Stable Table. If we look at our life as a whole then there are four main areas that I believe we need to take into consideration. Like a table with four legs, if one area of our life is lacking then we won’t be properly balanced. The four ‘legs’ of our life are emotional/intellectual, physical, spiritual, and relational. Our being is made up of soul, body and spirit. We are an everlasting spirit with a soul being housed in a body with the purpose of connecting to others. Our soul is made up of our intellect (mind), will and emotions.
What are the issues that can be holding us back? The human condition is a broken one and all of us have some problems. We first need to identify what those problems are and admit we have them so we can then take the action needed to improve. Sometimes we can exhibit behaviours that we ourselves don’t understand. As an example, my father on the day of my wedding when he walked me down the aisle, had a coughing fit. As soon as his job was done, he had to go to the back of the church and stand at the door. When we were out somewhere, he would put his back up against the wall if people had walked up from behind him. If we went to Mc Donald’s for dinner, he would fight with my mum over where we would sit because without realising it, he would want a seat where he could see both the doors and not have anyone sitting behind him. At home he had to sit in a chair by our bi-fold doors that opened up to our front patio and be constantly looking out with every noise he heard. Every time he started to succeed at a job, he would do something to cause him to be fired. He would gamble away his whole pay packet, be unfaithful to my mother, drive into parked cars while he was drunk, be arrested and spend the night in lock-up for being drunk and disorderly, steal from my mother and his places of employment, smoke a packet of cigarettes a day, explode in anger and commit domestic violence. In fact, he did everything he could to sabotage his marriage, his relationships, his success and his life. It was only towards the end of his life that we found out that these behaviours were a result of post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) from having served in Vietnam. He had a fear of crowded areas and of people being behind him which resulted in the physical symptoms of coughing. He had hated himself and had thought he didn’t deserve to be loved, to succeed or to live. My father died from cancer at the age of 52. Before he died, I remember telling him that I was praying for him and that he would be alright. He responded harshly and told me to throw a big party when he died.
There had been no debriefing for veterans when they returned home and no counselling offered at any time thereafter. My father’s regiment had returned to Australia at 3am to avoid the viciousness of the protesters. He had been proud to have served his country but found that as long as his resume stated that he was a returned serviceman, he was unable to get work. The country had rejected their veterans which had only compounded their psychological problems. Men of his generation rarely admitted to having problems, it was not something that they talked about as that was considered as weakness. It wasn’t the manly thing to do, they believed they had to tough it out. On a number of occasions however my father had tried to seek help, but what counsellors had ever experienced war, who would really understand? I believe this is one of the reasons many veterans don’t talk about their experiences with civilians because outsiders are unable to relate and they fear they will be judged for things they were required to do or for the way they feel. Counselling only tried to address the symptoms not the causes. The smoking, gambling, alcohol and unsolicited sex were all vices used to try to cope, to dull the pain, to try to forget. The strange but automatic behaviours and physical symptoms he suffered was all because of a deep wounding in his soul and hurt people, hurt people. In a study conducted between February 2014 and July 2015 by a specialised veteran mental health unit at Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane, researchers came to the conclusion that Australian Vietnam war veterans that suffered from PTSD did not just have a mental illness but they had a systemic disease. There was a higher frequency of co-morbid physical conditions in the veterans with PTSD as opposed to those who didn’t have PTSD.
Although PTSD is an extreme example of how our behaviours are a result of the condition of our soul, how many people act in a certain way because of past hurt? I would dare to say we all do to some extent. Even people who have never faced the horrors of war often use the same vices as my father did for the same reasons. Are you someone who goes from one relationship to another, to another and never commits because you feel you don’t deserve to be loved? Are you on a sabotage mission? Do you believe you deserve to be successful, to be happy, to have an enjoyable life or do you hate yourself and feel you don’t deserve anything good? Are you condemning yourself over some past mistake? Are you punishing yourself with your thoughts or behaviours? I believe my father did and I also believe that is why he ended up with cancer. If you think you don’t deserve something because of what you have done, if you beat yourself up on the inside because of your mistakes and are weighed down by guilt and hate yourself, then you are essentially giving your body the signal that you need to be punished and your body will obey that command. I believe this is the cause behind many if not all auto-immune diseases. Your thoughts are frequencies that have the power to change outcomes and affect your body and your environment.
Medical researchers have been baffled by misfolded proteins called prions that they know are responsible for mad cow disease and a similar disease in humans. The brains of the victims have a sponge like appearance because holes are formed which then causes brain damage. The strange thing about prions is that for some unknown reason an abnormality occurs in normal proteins that are primarily found in the brain. These abnormal proteins do not contain any nucleic acids including DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). Researchers cannot understand how the prions can convert normal proteins into their abnormal counterparts without the use of DNA. Since prions are primarily found in the brain could it be that our negative brain frequencies are the catalyst for the mutation and then the proliferation of this disease? Disease is dis ease, not at ease. We already know that stress can weaken our immune system and cause physical symptoms in our bodies but the damage caused by toxic thoughts could be far more reaching than anyone has realised. In any case, it is in our best interests to eliminate such thoughts as much as humanly possible.
Every one of us has experienced hurt on some level and we have all hurt someone else, we have all done or said things that we shouldn’t have and we have all faced problems and difficulties. Don’t believe the lie that you are the only one who feels the way that you do or thinks the way that you do, that you are in some way abnormal. That lie is the reason why many people try to isolate themselves from other people and even go to the extreme of committing suicide. Fears, insecurities and past hurts if we let them, can shut our lives down and cause us to withdraw and hide ourselves away, not wanting to become involved in any types of relationships but instead live the life of a recluse. Have you been so hurt by someone you’ve loved that you have vowed never to love again? Have your self-preservation mechanisms kicked in that harden your heart to protect you from being hurt in the future? Do you have bitterness and resentment towards someone who hurt you, or let you down?
‘Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.’ Nelson Mandela
When we do not deal with our hurts, they will harm us.
We live in a broken world and if we do not guard our hearts and minds, we can soon find that life can get the better of us. To maintain a healthy body, soul and spirit and to maintain healthy relationships we need to be continuously working at it.
Each of these four areas, emotional/intellectual, physical, spiritual and relational are inter-connected, one affects the others, so it is important that we don’t neglect any.