Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Devotionals Can Be Inspiring

Today I had the privilege and blessing of being able to listen as Brother Andrew S. Hogan gave a wonderful devotional on overcoming mental illness. He is an author of two books today he spoke on one. It is called Bipolar Disorder: 5 Steps to a More Peaceful Life.
It's a book that I would probably recommend to everyone because it doesn't have to be about mental illness you can relate it to any obstacle or addiction in your life. Brother Hogan is someone who has suffered with Bipolar disorder that started about 10 months into his mission. He did a lot of crazy stuff. He made a lot of jokes and turned a serious subject into something light and easy. He said "Everyone wants to know what it's like to go crazy but no one ever wants to ask you lucky few get to know without asking."

His 5 Steps are
1. Identify
2. Authorize
3. Understand
4. Control
5. Heighten
Just a couple things he said that stood out to me are....

Some obstacles are easy to identy- Ask yourself, "Do I have an addiction, even to something harmless like music?" because this may be a surface symptom of a deeper problem.

Don't ignore surface symptoms dig deeper. He told a story about a boy that had a headache so the mom gave him some medicine and then told her son to go to bed. When he woke up he still had the headache. Instead of telling him to take more medicine she decided to take him to the doctor. After an exam the doctor determined that the cause of the headache was a small sponge stuck up the child's nose! The problem wouldn't have been solved if the mom had just thought she could solve the problem with some medicine when it was nothing related to needing medicine for a headache.

Authorize yourself to have the weakness. Don't just ignore it or pretend it isn't there. Tell yourself it's ok and you do have the problem and allow for adjustment. He related this to his golf game and said he always would hit it to the right and be way off. He acknowledged his problem and proceeded to turn his body and then he would hit it straight...most of the time. He said "If life is gold do we have a weakness that effects out game" Until we make the authorization others can only watch. They will not be able to help.

We need to understand the obstacle and ourselves. We can not proceed until we know what is happening. Others may not understand but we can help them understand. People may see our weakness as darkness but that may be because they do not understand what is happening to us. We need to be willing to understand our obstacle.

Take control. Pay attention to what triggers our problem. If it is a problem like pornography avoid things that would invite impure thoughts. When he was first starting he would notice when he was starting to not think straight and he would have to take more medicine. Sometimes he wouldn't have his medicine with him and he would experience extreme difficulty. In relation to boating, our rudder to keep us going the right direction is Christ and prayer. That is all we need to do anything.

The final one is heighten. We need to rise above our problem. From where we are it may seem like our dreams are gone and hidden but if we rise above we will be able to see our dream more and more clearly as we rise higher and higher.

The last thing that stood out to me was "The obstacles we experience are tough but our spirits are stronger and have the power to get us through anything.

I hope you enjoyed his devotional as much as I did. :-)

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Wow that sounds like a really good book I should pick up. I'm glad you enjoyed it. You are AWESOME!