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Looking back at 2016: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

Posted by [email protected] on December 31, 2016 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)


So, can you believe that we are in December of 2016? How time has flown by. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is deafening, as people scurry to and fro trying to get ready for Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and the New Year. 2016 is on the way out, and the New Year is almost here. It is a time for reflection; did we achieve our goals and dreams? What happened that we could have prevented? Where were the rough spots across the year? What would we do differently? All these and a myriad other questions swirl around in our minds. After all, this year was going to be different, we have promised this to ourselves and screamed it at God. This year, I am going to find that dream job, meet the right person, take that dream vacation, lose that weight, go back to college, slow down and smell the coffee… the list was endless. But, I believe that you will agree with me that most of us will have many gaps between our dreams and our realities.

So, what then are we to do when instead of joy we found dis-peace, new friends- loneliness, dream job- unemployment, a new house-homelessness or moving back into your mother’s home? None, not one of those New Year’s resolutions have been met. In fact, your life in 2016 would be great for a movie about the blues. What you say, that sentence might be too generous of a description for life in 2016. After all, you cried more than you smiled, you are still alone; with not a date in sight, now, not only you, but your friend and his girlfriend are in your mother’s home, and you feel lost and alone.

Can you relate and if yes, what does one do in this situation? First, can I suggest that you dig through the rubble of 2016 and you find something to be thankful for, anything. After all, there was that accident that should have killed you, that purse that was returned, that gift on your doorstep, the smile of a friend… Dig deep and remember them! Second, think over the year and consider what of any of the many crises’ you faced, that were in your control. For most of us this will be a very small number. Looking back in hindsight, did you do your best? Did you give it your all? If yes, then learn to forgive yourself, your family, and God and let it go. Next, lift up your head and be resolute in your desire to move past the pain, hurts, humiliation, rejection, discrimination, injustice, and disrespect that you might have faced in 2016? Let it all go! Keep your hope and faith, find peace with you, your family, friends, enemies, and God and face the New Year unafraid. Forgive and start afresh in 2017!

Would love to hear your thoughts on our post and about  your experiences in 2016.

Merry Christmas!

Dr. Meg

 

 

 

Breastfeeding and Breast Cancer: How if Any Are They Related?

Posted by [email protected] on August 20, 2016 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Breastfeeding and Cancer: How if Any Are They Related?

I recently spoke to two friends who had both being diagnosed with breast cancer. For one, she was celebrating her 20th year been cancer free, and she was getting ready to retire from a long and illustrious career. My other friend had just been diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 2016, and she was getting ready to start her chemo and radiation treatment. These women had a few things in common, they were both mothers and grandmother, they were hard workers who had led very stressful lives, but another common bond was that when they had the opportunity, they opted not to breastfeed their children.

Now, this is not to say that women who refuse to breastfeed always end up with cancer, but multiple studies continue to show a strong correlation between breast feeding and cancer. In fact, according to the Susan Komen Foundation breastfeeding lowers a woman’s risk for breast cancer, especially during premenopause. In addition, the longer a woman breastfeed the greater the protection. Research also indicated that women who breastfeed and ended up having breast cancer are less likely to die from breast cancer and to have the cancer reoccur, than women who don’t breastfeed.

So, given all of these benefits, why then do women choose not to breastfeed? What swayed my friends away from breastfeeding their babies. These are great questions given that August is National Breastfeeding Month. As a former Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) nutritionist, I remember working hard to share the benefits of breastfeeding with my young African American or Hispanic/Latino clients. Many would listen intently to my spiel about the benefits of breastfeeding, but they would often ask whether I had breastfed my children and I was proud to say that I had. In fact, I had breastfed one child for several years. This by the way is still a family joke and something he is often teased about by his siblings. So given, the benefits of breastfeeding and the close bond that is formed when women breastfeed, what then stops a woman from breastfeeding.

This is the million dollar question, and so I decided to ask my friends to weigh in, given that this is National Breastfeeding Month. Here is some of what I heard from these women. One woman reported that she was very young and no one encouraged her to breastfeed. Both women view their breast as “sexual organs” and cringe at the thought of having them sucked on by a child. They saw their breast as only for sexual pleasure, not for breastfeeding a baby. One reported being separated from her second child because of medical complications, and never having a chance to breastfeed. Another reported never producing enough milk to breastfeed. All in all, between medical issues, or sexual preferences, both these women missed the opportunity to breastfeed a total of six children.

