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by J. Paul Gomez January 30, 2015
I intended to write this piece two days ago in support of Bell #letstalk day, a program that is close to my heart. LetsTalk primary objective is to end the stigma surrounding mental health. Not too long ago, I opened up and talked about my own battle with depression, in return, our Masonic Brothers from all over the world shared their stories and their own struggles with me. I learned that I was not alone- many of our Brethren are also fighting similar battles- a lot of them in silence. I thought that it would be a good idea to share with you a few slices of wisdom, seven to make it perfect, that I picked up from those learned Brethren who came before us. May these words enlighten your path as they illuminated mine.
7. “My brain is the key that sets my mind free.”
- Harry Houdini, St. Cecile Lodge No. 568
Your brain can process 70,000 thoughts per day. Push out the negative frequencies, or at least learn to turn their volume down, and focus on what is good and positive. If you haven't yet, try memorizing certain parts from the ritual. Surprise yourself with what you may discover.
6. “The things which hurt, instruct.”
- Benjamin Franklin, Tun Tavern Lodge
You cannot have a perfect ashlar without repeatedly striking a rough ashlar first with tools of violent force- the Gavel and the Chisel.
5. “Illusion is the first of all pleasures.”
- Voltaire, Lodge of Nine Sisters
Like all pleasures in life, learn to take this in moderation. You cannot be the change that you want to be if you're living vicariously through your favorite characters on TV.
4. “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
- Winston Churchill, Studholme Lodge No. 1591
Take it from the Brother who went through years and years of failure before holding office and later to emerge as one of the greatest iconic figures of the twentieth century.
3. “It is better to be alone than in bad company.”
- George Washinton, Fredericksburg Lodge No. 4
Solitude can trigger depression. But it can also be your best ally in your quest to find yourself. Remember number 4, "an opportunity in every difficulty."
2. “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”
- Oscar Wilde, Apollo University Lodge No. 357
Choose your friends wisely.
1. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
- Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain, Polar Star Masonic Lodge No. 79
The one with the most heart always wins.
The right mental attitude is key but it's also worth mentioning that nutrition and exercise play a big part. Health experts suggest at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. As for nutrition, keep it simple by staying away clear of junk food. A big plus if you know, or willing to learn, how to cook. The process of planning, preparing, cooking, and finally sharing and consuming home-meal is good for the mind, body, and soul. One ingredient that I highly recommend you look into is turmeric. The healing properties of turmeric have been known to humans since time immemorial.
W. Bro. John Paul Gomez (aka Paul, JP, JPG) is an artist by trade and a full-time father-of-4. He currently serves as the W.M. for Doric Lodge No. 316 AF&AM in Ontario, Canada. He is a Senior DeMolay and an honorary member of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 F&AM in Buffalo, New York. He likes to cook and is a big fan of Muaythai.
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