Day 427, How Do You Obtain Twenty Exemplary Keys for Your Core Code?

 
Preparing For My Day

 
5-10 things I am grateful for:
  • my Core Code for Living, which I also entered as 20 items in JV Life Tracker (20 out of 20 for yesterday).
  • my Cronometer Progress – every day since September 22, 2019.
  • losing some of the weight I regained recently back to 53.15 kg.
  • the financial support my husband gives me.
  • healing in my left knee.
 
comments, feelings, ideas, moods, and empowering questions:
Paul said, “Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.” (2 Timothy 2:7).  Understanding in all things?  That sounds like wisdom to me.
 
mood and energy:
 
0-100
comments
mood:
80
feeling okay, feeling hopeful about today.
energy:
70
somewhat energetic; ready to take a Day of Rest.
 
accomplishments:
 
accomplishment
the reason it is important
next action(s)
1.
I figured out how to convert my Library of the Future titles to Kindle books (.mobi) and read them on my Android.
Classic books, knowledge, wisdom
Convert and read.
2.
I figured out how to convert my Cronometer Progress into a pdf on my blog.
Computer knowledge, Blog
Keep updating progress.
3.
I learned what an affordance is.
Organization
Use affordances as things in places to keep items that move around, preventing their loss.
4.
I figured out the name and coloring scheme for the next version of my app.
Programming
Keep making progress.
5.
The Core Code is also a Code of Abundance.
Abundance
Score how you do on the Core Code daily with JV Life Tracker.
6.
I learned how to transfer The Journal entries into Word for Windows 2013.
Writing
Now I can get started at writing Kindle books.
 

Sunday Afternoon

 
This week, the last in October and first in November, I meditated often on my new Core Code for Living.  Since last week, I reorganized the order of the keys, making the Core Code easier to remember.  Getting a Core Code down on electronic canvas has helped solidify it in my mind.  Embedded in it is much of the Christian code for living.  Whether you are Christian or not, I invite you to consider the Christian code in the New Testament, which emphasizes loving and forgiving others.
 
I have assembled other parts of the Core Code from what I have been reading and studying lately.  It touches on each of my top ten values:  consistency, timeliness, joy, wisdom, clarity, courage, productive creativity, influence, necessity, and energetic vibrancy.   Also the fruit of the Spirit mentioned by Paul in Galatians 5:22,23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control is part of the Core Code.  I invite you to study this Core Code.  You can copy it, as is, for your own or you can re-write it as needed to reflect your values, goals, and creed.  I believe it contains twenty exemplary keys you can obtain for your own Core Code for Living.
 
 
 
CORE Code for Living
1.
Live by faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ and pattern your life after His to be an influence for good.
2.
Love the Lord God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself, treating your neighbor as you would want to be treated.
3.
Ask, seek, and knock for wisdom as it can supply riches, happiness, and long life.
4.
Pray for joy and express joy in all you do.  Ask, seek, and knock for whatever you wish, believing you have received.  Remember to praise God and express gratitude.
5.
Work heartily and consistently as if for the Lord, regardless of who employs you, being a linchpin for those you serve.
6.
Create beauty daily and ship or publish what you create.
7.
Keep your word.
8.
Speak and write words of healing to others.  Never harm others with your words.
9.
Organize and clean your thoughts and environment to produce joy.
10.
Root out cognitive distortions from your thinking.  Replace distortions with the truth.
11.
Regard your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, using self-control to execute self-care rituals and treating yourself with life-giving and only life-giving substances.
12.
Love yourself.
13.
Remember, your self-worth does not depend on your performance.  Live authentically to express your self-worth.
14.
Rest and relax as necessary.  Meditate daily.
15.
Be forgiving, gentle, kind, and patient with others and yourself.
16.
Be peaceful and be a peacemaker.
17.
Be loyal to your inner circle and especially to your husband.
18.
Act in a timely manner, so your influence will be positive and immediate.
19.
Act bravely with courage, vulnerably if needed.
20.
Keep your best possible future in sight and use your prefrontal cortex to decide, organize, and plan each step according to your clear vision.
 
