The Wrong Reason to Say Yes

Uncategorized Feb 15, 2019

If anyone had it together, it was Jason. He had a good job, beautiful wife and two children whom he loved. He exercised regularly and looked it, and he was always one to keep in touch with friends and family members.

But one day out of the blue, a deep depression hit Jason so heavily, he could hardly get out of bed. It made no sense to him. He came to see me.

We talked for awhile about Jason’s snug and untroubled life before his breakdown. We gradually uncovered that Jason’s structured lifestyle was basically a way to send off a lifelong depression. He had grown up in an alcoholic and abusive family, where he’d lived through all sorts of chaos and crises.

His activity and responsibility saved Jason. Because no one else in the house washed his clothes, prepared meals and budgeted money, Jason learned to. He became a 30-year-old at the age of 9.

Jason did the right thing, not because he was selfless and loving, but to stay alive. The depression inevitably caught up...

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Why We Pick the Wrong People and How to Change That

Uncategorized Feb 13, 2019

When we choose the wrong relationships, romantic or otherwise, many people just see it as a problem in the “other person.” They never get to where the real issue is and where the power to change lies.

Having said that, let’s talk about it more. First, you can see your hurt in the past two relationships has brought you some pain. It is important you get with some good people to help you process all of that hurt, so you can deal with it fully and put it in the past. Cry it out, express the hurt and anger, forgive and then, let it go. But that is not all. The next step involves the great lesson of hurt — learning.

Look at the past relationships and find the themes in the relationship that say something about you. What were the qualities you were drawn to? Were they good qualities of character and depth? Or were they things that made up in some way for aspects of yourself that you need to grow in?

For example, if you are particularly outgoing, did you pick...

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The Medical and Psychological Aspects of Panic Attacks

Uncategorized Feb 12, 2019

When we talk about panic attacks, we examine the medical and psychological aspects of the disorder.

The medical aspects:

Panic disorder is a problem that has a lot to do with the body. Certainly in terms of emotional problems, anxiety disorders are some of the most strongly physiologically- experienced struggles. Most of the symptoms you describe are felt in the body. While we do not know all the reasons why, we do now know there seem to be some very strong biological components in panic disorder.

There are basically two ways to attack them from the medical side. The first is simple tranquilizers, usually referred to as “minor tranquilizers.” They are very effective in giving immediate relief to the feelings. If the anxiety is keeping a person from functioning day to day, sometimes they are a good idea. But there are two problems with this approach.

Number one, the real reasons and problems causing the attacks are not being dealt with but are just being covered up by...

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Face the Threats that Don’t Put You in Danger

Uncategorized Feb 11, 2019

You’ve heard this before: Every day, do something that scares you.

So, why is that a good idea? Well, first of all, let's make sure we are talking about the right kind of scared. Basically, your brain has no idea whether or not your feeling of scared is good or bad, accurate or inaccurate, helpful or life-limiting. All it knows is that there is a "perceived danger" and it alerts your body to react. Your heart rate goes up, your breathing changes, and you are motivated to fight, flight, or freeze.

But, are those the best options? If a train is coming at you and you are stuck on the railroad track, by all means, choose one of those options quickly. If you are Superman, you can either fight or flight —punch out the train, or fly out of the way. Freezing is probably not a good idea. If you are a mere mortal, then flight (diving off the track....quickly) is your best option, And in this instance, being scared was good, accurate, helpful and life enhancing. Thank God for...

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5 Reasons to Give Yourself Permission to Ask For Help

Uncategorized Feb 09, 2019

Sometimes we struggle to ask for help. You may be the person everyone runs to for help, or maybe you feel like you would be a burden to someone. Let’s talk about the ways that make it ok for us to seek help from others.

Here are a few of the reasons asking is helpful for us:

  1. When we ask, we develop humility. To request help or support from another destroys any illusions of self-sufficiency we might harbor. Asking helps us remember that we are incomplete, that we are needy, and that we are to seek outside of ourselves to take in what we need. This creates the position of humility in us, which opens us up not only to others and our Creator.
  2. When we ask, we are owning our needs. Asking for love, comfort, or understanding is a transaction between two people. You are saying to the other: “I have a need. It’s not your problem. It’s not your responsibility. You don’t have to respond. But I’d like something from you.” This frees the...
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Is Valentine's Day an Amateur, Hallmark Holiday?