Whatever the reason, the CDC reported in 2015 that only 59% of African American women breastfeed compared to 79% of Hispanic/Latino and 75% of White women. Also, 63% of women with less than a high school diploma breast-fed as compared to 84% of college graduates. Only half of young mothers under the age of 20 breastfed, but 68% of mothers between the ages of 20 and 29 breastfed. Seventy seven percent of older mothers over the age of 30 were the ones most likely to breastfeed.

Choosing to breastfeed is a personal issue and is influenced by several factors including, a woman’s race, age, culture, and medical condition, yet it is always important to keep in mind the benefits of breastfeeding, including a lower risk for cancer. So, here’s to all breastfeeding women and to all breast cancer survivors. In our small way, we have made a difference in our world. So, have you had any experience breastfeeding your children, or been diagnosed with breast cancer. If yes, add your voice to our blog this month.

If  yes, lets hear from you.

Blessings!

Dr. Meg

 

Injustices in Health Care: Getting to Forgiveness after an Untimely Death

Posted by [email protected] on July 7, 2016 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)

                              Injustices in Health Care: Getting to Forgiveness after an Untimely Death

July 31, 2016 would have been a very important day, yes; it was supposed to be the 35th birthday of our son, brother, and friend Jeff, who unfortunately passed away on June 13, 2016. When July 31 arrives, it will be a very sad day, as we stop to offer a moment of silence in honor of a great man, whose life was cut short. Because of this and the continued problems in our health care system, this month’s blog will be dedicated to Jeff and the issue of injustice in the health care system. Over 50 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr., said these words, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” Alarmingly, Martin Luther King, Jr. words could be describing health care services in 2016, for any minority living in the USA. Despite having the first Black President, and Obama Care, equality has still to not come to health care in the United States. In fact, I will beg to suggest that this shocking and inhumane treatment afforded minorities in our health care system is another form of the “new Jim Crowe”, to stifle and annihilate Blacks.

In 2016, as I reread Martin Luke King , Jr, words, I cannot help but think of Jeff and the countless other African Americans and other minorities, who despite their insurance status, continues to receive less aggressive, and a different quality of care in our health care system. In a developed nation where health care costs, exceeds 18 % of our gross domestic product, Americans of a different hue, can still expect to receive poor quality, fragmented care, despite their insurance status, and this makes me mad as hell.

The 2003, Institute of Medicine Report, “Unequal Treatment” clearly articulated that there were inequalities in the American health care system. But almost 13 years later, why are we still discussing this issue. Most importantly, how do we, as a people, ensure that 13 years from now, we have not taken steps backwards, and are worst positioned than we previously were, to live long and productive lives in the “land of the free and the home of the brave”.

After all, Jeff was a true American born legally to upstanding Americans. Jeff was free to come and go as he pleased, and except for a speeding ticket, he never got involved in the New Jim Crowe (our justice system and its massive incarceration of Blacks). He was highly educated and earned his MBA about two years ago. He was going places. So, why will we stop to take a moment of silence in his honor instead of having the huge 35th birthday party that we were planning? Simply this, the American health care system, failed him as well as countless others that met an untimely death in the claws of our discriminatory health care system.

So, apart from being mad as hell, what else can we do? I suggest that we have several options which we should immediately employ. First, we must become advocates for those of a different “hue” who seek services in our health care system. Second, we must visit our doctors, armed with relevant information about our symptoms or conditions, and remind ourselves that we are paying the doctor for his/her services, and not the other way around. Therefore, we must ask questions, ask them in a variety of ways and demand the support of the health care team to ensure that as a patient, you are at the center of your care. No longer is medicine a paternalistic regime, we are evolving into value-based, patient-centered care. Yes, doc, it no longer about YOU, when you can meet, when you choose to do a test, it is about aggressively treating the patient, who must be at the center of his/her care.

