Have you ever read A Parable by author Barbara Stanny? It’s a story about a farmer who was terribly afraid of an ugly, horrifying monster that lived in the forest near his home so he spent his life building a fence to keep it out. But all that time he devoted to building walls to protect himself prevented him from spending time with his friends and family.

When he was finally fed up with being afraid, a fairy godmother appeared and told him how to make the monster disappear. For that to happen he needed to find the monster and embrace it.

The farmer was frightened and paralyzed with fear and thought the godmother nutty for suggesting it and himself crazy for thinking of doing it. But, “his pain had gotten worse than his fear.” And he so he faced it by finding the monster, looking him in the eye and then embraced him. “A smile cracked his face. ‘I had this power all along,'” he realized in amazement. ‘Imagine what’s possible now!'”

I thought this was a great story about the power and possibility that comes with overcoming your fears. It’s a great fit to this week’s best posts and hopefully it inspires you to face your own ugly monsters. *You can read the rest of the story here.

Is it Infidelity or Cultural Values That Normalize Addictive Patterns of (Sexual) Relating?

(Neuroscience & Relationships) – Why do we have such a hard time believing that love and sex addiction really exists? And why do sex addicts react so negatively to the label? This top post attempts to debunk old myths and misunderstandings and explains the cultural beliefs and values that caused them.

Self-Directed Neuroplasticity: Mindfulness, Therapy and Sculpting the Self

(The Therapist Within) – Experience-dependent neuroplasticity looks at how you can unintentionally shape your brain by how you experience things. Just like your mom warned that making that ugly face now may cause your face to look like that permanently, this phenomenon shows us how routine thoughts and reactions can change our brain forever.

7 Factors that Predict Positive Aging

(Adventures in Positive Psychology) – Want to live longer and be happier and healthier? Here are 7 things you can work on now to ensure a positive and healthy future.

Growth Hurts

(Guideposts to Happiness) – In the face of hardship, we can either accept it or fight it and suffer more because of it. Either way, there will be both pain and growth in the process. This reflective post explores the nature of growth and the choices we make to either suffer or live with acceptance and peace. Which path will you choose?

Equine Therapy and Eating Disorders

(Equine Therapy) – Can a horse help someone with a distorted body image? Here’s an interesting look at how a horse’s ability to communicate can help those struggling with an eating disorder.