“Keynotes” are my brief comments about life and recovery and are intended to provide insight, inspiration, wisdom or humor to your day.

This post is in reference to a scripture in the Bible, located in the Gospel of John, Chapter 8, verses 1 – 11.  If you’d like to see the passage, you could access it here.

It’s a favorite passage of scripture for me, because there are so many takeaways in reading it and today, I wanted to focus on one area, which is living a “rock free” lifestyle.

Living a rock free lifestyle has to do with eliminating behaviors that equate to self-harm or harm thats done (all the way to condemnation) toward other people. These rocks that create harm to self or others are called ridicule, gossip, disregard, criticism, racism or racial hatred, contempt and condemnation. Unfortunately, there are more behaviors that could be projected toward others with the unintended (or intended) goal of dehumanizing others. I’m pretty sure that throwing rocks at others or bashing these rocks against our head isn’t the best use of our energy nor will these harmful behaviors solve any of our personal or relationship problems.

So what does a “rock-free” lifestyle resemble? We’re given a clue in Jesus’ comments with the woman in the story.

First, He facilitates and models safety by conveying to her she’s not condemned. This means helping us to identify then drop any rock or behavior that creates fear, anxiety, panic, self-recrimination, self-hatred or any form of unnecessary suffering in our personal experience. I think his intent is for us to follow his lead and do the same in our relationships with others as well. Don’t worry about being an expert with this first step, and some us may need to call on the services of a safe and trustworthy friend, or we may need the assistance of a Pastor, Priest, Rabbi, Therapist, Sponsor or Spiritual Guide to help us to become consistently gentle with ourselves (and others) as we try to become better with this way of living.

Second, Jesus’ final words in this passage provide guidance and insight regarding how to live a rock-free lifestyle; He stated: “Go and sin no more,” or as I like to encourage people: “Go and learn how to live.” If we focus our energy on learning how to live, which translates into investing, reorganizing and refocusing our time, effort and energy into humane, compassionate, empathetic and sympathetic behaviors that help us to understand our own condition, then the condition of others, then we’ve dropped the rock.

I’ve discovered that when I dropped the rocks that I was hurling at others, I realized I reclaimed so much energy from not only carrying those unnecessary judgments, resentments and grievances, that I was able to help others get to and experience safety; certainly a better use of my arms, energy and my efforts!

So if you’re going to live a rock free lifestyle, what behaviors and harmful processes would you need to drop? What would you relinquish so that you could pick up, practice and facilitate safety, love and assistance to others? What does living a rock-free lifestyle look like to you, and who could help you to become consistent with your change(s)?

Dr. Ken McGill 

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About Dr Ken McGill

Dr. Ken McGill is an ordained minister and has been involved in counseling for more than 25 years. Dr. McGill holds a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Pacific Christian College (now Hope International University), a Certificate of Completion in the Alcohol and Drug Studies/Counseling Program from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. Dr. McGill received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Family Psychology from Azusa Pacific University in May, 2003. Dr. McGill's dissertation focused on the development of an integrated treatment program for the sexually addicted homeless population, and Ken was "personally mentored" by dissertation committee member Dr. Patrick Carnes, a pioneer in the field of sex addiction work. Dr. McGill authored a chapter in the text The Clinical Management of Sex Addiction, with his chapter addressing the homeless and sex addiction. Dr. McGill is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the States of Texas and California and Mississippi, and is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, through the International Institute for Trauma and Addictive Professionals (IITAP). Dr. McGill had a private practice in Glendora, CA (Aspen Counseling Center), Inglewood, CA (Faithful Central Bible Church), and Hattiesburg, MS (River of Life Church), specializing in the following areas with individuals, couples, families, groups and psychoeducational training: addictions and recovery, pre-marital, marital and family counseling, issues related to traumatization and abuse, as well as depression, grief, loss, anger management and men's and women's issues. Dr. McGill also provided psychotherapeutic treatment with Student-Athletes on the University of Southern Mississippi Football and Men's Basketball teams. Dr. McGill served as the Director of the Gentle Path Program, which is a seven-week residential program, for people who are challenged with sexual addiction, sexual anorexia, and relationship issues. Dr. McGill also supervised Doctoral students in the Southern Mississippi Psychology Internship Consortium with the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. McGill was inducted into the Azusa Pacific University Academic Hall of Honor, School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, in October, 2010. Dr. McGill currently works as a Private practice clinician with an office in Plano, Texas, providing treatment with people who are challenged in the areas mentioned above.

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