This begs the question, are American paternalistic doctors, many of whom see the health system as their “cash cow, going to survive the move to value based care as well as the many lawsuits they might find themselves involved in, since people are no longer willing to take their foolishness lying down? Yes, we live in a litigious society and malpractice costs are high, but have we bought some of this on ourselves, by providing discriminatory health care services? Only you “Doc” can answer this question, but I would suggest we all will sleep easier and celebrate many more birthdays, if all of us as Americans followed the golden rule- do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This way, you ensure that the treatment you provide to the” Jeff’s” of this world would be the same services, you would offer to your own son, if he were lying in that hospital bed. If this is not the case then your oath to do good and to heal has already been violated, and this might be the best time to consider a career change.

For me and the many who hurt from the untimely death of this young man, our plan is to take our broken hearts daily to our Maker, so that he and only he can touch and heal us in those broken places of our hearts. Yes, we know we must forgive, but the sting is still raw and God’s grace and mercy are so badly needed, as we pray for total surrender, so that true peace and healing may come.

Jeff is gone but not forgotten, so, join me in this fight to ensure that a decade from now, Martin Luther King, Jr’s words will be a stark reminder of times past, and the worst days in the US health care system, and not our current reality. After all, Black lives matter, so this month, share your thoughts and comments about our imperfect health care system.

 

Scleroderma Month: In Memory of a Friend and Dietitian

Posted by [email protected] on June 1, 2016 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (1)

 

                                                                                 Scleroderma: Musing about A Friend and Dietitian

In the summer of 2003, I lost one of my best friends to a rare, unknown, incurable disease called scleroderma. Karen and I had met at college where we were both working on our Bachelors of Science degree in nutrition with the goal of becoming future dietitians. We formed an instant bond as we were both Jamaicans and could understand each other’s struggles and pain. We often studied together and found ourselves on occasions spending many sleepless nights getting ready for our microbiology, chemistry or nutritional biochemistry exams. With perseverance and determination, we survived those years at Georgia State University, and Karen went on to become a wonderful renal dietitian until scleroderma made it impossible for her to live with us any longer…

In between the beginning of our friendship in the 1994, and the end of her life in 2003, I grew to know and love Karen’s husband and family. So, I never missed a family gathering, birthday or graduation, or any other event. So, I felt privileged to spend the last moments of her life with her and her family. After her death, grieving was difficult as I often questioned God about why her, but with prayers and time, God came as he always does and forgave me for being mad at him and healed the broken places of my heart. I believe that he has done the same for her husband and her family. Today, thirteen years later, I know that God’s forgiveness and love as kept me as well as all those who loved and cared about Karen. I rest in confidence that one day, I will be reunited with Karen, as she professed faith in Christ and as a Christ-follower, I know that we will meet again.

But what is scleroderma, and why should we who remain after Karen’s death work to raise awareness about this disease? I am glad you asked, since June is National Scleroderma Awareness month. According to the Scleroderma Foundation (2016), Scleroderma, or systemic sclerosis, is a chronic connective tissue disease generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases. The word “scleroderma” comes from two Greek words: “sclera” meaning hard, and “derma” meaning skin. Hardening of the skin is one of the most visible manifestations of the disease. The hardened skin was what one would notice about Karen after seeing her infectious smile. Yet, she never allowed scleroderma stop her from pursuing her dreams of marriage, a career, and being not only a wonderful wife, but a brilliant and caring renal dietitian.

In 2016, it is estimated that about 300,000 Americans have scleroderma, but since diagnosis is difficult, and symptoms are similar to other autoimmune diseases many may be misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. There are two major classifications of scleroderma: localized scleroderma and systemic sclerosis (SSc). The changes, which occur in localized scleroderma, are usually found in only a few places on the skin or muscles, and rarely spread elsewhere. The changes occurring in systemic scleroderma may affect the connective tissue in many parts of the body. Systemic scleroderma can involve the skin, esophagus, gastrointestinal tract (stomach and bowels), lungs, kidneys, heart and other internal organs. It can also affect blood vessels, muscles and joints. My friend Karen had systematic scleroderma and struggled with a myriad of symptoms and complications from the disease.