Uncategorized Feb 08, 2019

When I first became a Christian, I remember a wise older man told me he wasn’t going to church on Easter. I was surprised, especially in my newfound excitement about the faith.

“What? Why not?” I asked.

“It’s amateur day,” he said. “People go who never go any other day of the year and really aren’t serious about it. So, it is too crowded and I just stay home with God.”

I walked away thinking, “weird.” But there was a point to it ... sometimes “special days” take on a meaning to people as if they are the essence of what they are meant to symbolize and commemorate. Easter should be a day that symbolizes what we realized each and every 365 days: we have a risen Savior. He is alive every day. And then on that day, we celebrate the reality that we have all the year long.

Now, about Valentine’s day ...

Apart from being a windfall for Hallmark, what is it for us? Hopefully, it is also a symbol for what...

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The Biggest Favor Safe People Do For You

Uncategorized Feb 07, 2019

One of the most valuable things you can do with your safe people, ranking up there with asking for help, needing, and melting resistance, is simply to invite the truth about yourself. We have so many blind spots and areas where we aren’t aware of our self-destructiveness. 

There are lots of ways to implement this step. You can ask for feedback in a hundred different ways. However, it could be summarized into two questions. If you will regularly ask these two questions to your safe people, and use the answers, your life can flourish. They are:

1. What do I do that pushes you away from me?
2. What do I do that draws you toward me?

There are few more difficult words to ask a person, yet nothing more helpful. When you ask these questions, you’re saying several important things to your safe people. You’re telling them:

• I value how you feel about me.
• I want you to be a very important part of my life.
• I respect what you observe in me.
• I...

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Don’t Be So Quick to Reject Relationships with Others

Uncategorized Feb 05, 2019

What is resistance? Resistance is our tendency to avoid growth. It’s our drive to keep the spiritual and emotional status quo. It’s our inclination to move away from provisions for our growth. And we all have it.

Many of the dynamics, which drive us to choose unsafe people or no people at all, are resistances. We’re loaded with ways to keep our hearts from encountering loving, supportive people. As crazy as it sounds, we often build entire lifestyles around avoiding those who would help fill us up.

So, how do I deal with resistances?

1. Identify your resistances. The more aware you are of your specific resistances to love, the more power you have over them. Denial is your worst enemy here. With the feedback of friends, make a list of the ways you shrink from safe people, and become a student of these dynamics. They are a “road map” to understanding yourself and your real needs.

2. Bring them into relationship. It takes humility to ask people...

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Entering a Relationship After Being Hurt

Uncategorized Feb 04, 2019

You were created to long for attachment, to desire to matter to someone and to “hunger and thirst” for relationship. You were made that way so you could know when to seek comfort and connect. Just like your car’s gas gauge, your needs tell you when you’re on “empty.”

However, your needs for relationship may have been buried. They may be so far underground that you’ve despaired of ever finding them again. If so, this second task, “learning to need,” is vital for you.

You can regain your experience of neediness. You had it once: almost all babies are born with the  desire to be protected, connected, and comforted.

  1. Confess you inability to need. Tell the truth to your safe relationships about how hard it is to rely on others, depend on others, and actually want others close. This lets your friends know that you truly need to need. As they draw closer to you, instead of shrinking back, you slowly learn to trust again....
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When Faced With Change, The Immature Person Asks Life to Meet His Demands

Uncategorized Jan 30, 2019

I know a man who runs the a big telecommunications company. He is a transcendent character, and a transcendent leader. To him, life, leadership, and business are all about the “bigger things.” One day, I asked him how he practices his values in his company.

“Well,” he said, “I just believe that businesses succeed when the people are becoming the best that they can be and learn how to come together to be the best that they can be together. So, at the beginning of the year, I always take my team of direct reports on a retreat and we begin with a few questions. The first is ‘What would we like to see happen in the next year?’ That gets us to our vision, and the goals. And we came up with a major one. We said we wanted to do so well that the whole company would stop and want to knowhow we did it. Pretty audacious, to say the least, that kind of goal.

“But, everyone has goals. It is the next steps that count. We then ask ourselves these...

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