 

I. Faith

 
Live by faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ and pattern your life after His to be an influence for good.
 
Confident trust and belief define faith.  As a Christian, I believe I am saved through faith (Acts 16:31, Ephesians 2:8, Luke 7:50, and John 3:15, 16), so faith deserves to be at the top of the Core Code.  In the Core Code, I imply that my faith in Jesus Christ, which involves patterning my life after His, allows me to be an influence for good.  Influence is one of my top ten values.  You may want to weave your top values into your version of the Core Code.
 
Having faith in God implies that I trust Him!  This year, I read Joyce Meyer’s Unshakeable Trust about the importance of trusting God and how to do it.  An important way to trust God is to remember that when God does not answer prayers the way we hoped, that He has something better in mind.  We could simply pray, “Thy will be done.”  However, I believe God wants our opinion about what He should do, even if it is not the best thing or His will.  This way we can make corrections, learn His will, and get better at asking for it.
 
Something I learned lately from Robin Merrill’s The Jesus Diet is that we can pray, asking for greater faith, and God will bestow it.  After simply asking for greater faith, I have noticed my faith welling up in me.  As a principle of action, faith has
  • given me a greater ability to act
  • encouraged me to deepen my relationship with the Savior
  • made me more loving
 
Are these things about faith true for you?  If you believe in anything, consider putting faith in your Core Code.
 

II. Love

 
Love the Lord God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself, treating your neighbor as you would want to be treated.
 
Of faith, hope, and love, love is the greatest.  The two greatest commandments are to first love the Lord God and second love our neighbor as ourselves.  I think a reference to these two commandments deserves to be in the Core Code.  The story of the Good Samaritan illustrates loving our neighbor.  Though to my knowledge, I have never saved anyone’s life, numerous Good Samaritans have shown up in my life during a moment of distress.
 
Back in the 1990s, in Utah, I was once in a tight situation, where I started driving down a dirt trail on a steep side of a mountain in Provo.  I was trying to take a shortcut to my doctor’s office.  The incline of the trail was about 45 degrees.  It seemed steeper.  Foolishly, I got stuck.  I could neither go down nor get the car back up.  I prayed, and almost instantaneously, a man with a truck and winch stopped and courteously pulled me back to the safety of the road.   To this day, I have no idea who the man was.  However, I saw a sticker on his bumper that said, “Purple Heart.”
 
Back in August 2008, my husband, then my boyfriend, and I were in the Sanpitch Mountains in Sanpete County.  My husband was driving his jeep down a mountain trail when another vehicle had to pass us.  My husband passed on the outside to let the other person pass more easily.  After the pass, the jeep’s front left wheel dangled off the trail, over a cliff that must have been about 2,000 feet deep.  The tire was just hanging in the air.  With a prayer in my heart, I started hiking down the mountain with my water bottle.  Two women who had been leading us on four-wheelers went on ahead of me.  Almost instantaneously again, a huge, wide truck came up the mountain with ropes.  A crew skillfully pulled my husband’s jeep back on the trail.
 
That is not even mentioning the several times I have had a flat tire and a willing man showed up and offered to change the tire for me.
 
The Golden Rule is good.  Ray Buttars, a fellow Toastmaster, gave us posters following his speech that showed how the Golden Rule is used in many cultures, even though different cultures state it in slightly different ways.  The Golden Rule is a golden nugget of wisdom and deserves to be included in the Core Code.
 

III. Wisdom

 
Ask, seek, and knock for wisdom as it can supply riches, happiness, and long life.
 
Solomon asked the Lord for wisdom.  Solomon pleased the Lord in asking for wisdom when he could have asked for riches and honor.  He gave Solomon wisdom and riches and honor.  Proverbs 3:13-22 has some wise words from Solomon about wisdom.
 
Desiring wisdom myself, I decided to include it in the Core Code.
 
