Dr. David J. Lieberman is a respected psychologist living in Lakewood, NJ. I’ve known him for a few years through his lectures and books and I’ve quoted him here in the past. He writes …
Dr. David J. Lieberman is a respected psychologist living in Lakewood, NJ. I’ve known him for a few years through his lectures and books and I’ve quoted him here in the past. He writes books on personal development subjects; they can be found on Amazon.
He is a Ba’al Teshuvah, which means someone who was born in a family of non-observant Jews and took on observance later in life. He writes two types of books. One is self-help books which doesn’t teach religion or Judaism and the other type is books that integrate psychological research with Torah teachings on self-improvement.
Not long ago, he wrote a book on anger management titled, Never Get Angry Again, which mixes the two approaches. It takes fundamental concepts of the Torah about overcoming anger and makes it available to everyone. I saw on the Amazon reviews some people complaining that he went away from science and brings in G-d.
Recently, I met Dr. Lieberman and I asked him about these reviews. He told me, “Let’s face it, I want to help people heal their anger. Ultimately, if a person comes to realize that G-d orchestrates our lives, they’ll have a much easier time healing, so what can I do? Shouldn’t I offer the most effective remedy?”
His answer is very profound. There is wisdom and self help even if someone doesn’t connect with G-d. However, all the wisdoms become much more effective when it is sourced in G-d.
For example, when someone is sad and dispirited, there are many things that they can do to cheer up. He or she can go out and meet friends, taste some good food, do something they enjoy, etc. When doing these things, it is very helpful to try to think about the good things that they do have in their lives and other happy thoughts.
These are ideas irrespective of thinking about G-d, but the same actions become more meaningful and more impactful when a person knows that it’s a Mitzvah (a commandment) to become happy. The dark moods are an opportunity to change them into light. It is a special thing to shine light on someone else; how much more so it is to shine light on one’s own self. G-d doesn’t want humans, who have a Spark of G-d within them, to be gloomy.
The religious significance makes becoming in a good mood a duty and a mission. It turns it from an arbitrary act to an act that is special and fulfilling.
The same is with the topic I discussed in the last article. I discussed the specialty of every moment and that not only the achievement of goals is special but also the small acts leading up to it. Errands and chores are also special because they are called for to be done in that moment.
This has also been coined in non-religious wisdoms as, “enjoy the process not just the result” or “enjoy the journey not just the destination”, etc. They are all true and helpful. However, the question can still beg, “how can I enjoy the process if I’d rather not have the process at all?”
If one plugs it into G-d it has much more meaning. The process and the journey are how G-d planned it so that we grow from the challenges. It is a mission to light up the moment and find meaning in it. This makes the moment really meaningful and special.
I received a lot of beautiful feedback on last article. I’m very thankful and grateful to the readers and to the Democrat for my “journey” in writing this column!!
Comments? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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