Daily Devotions

The Wisdom of Carl Jung

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Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Carl Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. He was considered revolutionary in his field even within his lifetime. So respected, the older, Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, considered Jung to be his heir in the field. Sinem Gunel looks at some of his greatest quotes, in her article “8 Quotes by Carl Jung That Could Change the Way You Think and Live.” Let’s look at a few of his meaningful quotes.

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no universal recipe for living.” When you are shopping for the next self-help book, shy away from any author who offers you the one way to anything! Yes, Jesus “is the way the truth and the life,” but that doesn’t mean we all live out the faith the same way. One of my closest friends is Pentecostal. He would be no happier in my church than I would be in his, but we respect each other’s faith and commitment to God.

“I’m not what happened to me, I’m what I choose to become.” Sadly, life is not fair. Many individuals have experienced pain and abuse. When I was in high school I had a dear friend who was raped. It was horrible, but she did not let the horrific event define her life. She chose to become what God intended for her life, and that did not include being a victim. God gives us the strength to create us anew each day.

“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Regret must be a horrific emotion to endure at the end of one’s life. Those whose visions are only outside, are left with many regrets. But those who look into the soul to find their God-given direction, find lasting meaning and fewer regrets. The shoe fits, and we control the narrative of our life, when we are guided by the Holy Spirit in our inward being. Pray today for Jung’s quotes to come alive in your heart.

Themes Within Therapy

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Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

Therapists often find the same themes or patterns running regularly through the stories and guidance found in the therapeutic process. The interesting writer, Thomas Oppong, delves into this issue in his article, “5 Life Lessons From Therapists Who Have Been Listening to People’s Problems For Decades.” The five lessons advanced by the therapists are: “Life is a gift-it unfolds in a surprising way;” “Your own goals are far more important that anyone else’s;” “What you can accomplish in life is limited by the stories you tell yourself;” “Worry is not only futile but it also robs you of the present;” and “Improving emotional regulation skills can enhance long-term wellbeing.”

Too many people wish their lives away, or waste their lives focusing on fear, or feelings of worthlessness. These negative emotions keep us from believing we are capable of living a meaningful life. According to Oppong’s findings, we must work regularly to recognize that “Today is non-refundable-choose to make great memories out of each moment you have.” The way to utilize each moment is to respect and act on your goals. Discovering our reasons for living and working diligently to fulfill our goals reinforces our ability to create meaning and make a difference in our lives and in our world.

In order to fulfill those goals, our inner stories must be honest, both in knowing our limitations, but also our abilities and opportunities. For most of us, our inner stories are filled with limitations, but not as many affirmations and positive outlooks. This leads to worry, which Oppong reminds us, “robs you of the present.” Oppong continues, “To overcome worrying, shift your worry from the long-term problems to daily routines/actions that will solve the problems.” When the other four areas are faithfully addressed, we will get better at “Improving our emotional regulation.” Emotional regulation occurs when we practice “impulse control,” and get in touch with the healthy means of responding to our emotions.

Today, prayerfully ask God to guide your thoughts as you review the therapists’ five life lessons. Take the time to honestly review each one at different points in your life. Seek the Divine wisdom to be honest with yourself and the self-care to nurture self-respect and self-love. Then, you will be able to live a life worthy of God’s call for you.

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