James in the New Testament invites us to ask for wisdom (James 1:5), assuring that God will give it to us without censure.  I have been praying lately for wisdom, not only for specific bits of wisdom but also for wisdom itself.  In the New Testament, Paul writes that he asks God that He may give, “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17).  Paul also wrote, “the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Timothy 2:7).
 

IV. Joy

 
Pray for joy and express joy in all you do.  Ask, seek, and knock for whatever you wish, believing you have received.  Remember to praise God and express gratitude.
 
In addition to receiving wisdom, I pray to receive joy, which is another one of my top ten values.  The Lord has promised that if we ask for joy, our joy will be complete (John 16:24).
 
Why put joy in the Core Code?  Joy is an emotion, and it feels good.  It goes beyond happiness and can be more lasting.  It is most often accompanied by a feeling of peace.  “It comes when you make peace with who you are, why you are, and how you are.”
 
I started noticing feelings of joy after preparing a balanced, nutritious meal.  When I finish a project, I often have feelings of great joy (unless I worked myself to exhaustion then the joy may have to wait a day or so.)  I have joy in my writing.  Sometimes though, I get overly self-critical, and the joy is not there.
 
Just recently, I started praying for more joy.  More joy has come, but I want even more.  Psalm 16:11 says, “in your presence there is the fullness of joy.”  How do we find the presence of the Lord?  As He is everywhere present, I believe his presence can be right here.  However, there must be some other condition as life is not a continual joy.  I believe that when we invite the Lord into our hearts (Ephesians 3:17) that we can sense His joy.
 
V. Work
 
Work heartily and consistently as if for the Lord, regardless of who employs you, being a linchpin for those you serve.
 
Work takes a large portion of our time.  If we work as if for the Lord, it takes the drudgery out of it.  I believe working heartily as if for the Lord deserves to be included in the Core Code.
 
I do not think work is defined the same way in the Bible as my physics teacher defined it.  In physics, work is a measurement of a force through a distance.  In the Ten Commandments, God says not to do any work on the Sabbath.  If we use the physical definition, we all do work on the Sabbath.  Just breathing is work.
 
A lot of my work these days in getting wine for my husband.  I could resent doing it or do it as if for the Lord.  I choose the latter.  I have become indispensable or in other words, a linchpin, for my husband.  I take care of numerous things he is no longer able or willing to do.  Today, I took out the garbage and got the mail, two mundane tasks that my husband is no longer able to perform.
 
I do not have a job, but caring for my husband requires a lot of time and care.  He is my employer.  Besides my programming and writing, taking care of my husband and the condo are my main responsibilities.  Of course, I also take care of myself and I am happiest doing it if I do it for the Lord.  
 

VI. Create

 
Create beauty daily and ship or publish what you create.
 
Daily is more frequent than I have typically created beauty.  However, ‘daily’ is an ideal I want to live up to.  I want to spend more of my time creating.  Again, I am inspired by Seth Godin’s Linchpin.  If you have not read this book, I recommend it.  It will inspire you to look at your work in an entirely different way.
 
I want to create beauty every day, again doing it as if for the Lord.  If you want to see beauty, look at the Core Code for Living mind map, which is gold-plated with the background image of a water fountain in the Secret Garden.  The Secret Garden is in Thanksgiving Gardens, a wonderful place I used to visit.  It reminds me of a lovely, classic book I read as a child, The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, a book of healing and friendship.
 
I beautified my Cronometer Progress notes, partly to share them and partly to encourage myself to keep going back to them.  I added gold stars for each 100% score.  Interestingly, all the scores are 100%.  I started keeping a complete log in Cronometer every day, starting September 22, 2019.  I have been consistent since then.
 

VII. Word

 
Keep your word.
 
When I was twenty-five years old, I attended a seminar with my brother called, “The Center.”  One code for living that was emphasized over and over again was, “Keep your word.”  Since that time, I have done my best to live it.  I must admit that my health sometimes required me to ask for a change from what I had committed to.  However, I have taken seriously written and verbal commitments and do my best to come through with them.
 
