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There's also the aforementioned issue of silence. Now Harry, that's my doc, he has a problem with me. He says that I am too serious about this heart condition. That I should relax, not worry so much, step away from it and it would go away. Wolfy (he's known me a long time), he says, don't worry about it. There's no problem with your heart. It's with your nerves. Take your wife out to dinner. Have a good time. You'd think he didn't know me. When I have a problem, I worry. Similar to building muscle, initial efforts to self-regulate are difficult: Each instance of regulation reduces one's immediate ability to regulate again. However, over time and with continued use, your clients' capacity to act virtuously will improve. This also means that these virtues take time to develop, and you can show your clients grace and emphasize the importance of self-compassion when they don't get it right the first time. Not only can self-regulation help your clients act more virtuously, it can also help them overcome the inclination for experiential avoidance in the future. Because the first reaction of many of your clients is to run from the pain--either by avoiding it, denying it, or numbing it--self-regulation gives them the ability to overcome this impulse and allows them to face their suffering courageously. A flourishing life is not one without pain. We still wrestle with the uncertainty of Daryl's health, even as more family members now face the prospect of heart surgery due to the same genetic condition. We continue to negotiate our new identity without children, and it still stings, albeit less, when people ask, Do you have any kids? Our suffering has forced us to face the reality of the existential certainties of life and we have tried to live more authentically in response--deepening, and changing, our religious beliefs;

In the end, we have learned to hold on to hope in the face of uncertainty. It can be incredibly rare, and we need more of it in our lives. Creating time in the morning that's silent helps us focus on what's important rather than on everything. Make your bed Accomplish something early. Make your bed. This sets the stage for your day. You feel like a winner before you leave your bedroom. It gives you the sense of self-reliance and responsibility you need to win the day. There's so much we can't control, so begin the day by taking action on something you can control and spend the rest of the day carrying on that momentum. Jordan Peterson talks about this a lot. This is a problem, so I'm worried. Is he tellin' me this isn't a problem? It is an odd experience speaking to Wolf Segal. You begin to think you are about to break out in laughter. It's as if he were a caricature of a hypochondriac, an ethnic one, to boot. But you realize after a while that Wolf, at least while he is in the office, is utterly serious. About other things Wolf has, to say the least, a mischievous twinkle in his eye. He likes repartee, and he spices his remarks with a jaundiced earthiness that is endearing. But with respect to his symptoms he is an enormous bore.

He goes on and on, often repeating himself several times, totally preoccupied. And just like your clients may say, we do not know if we are better off because of our suffering. We would wish it away if we could, but life does not give us a chance for an alternate experience. We can only acknowledge the intentional work we have done, the reality that we now face, and the surprising connections we have found in the midst of this struggle. And still, we carry great sadness and longing. In the same way, you cannot predict what the future holds for your clients, nor can you prevent future pain. But you can help them cultivate a full and flourishing life no matter what they experience. You can be the guiding support that they need during this time. You can provide a healing space for your clients when they are terrified that life is not what they had expected by attending to their head by discussing their religious beliefs, their heart by helping them develop healthy and genuine relationships, and their hands by integrating virtues into their daily life. A meaningful life is a flourishing life, marked by the courage to suffer and the courage to flourish--regardless of what comes next. SUFFERING MOVES in seasons. His view is a great one. How can you go out and change the world if you don't even have your own room in order? We have to start from a place of strength. That place of strength is our cave, our castle, an area that must be in order if we're going to do something of value outside of it. Read and write Learn and clarify. Reading offers another perspective that you weren't exposed to before you opened the article. Quite simply, it makes you a smarter human. Never go anywhere without a article in hand or on your tablet or however you consume the thing.

Starting your day with reading puts something into your subconscious, a problem, an idea, that your brain mulls over the rest of the day. I suggested to Wolf Segal that his problem was psychophysiological, a mixture of hyperventilation and panic and their physiological concomitants, and I suggested that treatment of his anxiety disorder and the personality characteristics that contributed to it could reduce the intensity of or actually remove his hypochondriasis. He acted as if he were stunned: Doc, you mean I've seen you three times and you think there is nothing to worry about, too? The worrying is a personality problem or an anxiety disorder? I grant you I'm a worrier, anxiety neurotic if you like, but a hypochondriac? Wolf Segal, who would give his right arm to be rid of these attacks of pain? A stoic, not a hypochondriac! If it sounds to you like amplification--is that the word you used? I'm worried about a real problem in my body. Psychological problems I've got no time for. At times, adversity overwhelms, and pain dominates. At other times, struggles seem distant and the burden feels light. However, suffering changes people in indelible ways; It takes courage to face the pain, to accept the hard reality of life, and to choose to live a life full of meaning. We continue to try to find our way forward in life, embracing an identity that we did not foresee. We still miss Tim. We still lament not being able to have children. We still have nagging worries about Daryl's health. We still feel the acute grief of losing Daryl's dad.

We lament as family members begin to show signs of this same genetic condition. Journaling first thing in the morning provides clarity. It gives focus to your effort and energy and can, as in my case, dramatically improve your discipline. Putting both at the beginning of your day cannot help but help you improve. The goal, after-all, is to be better today than we were yesterday. Reading helps you do that, and journaling ensures that you will succeed in said quest. With your journal you can see your improvement or failure and work on ensuring that you only see improvement. Accept pain as good So soft we have become that we can spend an entire week, day, month and so on, without feeling pain, and it won't necessarily mean our failure. A life with no pain, however, is one where we're going to get softer, weaker, and fatter. Over time, we'll see how a lack of pain has made us weak, but it can take a while, and it can take even longer to once again see the positive results that come from physical pain. I wouldn't bother to worry about them. Maybe I emphasize the symptoms here so that you will know what it is like, what I am going through--torture. That's what it feels like. Not many people could stand what I go through. The heart, it's the problem. The other worries, they are something else. Put them aside. I've come to you with the real problem, my heart disease, and you treat me like Harry does. You don't believe.