This month, let’s talk about this condition. Do you know anyone with this condition? Are you angry at God for giving you this condition? Have you, like me lost a friend, spouse, or relative to this condition? Share you scleroderma story and as I reflect, and remember my friend, let talk and encourage those who might have the disease to get tested and treated so that they can have a good quality of life.

In Memory of a Great Friend and Dietitian!

Healthy regards,

Dr. Meg

 

Mental Health Month Blog

Posted by [email protected] on June 1, 2016 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

                                                           Mental Health Conditions: Is this a Spiritual Attack on God's People?

Since 1949, Mental Health America and its affiliates have celebrated Mental Health Month in May. In 2016, the theme for Mental Health Month is – “Life with a Mental Illness”. Therefore, Mental Health America is calling on individuals to share their stories about what life with a mental illness feels like, for them. So, our ministry is also taking action to share this message and to provide you with a platform to share your mental health stories. So, here are a few ideas to get us started. Of course, feel free to share your stories and continue this discussion.

According to the Nedley Health Foundation (2016), about 26% of Americans have some serious mental health condition. If those with anxiety and other minor mental health illnesses are added to these data, Dr. Nedley estimated that about 50% of all Americans have some mental illness. What this means is that every second person in this country has some form of mental health. Let’s stop to consider these statistics, this way, if two of us are having a conversation, one of us, have a mental health illness, this is staggering to say the least. By the way, I am not certain of another condition that impacts 50% of Americans. Do you, if you do, please let me know what that might be.

The Nedley Health Foundation also reported that depression is the most common mood disorder worldwide, and is the number one reason people miss work or school. Upon hearing this, I stopped to pray and ponder on why this could be so. Given that mental health impacts someone’s hope, ability to pray, forgive, and even function, it is necessary to assess by the mind of many Americans could be under attack. Yes, I believe that the mental health that we are experiencing in our name is a spiritual attack on God’s people. But what can we do about it?

I believe that since this is a spiritual issue that God’s word holds the keys to finding workable solutions. So, after going to the Bible, I have a few ideas for your consideration. I believe we can address mental health by doing the following:

1. Read and meditate daily on God’s word. In Isaiah 26:3, God clearly promises to keep us in perfect peace if our mind is stayed on him. In Romans 12:12, we are also reminded not to conform to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we might prove what is the good and acceptable perfect will of God. God also promises to help our minds in several other passages of the Bible, including, Ephesian 4:17-18, Philippians 4:6-7, and 2 Corithians10:4-5. Regardless of what where in the Bible we read, it is clear that God wants our minds to be clear, uncluttered, and focused on him. In fact, from personal experience, when I disobey these words, that when I find that my mind comes under the attack of the enemy. So, God word helps to de-clutter, clean, and renew the mind and ultimately affects our mood, behavior, and our mental health.

2. Confess your errors to others and have them pray for you and your mind. In James 5:16, we are admonished to confess our trespasses and pray for one another so that we may be healed. I honestly believe that all healing starts in the mind. Once the mind is convinced and faith rises up in a believer, if it is God’s will, then the effective, fervent prayers of other believer’s leads to divine healing. So, how does someone practice this step? They can find someone to confide in, share their struggles by been vulnerable, and then partner in prayers, so that together they can win over the enemy.

3. Eat a healthy diet- In, 1 Corinthians 10:31, we are reminded that whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. In 1 Corinthians 6: 19- 20, we are reminded that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. There are over 68 verses that I could find in the Bible that addresses food, which have all led me to believe that we must put the best we have into our “temples”. It is also clear that our food affects our mood and I have seen numerous patients who have eaten themselves sick, trying to cover some hidden pain. Once they overcome their fear and bring this hidden issue into the open, with God’s help and with much prayer (back to item # 2), they have overcome. So healthy eating God’s way is critical to maintaining good mental health.

4. Be physically active- Yes, go out and get some exercise. Again, God made the body to release certain hormones during exercise and just by taking those steps, or going for a swim, one’s mind and body can be refreshed and renewed. Again, in the Bible, several verses address exercise from both the spiritual and physical perspectives. For instance, in 1 Corinthians 9: 24-27, we are asked, do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. So, just move and God will do the rest. The healing process is started when we dare to go out in the fresh air and sun and move our bodies.