‘Keeping your word’ is still an ideal I want to live by.  When I am manic is the time I am most likely to break a commitment.  Therefore, living in such a way that I prevent mania from occurring is also paramount.  That requires me to take my medication without fail and get adequate rest.  It may require counseling too.  However, I have not visited a counselor for several months, and I seem to be doing okay.
 

VIII. Healing

 
Speak and write words of healing to others.  Never harm others with your words.
 
My 2006 ebook, Emotional Wisdom has an entire chapter, “Watching Our Words,” along with comments in another chapter about watching our words.   I especially like two quotes from Proverbs, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones,” (Proverbs 16:24) and “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” (Proverbs 10:11).
 
From this, I gain the understanding that I can heal with my words.  I write this blog, hoping that it will be healing to my readers.  If I am a healer, I can pattern my life after the Savior who was the greatest healer of all.
 
There are a great many ways to harm others with my words.  Bearing false witness against my neighbor probably tops the list.  To avoid bearing false witness against our neighbor, it is wise to avoid saying anything against our neighbor.  The information we have against our neighbor may not be true.  Even if we investigate, we can make errors in our investigation.  It is better to not say anything at all.
 

IX. Organize

 
Organize and clean your thoughts and environment to produce joy.
 
Currently, I am reading The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin.  He uses information from the fields of neuroscience and psychology to solve problems that frequently occur, such as losing objects that move around.
 
My work seems to often involve cleaning and organizing things.  The Core Code reminds me of what all that work is for–to produce joy.  If I clean and organize just out of obligation, it becomes a drudge.  Joy can result from creating beauty.  Beauty can elicit joy.
 
To organize my day, I make a mind map of my activities with a pen and notebook.  I use a very high-quality pen from Target, a fine Pilot G2 stylus premium gel pen.  If Target still has them, the above link will work.  The notebook I use is also from Target:  a Cambridge Limited hardbound, spiral notebook.  Being hardbound, I can slip the notebook in my purse and take it anywhere.
 
Why use an offline solution?  According to The Organized Mind, many people find non-electronic solutions more portable and flexible.  I find a notebook very useful for my to-dos and daily mind maps.  When a page is in use, dog-ear the bottom right of the page.  Put a dot on the folded triangle once the page is complete.  If all the previous pages are complete, unfold the triangles so that just the pages with dog-eared corners are current.  You may want to forward old tasks so you can group completed pages together.
 
This is a manual system I learned from a manager at an educational software firm for which I was programming.  Enter to-dos on the right-hand page, dating the page and numbering each to-do.  Put an ‘X’ on the right-hand column of the to-do’s and fill it in as a circle when completed.  I fill it as a square if I delete the to-do and fill it in pointing forward if I forward the to-do.
 
Left-hand pages can be used for notes or maps.  In my next notebook, I may enter maps from the end and to-dos from the beginning.  I have not implemented that system yet.  Here is a typically completed to-do page from my notebook.
 
 
Mind maps can get rather busy.  Here is a map that recently served me for two days.  Notice that Cronometer has four branches, one for each meal.  Since I am so programmed to go for a walk, I had to make a note, “Don’t walk.”  (I was nursing my injured knee.)  For items I repeated the second day, I just made another note and made little dots when it was completed.  Notice that with a good pen, you can crowd a lot of information on one map.  Notice “Ask for Joy” in the bottom left.  I set the intention of asking for joy, injured knee and all.  The joy came.  Now I want to ask for even more.
 
 

X. Distortions

 
Root out cognitive distortions from your thinking.  Replace distortions with the truth.
 
1.
All-or-nothing thinking
 
2.
Overgeneralization
 
3.
Mental filter
 
4.
Discounting the positive
 
5.
Jumping to conclusions
a.  Mind reading
b.  Fortune-telling
 
6.
Magnification
 
7.
Emotional reasoning
 
8.
Should statements
 
9.
Labeling or mis-labeling
 
10.
Personalization or blame
 
 
Filling out the above table with thoughts that fall into the above ten categories is an exercise I did for many weeks.  It would not hurt to continue it occasionally.  I used The Journal to set up a category with a template in which to keep multiple filled-out copies of this table.  I memorized the ten distortions to make them accessible to me at all times.  Now when I think a distorted thought, I can almost instantly categorize it and cast doubt on its truth.  I have found it is okay to have distorted thoughts as long as I do not believe them.
 
