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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The Consequences of Making Decisions Based on Emotion

Uncategorized Jan 29, 2019

In a very real way, we have more than one brain. Or, at least more than one system in our brain. One of them “thinks” emotionally, and subjectively, and the other more logically and with reason and judgment. On a good day, they are partners and work together. It would not be far off to say that they “inform” each other and add to the decision-making of each other. In a balanced character, they are good friends and work a little like a small committee.

But like any other committee, this one is subject to “takeovers” as well as harmony. In a real committee, one member may be more powerful than the others and overtake the process and end up calling all the shots. Our brains can work that way too. If the emotional side becomes overpowering, we can be vulnerable to making some really bad decisions that show poor judgment.

The integrated character, as a pattern, does not do that. He or she, over the long haul, maintains balance between strong emotions...

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Moving Forward After Getting Hurt

Uncategorized Jan 27, 2019

When we take responsibility for ourselves, we’re saying that we no longer want to feel “stuck” or burdened by the people and situations that have caused hurt in our lives. As I talk to individuals in different capacities, I’ve found that many people don’t want to take responsibility for their lives. People often remain stuck because they want other people to change. They want others to make it better, and often those people won’t. As a result, they are in bondage to others. I had a client who had four small children. Her husband left her abruptly for another woman. What he did to her was horrible; she had every reason in the world to feel betrayed, angry, abandoned, depressed and over-whelmed. And as long as she expressed those feelings of “look what he’s done to me,” there was no movement. These are natural feelings to have when someone has been done wrong, but they should gradually lead to a sense of ownership of the...

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Just Because You Forgive, it Doesn’t Mean You Have to Trust Again

Uncategorized Jan 27, 2019


“I know I’m supposed to forgive,” a woman said to me at a recent seminar. “But, I just can’t open myself up to that kind of hurt anymore. I know I should forgive him and trust him, but if I let him back in, the same thing will happen, and I can’t go through that again.”

“Who said anything about ‘trusting’ him?” I asked. “I don’t think you should trust him either.”

“But you said I was supposed to forgive him, and if I do that, doesn’t that mean giving him another chance? Don’t I have to open up to him again?”

“No, you don’t,” I replied. “Forgiveness and trust are two totally different things. In fact, that’s part of your problem. Every time he’s done this, he’s come back and apologized, and you have just accepted him right back into your life, and nothing has changed. You trusted him, nothing was different, and he did it again. I...

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Being Angry isn’t a ‘Bad’ Thing

Uncategorized Jan 25, 2019

There’s a lot of confusion about anger in our society. It’s usually seen as a negative emotion that someone needs to “get control” over. And in some instances, that is true. It can be destructive, but are we really giving it a chance to listen to what our anger tells us.

In the last 30 years or so, we have seen a big swing in the way anger is perceived. Back then, it was almost all seen as something bad.

We all know what it feels like to be on the wrong end of someone’s rage attack. Because of this, many people were very out of touch with what they were feeling, and a lot of anger went hidden and suppressed. It did not mean that people were not angry, it just meant that the people weren’t given  very helpful ways to work it out, especially people who had been really hurt in life and were sitting on a lot of pain and anger. They were often times just stuck with it.

About the same time, the world of psychiatry was getting into the...

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