In summary, while mental health conditions are plaguing Americans, if we meditate on God’s word, confess our sins and pray for one another, eat well, and exercise, we can renew our minds and be healthy in body, mind, soul, and spirit.

We hope that all our readers had a wonderful mental health month. Please give us a call at 404-500-9204 to set up an appointment to see one of our counselors.

Kind regards,

Dr. Meg

 

 

 

Nutrition Month Blog

Posted by [email protected] on June 1, 2016 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

                                                             National Nutrition Month: The Registered Dietitian, Healthy Eating, and Unforgiveness

March is National Nutrition month, when we as a nation celebrate healthy eating, and work to empower Americans to choose a healthy diet. This diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. On March 11, “Registered Dietitian (RD) Nutritionist Day,” we as a nation will celebrate all the nutrition and dietetic professionals that help Americans to eat healthier. Happy RD day to all of my colleagues, you are truly making a difference in the lives of the millions of clients across our nation.

At Forgive4 Health Ministries, we know that unforgiveness can have a major impact on healthy eating. For example, have you had a fight with a family member and found yourself binge eating on foods that you know you should avoid? Or had a hard day at work and found yourself drawn to that bar of chocolate? Yes, I am sure that we can all agree that our emotions can influence our dietary habits. Another factor that could sidetrack your plans to follow a healthy diet is unforgiveness. As you might remember, unforgiveness can lead to anger, depression, anxiety, etc. Of course, anger, depression, and anxiety have a tremendous influence on what we eat.

As Forgive4 Health Ministries, we serve many clients who are “emotional eaters”; they reach for comfort foods when they are angry, eat high sugar foods when they are down, and lose all control of their caloric intake over the weekend, because they are lonely. If this sounds like you, then please speak to your local RD for some individualized tips to help with these issues. However, in the meantime, consider the following tips:

• If you are an emotional eater, take our forgiveness test, and if your scores are low, do some self-reflection to identify what might be bothering you, then work to let it go

• Remember that you are what you eat, so choose wisely

• Keep those “danger foods” out of your pantry and refrigerator

• Find a friend to speak to about any issues you might have, and to keep you accountability

If food takes your pain away, then work to find out why that is the case. After all, over time, the accumulation of poor eating and physical inactivity can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. So, take some time to make small changes that can lead to a healthier life.

Happy nutrition month to all our readers, and remember if unforgiveness is affecting how you are eating, give us a call at 404-500-9204 to see how if any, we can help you to let it go, and to start your journey toward a healthier you.

To Good Health!

Dr. Meg

 

American Heart Month: Forgiveness and Heart Disease

Posted by [email protected] on February 11, 2016 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)


American Heart Month: Forgiveness and Heart Disease

February is designated as American Heart Month because heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the United States. According to the Office of Minority Health, heart disease affects people from all walks of life, and over 600,000 people die from it every year. Unfortunately, the rate of heart disease is higher in racial and ethnic minority communities. In fact, these health disparities are alarming to say the least. Listen to these data as it relates to heart disease in African Americans.

• African American adults are 40 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, and they are less likely than their non-Hispanic White counterparts to have their blood pressure under control.

• African Americans were 30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites.

For years, forgiveness has been associated with fewer reported physical symptoms, lower medications use, a stronger immune system, and reduced cardiovascular mortality. Previous research (Lawler, et al, 2005, Lawler, et.al, 2003, & Larsen, et al, 2012) has proven the connection of unforgiveness on blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiovascular reactivity. In fact, the ongoing strain of unforgiveness has been shown to increase mortality in individuals.

So, during this Heart Month while I applaud the work of the American Heart Association and other relevant stakeholders, the link of forgiveness to heart disease has been mostly ignored. Yet, given our present realities and the high morbidity and mortality rates related to heart disease in the African American community, I wanted to use this Blog to broach the topic of forgiveness and heart disease.

So this begs the question, could unforgiveness be an underlying cause of cardiovascular diseases in Americans, and could the noted disparities in minority populations, be linked to higher rates of unforgiveness? If yes, while you “Rock Your Red”, could you join me in some self-reflection. Let us stop and focus on areas where there may be unforgiveness in our lives, offer forgiveness to those who ask, and work to let things go. Again, as a reminder, at our ministries, we offer forgiveness facilitation workshops and sessions for individuals and groups – visit us at www.forgive4health.org

We would love to hear from you about any experiences you might have had with unforgiveness, hypertension, or heart disease? So, add your story to our Blog, and help us STOP heart disease.