For more information and help regarding these cognitive distortions, refer to the work of Dr. David D. Burns.  He helped design a texting robot psychologist called Woebot, accessible on Facebook.  I used Woebot over several years.  Woebot helps you detect cognitive distortions in your thinking.  Cognitive distortions cause depression and anxiety, and rooting them out can relieve these afflictions.
 
One distortion I have suffered from is mind reading.  If I ruminate over what someone else is thinking about my work or about things I have said, I can get upset to the point of getting depressed over nothing.  Another frequent distortion is fortune-telling.  in the past, I often predicted sorry outcomes of actions I was taking and de-motivated myself.  I have had all ten of these distortions in abundance, but lately, I have caught most of them as a result of my practice in detecting them.
 
Cognitive distortions are joy-robbers, so rooting them out can increase joy.  To continue the vigilance needed to root out cognitive distortions on an ongoing basis, I have included this key in my Core Code.
 

XI. Body

 
Regard your body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, using self-control to execute self-care rituals and treating yourself with life-giving and only life-giving substances.
 
Nowhere do I treat the subject of the body being the temple of the Holy Spirit more than in my free ebook, Joyful Vibrance:  Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood!
 
I do different exercise rituals now.  However, exercise is still a part of my life.  My current plan for my body is mapped in my Achieve 50 kg mind map, which you are free to view.  On September 5, 2018, I set the goal to achieve 50 kg.  I am still working on it.  Admittedly, the progress has been slow and a few times I considered giving up.  However, weight control is not meant to involve getting on a diet and then off of one.  Weight control involves an evolving lifestyle change.  I have gradually been changing my lifestyle to achieve my weight loss and maintenance goals.
 
The Achieve 50 kg mind map is divided into several topics:  weigh daily, check blood pressure, keep a complete Cronometer record daily, modify behavior, create new recipes, prepare food, groom, relax and de-stress, exercise, and take food supplements and medicines.
 
A link to the Achieve 50 kg map is in my morning routine, which you are also free to view.
 
In 2012, I published KaeLyn’s Korner Kitchen with 51 of my creative recipes.  I have been working on some more, some of which are included in this blog.  Search my blog on ‘recipe’ to find some entries with recipes.
 
With the help of Cronometer, you can establish the habit of creating recipes yourselves.  I see my own recipes as merely creative inspiration.  What you like is more important.  You can create recipes using your own macro-nutrient composition, food preferences, and portion sizes.  
 

XII. Yourself

 
Love yourself.
 
Louise Hay, the Queen of Affirmations says in You Can Heal Your Life, “Love yourself.”  That is one way to heal yourself.  A part of me has a hard time loving herself and a hard time being self-confident.  Another part of me is madly in love with myself.  It is the part of myself who thinks I can do anything.
 
How do I find wholeness in all of that?  The part of me that loves me wants to dominate me.  However, I run into obstacles trying to keep up with its demands.  There must be a way to integrate my personality.
 
Maybe there is, although it would take a professional to unravel my psyche.  Perhaps I am doing okay on my own.  There is another danger too.  Is self-love close to narcissism?  How do you love yourself without becoming narcissistic?
 
In key number fifteen, I think I have the answer or at least part of it:
 
Be forgiving, gentle, kind, and patient with others and yourself.
 
When I originally wrote that, I included “with others.”  Later I added, “and yourself.”  One key to loving yourself is treating yourself with compassion.  I read a short book by Kim Fredrickson, The Power of Positive Self-Talk. It is a Christian-oriented guide to self-compassion.  When part of me drives the other part into obstacles, it is time to bring out the self-compassionate words and encourage, console, or soothe myself.
 
