…so why am I STILL so happy?

So how does God’s Holy Spirit lovingly influence us to be happy by empowering us to cast out our fears? And what, again, does this all have to do with our choosing to let go of any control we desire to have over other people, places, and things in our life?
Consider this example from my own past. An example of aging’s silver linings, now that I’ve turned 68 last week, is I can remember back to some real “ah ha!” moments in my past. Here’s one I’d like to share. For my continuing education requirements as a Licensed Independent Social Worker in Ohio, I found a favorite resource used to be the New England Educational Institute’s Cape Cod Summer Symposia. Back in the 1980’s there was a summer where I took a week off to go there and study “hypnotherapy” with William O’Hanlon, a protégé of the famed psychiatrist, Milton Erikson, the father of modern hypnosis.
What I always liked best about the Cape Cod Summer Symposia, besides the automatic CEU’s for my license, was the workshop intensives would last all morning and we participants could play all afternoon. A favorite place for my wife and I to play was the super quiet sand beach of the Cape Cod National Seashore. So one afternoon, I did as O’Hanlon suggested and practiced my newfound art with my wife’s unsigned but hopefully informed consent. She agreed to let me “try” to hypnotize her for therapeutic purposes having to do with her own fear of her personal inadequacies. A rather generalized fear, I admit, but one not too different from others’ fear of chronic pain, fear of recurrent trauma, fear of sobriety from such addictions as nicotine, etc.
Tomorrow’s blog will finish my “ah ha!” story from Cape Cod and allow you to see more of how God’s Holy Spirit works to cast out fear in much the same way as hypnosis provides psychotherapy for those of us who are anxious, afraid, worried, nervous, panicky (choose your own word).

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