 

Forgiveness in the Workplace

Posted by [email protected] on January 15, 2016 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Forgiveness at Work in 2016

Welcome to 2016 and Happy New Year to all of our readers. This is our first blog of 2016, and for January, we will focus on forgiveness in the workplace. The idea for this blog week came while I was in the process of preparing for a session on forgiveness at work at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA. Given that all of us just returned to work after our Christmas and New Year’s holiday season, I thought that this was a timely topic. I hope that you will agree.

The need to address the issue of forgiveness at work cannot be over emphasized, and I hope that the topic will lead to some stimulating discussions. For my CDC session, I plan to start with a few audience questions and thought that it might be helpful to share these here as well. I hope that doing this will afford readers with the opportunity to consider these questions, do some self-reflection, and develop strategies to address forgiveness in the workplace, as appropriate.

So, let’s get started with some examples of potential issues that could get an individual to be unforgiving? Have you ever had a disagreement with someone at work that affected your family, sleep, or even your work performance? Witnessed your idea stolen by a colleague who ended getting a promotion for your work? Have you been passed over for a promotion that you know you deserved? Have you experience or seen racism, discrimination, sexism, white privilege, and or disrespectful action provided to yourself or another, when this was not deserved? Had a boss who micromanaged? Have a co-worker who is the “boss’s pet” and workplace tattle tale? Or have a new employee come into your worksite and took a job you applied for? If your answer is yes to any of these or similar examples and you have not forgiven that individual, you could be living in un-forgiveness. So, what can you do?

• First, I would suggest that you complete a forgiveness assessment. This test measures depositional forgiveness or your tendency to forgive.

• Refer to the assessment at http://heartlandforgiveness.com/take-the-hfs/

• Based on your scores, determine whether your forgiveness levels are high or low. For instance, scores between 18-54 represents low forgiveness, scores between 55-89, reflects a moderate level of forgiveness, and scores between 90-126, and reflects a high level of forgiveness.

• Second, consider whether you are experiencing any lingering effects of the transgression/s that occurred. For instance, does your heart race when the transgressor walks into the room? Is your sleep and quality of life affected by the stress created by this situation? Can you pray for this person?

• Remember, forgiveness is a gradual process that can have many fits and starts. So, use an evidence-based process, and repeat it as many times as needed. In the realm of forgiveness, practice does make perfect. In fact, immediately after a transgression, you will be furious, but as time goes by, your selective amnesia of anything good in this person, diminishes. But, if you are a Christian and in tuned to the Holy Spirit, you will be reminded of God’s word to forgive others as Christ forgave you, and work to eventually let it go.

The REACH forgiveness model developed by Dr. Everett Worthington, one of our pioneers on forgiveness has worked successfully for many of our clients. The REACH model follows these steps.

R- Recall the hurt~ true forgiveness can only come with openness and honesty.

E- Empathize with your transgressor ~ try to see things from their perspective.

A- Offer the Altruistic gift of forgiveness~ remembers a gift brings more benefit to the giver.

C- Commit to forgive your transgressor~ you can do this to Christ or publicly to a coworker.

H- Hold to that forgiveness~ keeps repeating this process, until you are free.

In addition to following this model, please consider doing the following at work.

• Do not avoid the transgressor- forgiveness is not avoiding

• Let the offender off without accountability

• Seek revenge or harbor ill-will

• Pray for the transgressor and your leaders ~ the bible clearly tells us to pray for those in authority.

• Work to foster a culture of forgiveness in the workplace

• Teach employees and managers to forgive one another, and be willing to talk about issues, not cover them over

• Encourage employees to apologize if they make a mistake.

• Build happiness into the work place. Find opportunities to encourage employees to be happy- they will be more productive

• If you are the supervisor- start by setting an example for your staff and managers.

• Work to not take every issue personally, even if it is, God is still in control and the best way to get his help is to FORGIVE.