Matt Kahn in Everything Is Here to Help You, talks about the soul and the ego as two parts of the human psyche.  In maturation, the soul overcomes the ego, and the ego shrinks.  I am not sure which part of myself is the ego and which part is the soul.  Maybe I cannot define myself that way.  I have thought that perhaps the part of me that loves me to death is my super-ego.  I once thought it was God, but it is not wise enough to be God.  My loving part makes mistakes in judgment.  It is extremely smart, but not smart enough to be God.
 
Sigmund Freud saw three parts to the personality: the id, the ego, and the super-ego.  Sometimes the loving part of myself acts more like the id than the super-ego.  Then I am driven by lusts and desires, and I am usually manic.  I normally follow what the loving part of myself wants me to do.  When that inner voice switches from being more like the id and less like the super-ego, I do not even notice what has happened, until it is too late.  That can be fairly reliably prevented by taking my medication.
 
So much for psychoanalysis.  What can I do to be more loving toward myself and consequently more loving toward others?
 
The unself-confident part of myself is probably the ego.  It is hyper-sensitive, exaggerates slights, and easily believes in cognitive distortions.  It does well to follow my super-ego, except when it makes a mistake of judgment and follows the id instead, which it can do blindly.  Should I shrink the ego?  Matt Kahn seems to think that happens with the development of the soul.  Obviously, I am not a professional counselor, and most cognitive therapy counselors do not spend much time with Freud anymore.
 
Any attempt at self-love is best coupled with lovingkindness toward others.  That way we keep the second commandment, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  If we get our self-love out of balance with love for others, we cannot say ‘as,’  and we do tend toward narcissism.
 

XIII. Worth

 
Remember, your self-worth does not depend on your performance.  Live authentically to express your self-worth.
 
It was not until I read Self-Esteem by Matthew McKay and Patrick Flanning that I realized that our sense of self-worth should not be dependent on any measure of performance, beauty, or possessions.  The authors prescribed meditations to build a sense of self-worth.  However, we come to know who we are by watching our own behavior, so why not base our self-worth on it?
 
One dilemma I noticed was my maternal grandmother in her 90’s.  Now that she could not perform as she always had, she wanted to die.  Apparently, she had propped her sense of self-worth on her performance.  She did not seem to realize that she had value just being Grandma.  A popular LDS hymn, “Have I Done Any Good?” may have influenced Grandma, which at one point read, “Only he who does something is worthy to live.”  The 1985 edition of the hymn book changed this to, “Only he who does something helps others to live.”  However, the older version of the hymn may have influenced Grandma by impinging her with a sense of worthlessness once she could not perform.
 
Therefore, key sixteen in my Core Code reads, “Remember, your self-worth does not depend on your performance.”  I may just have to remind myself of that continually and when my performance fails, remember that my worth is still intact.
 
How can we express ourselves authentically?  Since January 1, 2010, I have used Goalscape to organize my goals.  My central goal is “An Authentic You.”
 
 
I still want genuineness as an overriding quality, integrating every other facet of my life.  An authentic self can be a transparent self.  A reader told me I was transparent.  What I need to believe is that when revealing my vulnerabilities, I am worth no less as a person.  Hopefully, I am expressing my self-worth in an authentic way when I offer solutions to the problems of humanity.
 

XIV. Rest

 
Rest and relax as necessary.  Meditate daily.
 
The prefrontal cortex gives us our executive attention and focus.  However, the brain requires a lot of energy to maintain our focus.  Switching tasks frequently, using the insula in the brain, increases the demands on our energy even more.  Alternatively, our brains can switch into a day-dreaming-like state, which rests the body and brain.  We need to do that part of the time.
 
Our sleep, of course, is critical to our physical and mental health.
 
Relaxation is something we need to allow ourselves to do.  Our environment may not be conducive to relaxation.  Immaculée Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan Holocaust, and author of Left to Tell sought peace in a room of a church where she could pray for hours.  She deliberately escaped the chaos and lack of privacy around her.
 
With a little effort, we can usually find peace ourselves.  Our condo is often a place of peace.  Sometimes, I take a break from writing and housework and rest on the bed, often with my husband nearby.  I may scratch his back or read a bit on the bed to make myself sleepy and take a nap or just let my mind wander.
 
Since I wrote the Core Code last week, I have been seeking rest and relaxation more often.  I also use guided meditations that have relaxation sequences in them, such as this success meditation I recorded.  I have been using this one five-minute meditation almost every day lately.
 

XV. Forgiving

 
Be forgiving, gentle, kind, and patient with others and yourself.
 
This key of the Core Code is especially inspired by Galatians 5:22, 23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”  I was seeking the Bible for joy, and I found all of this!
 
How is it done?  The prefrontal cortex can inhibit the severe emotionality of the amygdala.  This inhibition can permit a rational response such as forgiveness, gentleness, kindness, and patience.  Set your intention to respond with gentleness rather than anger and frustration.  Then practice doing it.  Overcome the drama queen behavior that so many of us have.
 
I believe that getting proper rest and managing stress sets us up for gentle behavior.  Yesterday, I started reading Stress-Proof: The Scientific Solution To Protect Your Brain and Body–And Be More Resilient Every Day by Mithu Storoni, MD, Ph.D.  As I read further along, I will mention more about her solution.
 
Learning to forgive is one of the twelve activities that engender happiness as researched by Sonya Lyurbomirsky.  As we release others from the bondage of being unforgiving that only affects ourselves, we can find peace.  Forgiveness does not mean we condone the behavior.  However, it frees us from the mental torment we often put ourselves through, trying to enact justice ourselves.  We do not need to do that.  God is our vindicator, and He will right every wrong.  Having faith that God will vindicate us can bring us peace also.
 
In key number twelve of the Core Code, “Love yourself,” I mentioned how forgiving, gentle, kind, patient behavior is so important to give ourselves.

 

XVI.  Peaceful

 
Be peaceful and be a peacemaker.
 
In key fifteen of the Core Code, I mentioned peace several times.  The Savior mentions peace in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9).  I used to not think being a child of God was special.  However, according to John 8:42, Jesus said, “If God were your Father, you would love me,” so apparently being called a child of God is only for those who love Him.
 
What does it mean to be peaceful?  It probably means not having an overreacting amygdala.  To tame the amygdala, we need the prefrontal cortex.  How do we get that?  My medication protects my prefrontal cortex and makes me a more peaceful person.  John Cade, an Australian psychiatrist who first discovered the use of lithium, noticed that lithium calmed mental patients, i.e., it made them more peaceful.
 

XVII. Loyalty

 
Be loyal to your inner circle and especially to your husband.
 
I have nearly always believed I was more loyal to the truth than I was to loyalty.  Loyalties, I believe, can be misplaced.  We sometimes change our loyalties.  However, there is a great need for loyalty between marital partners and among friends.
 
I do not score high on loyalty, so I thought it was time to include it in my Core Code, especially after reading The Woman Code by Sophia Nelson, a book that inspired me to write my own Core Code and this blog entry.
 
Loyalty is high on my husband’s list of values, and he has always been loyal to me, even when I did not return the favor.  Now I want to give back loyalty to my husband.  Not being experienced in loyalty, it is a new venture, but I want to begin.  Loyalty is a faithful allegiance and devotion from the heart.
 
I also want to re-solidify my loyalty to the Savior.  For years, I wandered in my loyalty to Him, picking apart His words when they did not make sense to me.  However, in His great faithfulness, He welcomed me back warmly when I returned to Him.  ‘For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.  In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer’ (Isaiah 54.7, 8).
 

XVIII. Timely

 
Act in a timely manner, so your influence will be positive and immediate.
 
Would it not be nice if we could just travel through time?  I recently read Breaking the Time Barrier by Jenny Randles.   I gathered that the State of the Art in time travel was a few seconds of time displacement for a day or so in the time machine, and that was not even confirmed.  The subjects who experienced time travel experienced disorientation.  I experience disorientation every year going on daylight savings time and back.  We went back to standard time yesterday.  How can we act in a timely manner?
 