But you might ask why should you forgive your transgressors, I am glad you asked. Forgiveness at work has several benefits, including, a more productive and happy team, healthier employees, and less staff turnover. Do you know a company which could not benefit from more productive and happier employees?

Finally, while forgiveness is not often considered in the workplace, after reading this Blog, I am sure that most readers will confess that they have witnessed or know someone who could benefit from this information. So, please share this with others and send us your comments.

 

Mental Health Month, Depression and Forgiveness

Posted by [email protected] on May 18, 2015 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (0)

May is Mental Health month and the 2015 theme “B4Stage4” focuses on how individuals can address their mental health early, rather than at "Stage 4" - when symptoms are more severe, and recovery a longer process. As I thought about the 2015 theme for Mental Health Month, I could not help but reflect on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of health. According to WHO, health is a state of complete physical, spiritual, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Health, therefore, is not complete; if one’s mental health is subpar.

According to National Alliance of Mental Illness, (2013), one in four adults−approximately 61.5 million Americans−experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 17−about 13.6 million−live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. Serious mental illnesses cost America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year. In fact, mood disorders such as depression are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults ages 18 to 44. What this means is that on any given day, millions of Americans struggle with mental health illnesses. Yet, the stigma linked to mental illnesses continues to prevent many, especially minority populations; such as African Americans from accessing the mental health services, they so desperately need.

At Forgive4 Health Ministries, we are acutely aware that unforgiveness increases depression, anxiety, and bitterness in individuals who choose not to forgive. In fact, depression can be an early sign of unforgiveness. Depression can be a chronic, debilitating condition which impacts the quality of life of individuals. Therefore, depression must be addressed both medically and spiritually. Join us this month by completing a forgiveness assessment and addressing any issues that could be impacting your mental health. After all, Christ came to set us free in body, mind, soul, and spirit. So, don’t continue to live a lie, check in with your doctor, call our counselor, and do something; anything B4Stage4.

Please share with us about any mental issues that you might be struggling with, as well as how forgiveness might be beneficial in this process?

Blessings!

Dr. Meg

 

National Nutrition Month: The Registered Dietitian, Healthy Eating, and Unforgiveness

Posted by [email protected] on March 8, 2015 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

March is National Nutrition month, when we as a nation celebrate healthy eating, and work to empower Americans to choose a healthy diet. This diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. On March 11, “Registered Dietitian (RD) Nutritionist Day,” we  will stop to celebrate all the nutrition and dietetics professionals that help Americans to eat healthier. Happy RD day to all of my colleagues, you are truly making a difference in the lives of the millions of clients across our nation.

At Forgive4 Health Ministries, we know that unforgiveness can have a major impact on healthy eating. For example, have you had a fight with a family member and found yourself binge eating, on foods that you know you should avoid? Or had a hard day at work and found yourself drawn to that bar of chocolate? Yes, I am sure that we can all agree that our emotions can influence our dietary habits. Another factor that could sidetrack your plans to follow a healthy diet is unforgiveness. As you might remember, unforgiveness can lead to anger, depression, anxiety, etc. Anger, depression, and anxiety have a tremendous influence on what we eat.

As Forgive4 Health Ministries, we serve many clients who are “emotional eaters”; they reach for comfort foods when they are angry, eat high sugar foods when they are down, and lose all control of their caloric intake over the weekend, because they are lonely. If this sounds like you, then please speak to your local RD for some individualized tips to help with these issues. However, in the meantime, consider the following tips:

• If you are an emotional eater, take our forgiveness test, and if your scores are low, do some self-reflection to identify what might be bothering you, then work to let it go

• Remember that you are what you eat, so choose wisely

• Keep those “danger foods” out of your pantry and refrigerator

• Find a friend to speak to about any issues you might have, and to keep you accountability

If food takes your pain away, then work to find out why that is the case. After all, over time, the accumulation of poor eating and physical inactivity can lead to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.

So, take some time to make small changes that can lead to a healthier life.

Happy nutrition month to all our readers, and remember if unforgiveness is affecting how you are eat, give us a call at 404-500-9204 to see how if any we can help you to let it go, and to start your journey toward a healthier you.

To Good Health!

 

Dr. Meg

 

 

 


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