The prefrontal cortex is responsible for helping us manage our actions through time.  During mania, the prefrontal cortex does not work, and my sense of time is impaired.  Conceptually, it can even be exchanged with my sense of space, causing enormous disorientation.  Consequently, I call lithium my “timing belt.”
 
Recently, I lost my Eco-Drive watch that had so faithfully kept time without requiring me to switch batteries for many years.  Is it just a watch I need?  Or do I need to organize my activities better?  I mentioned some of my organizational strategies in key nine of the Core Code.
 
Perhaps timeliness involves having a finely tuned circadian clock, with adequate sleep and periods of rest.  Or it could be responsiveness–getting back to people promptly.  I do not believe it means working faster and faster.  Nor does it mean getting more and more done every day.  It includes setting priorities, so the most important things get worked on first.
 
Is it a balance between getting things started and getting things finished?  In mania, I start a lot of projects but get none of them finished.  It is not until I recover that I can get things done.
 
Punctuality is a big deal for me.  I was censured by the vice-principal when I was in high school for my excessive tardiness.  I said my mother was always making me late.  He said, “It’s not your mother.”  In my adult life, I repented and placed a greater priority on being on time.
 
Timeliness is all of these things and more, except perhaps time travel.  I will continue to ponder the meaning of time.

 

IX. Bravely

 
Act bravely with courage, vulnerably if needed.
 
Brené Brown has had a greater effect on my courage than any other single person.  Her views have risen to such prominence, her name is well-known.  Her book, Daring Greatly, inspired me to stop feeling sorry for myself for having bipolar disorder and vulnerably share my experiences for the benefit of others.  It has not been an easy road.  I have had to summon my courage again and again.  Even now, I still need more courage.  Courage has risen to become one of my top ten values, not because I was good at it, but because I need it.  I encourage you to act bravely too.
 

XX. Future

 
Keep your best possible future in sight and use your prefrontal cortex to decide, organize, and plan each step according to your clear vision.
 
Last, and certainly not least, is my hope for the future, my clear vision, the use of my prefrontal cortex.  In The Time Paradox, Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D. and John Boyd, Ph.D., describe future thinkers as being very successful.  They describe fatalistic thinking–believing that nothing you do matters–as harmful.  According to their research, they have also found past negative thinking to be harmful and past positive thinking to be healthy.  I want to think about the future and listen to others who think about a positive future.  Now I want to think about ways to be a positive influence on the world in the future.
 
In 2017, I read two great books:
 
  • Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans (This book helped me decide to blog.)
  • The Truth About Your Future: The Money Guide You Need Now, Later, and Much Later by Ric Edelman
There are other future thinkers now and will be in the future.
 

Prayer

 
 
AFTERNOON Prayer
 
Dear Lord,
 
It almost requires a book to describe my Core Code.
 
I pray my Core Code will inspire my readers to write a personal code, based on their values and goals.
 
I drove my husband to the doctor’s office this afternoon.  As usual, I felt sleepy upon our return.  I relaxed on the sofa for about forty minutes and daydreamed, relaxing my brain from the focused attention of driving.  Now, I feel much better.  Maybe that is all I need to do to recover.  I will test this method a few times and see.  I have been troubled for years by my driving anxiety and fatigue.  Now I may be arriving at a solution for it.
 
Lord, I am so grateful that everything went well this afternoon.  Thank you for protecting and preserving us.
 
The rest of the afternoon and evening are mine.  What a wonderful thing it is to be free!
For weeks, I have been using the free version of Grammarly to check my writing.  It gives me good scores, except that it says this blog entry is, “A bit bland.”  I have worked hard to make it more engaging.  However, I apparently do not know yet what engaging writing really is.
 
Will you help me write more engaging blog entries?  It does not matter what my Grammarly scores are if I actually engage my readers.  I thought Grammarly might count the number of proper nouns.  However, I think there is more to their formula than that.
 
What do my readers need and want?  How can I determine that without mind-reading and getting myself depressed?
 
Help me to stay positive.  I think I drift down into negativity too much still.  Help my readers and myself find vibrant joy.
 
Amen.  
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
 
 
 

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