Understanding What Addicts Lack in Their Lives

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2020

An addiction is a compulsive physiological need for something, in other words, something that someone needs to survive. People are usually addicted to a specific substance, such as alcohol, cocaine, speed, or food. But people can also feel addicted to activities, such as sex, gambling, work, destructive, relationships, religiosity, achievement, and materialism. These substances and activities never satisfy, however, because they don’t deal with the real problem. We don’t really need alcohol, street drugs, or sex. We can live very well without these things.

However, we really do need relationship, and we cannot live very well without it. We are aware of what happens when it’s absent.

Curing addictions requires a return to sensitivity and humility. Addicted people must admit their powerlessness to others, as well as soften their heart toward those they have injured and realize their deceitful desires. Addictions are not real desires. They are substitutes for some...

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How to Set Boundaries with a Difficult Mom

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2020

“My mother is a narcissist.”

I hear it a lot. I can understand why some people feel that way about their parents or others in their life who have left them hurt.

I’m going to keep using “mom” as an example here, but these are guidelines you can use with anyone in your life when you’re making rules and setting boundaries. Let’s take a further look. …

If you’re new to setting boundaries, or setting them with a new person, it can be tough and a little scary. But let’s think about how we approach that. You might say something like, “I’m in a process of personal growth, and I’ve made some changes. Our relationships is important to me, so I want to share them with you.” Then explain what you’ve discovered about your character traits, attributes, likes and dislikes.

“But my mom will just say I’m just being selfish, that I don’t love her …”

You can still set the...

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I Know Why Your Significant Others Hides Their Feelings

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2020

“Why didn’t you tell me?” she said, referring to the grim financial realities he had been hiding.

“You never told me you were feeling alone,” he said, referring to her reason for getting involved with someone at work.

“I didn’t know you didn’t want to go,“ she said, referring to his resentment at going to her parents’ for the holidays.

“You always seemed happy,” he said, referring to her complaint in counseling that her marriage felt dead.

Sound like things you have heard before? Sound like things you have said before? You know the experience of being surprised that someone close to you felt a certain way, and you had no clue. It happens in a marriage! Sometimes one partner doesn’t hear when the other is trying to communicate something important. But at other times the communication is not so clear after all. And often when the hidden feelings are uncovered, it is too late.

Why People Hide Their Feelings

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Embrace the Power of Saying No and Live with Fruitfulness

Uncategorized Oct 30, 2020

Much of our identity comes from the positive assertions of who we are. We say things such as, “I love sports,” or “I love to travel.” We are asserting positive truths about who we are.

There are many people who aren’t in touch with their “not me” experiences. They don’t know how to disown who they are not.

I once knew a student in med school who wasn’t performing very well, but he felt pressured to stay because it’s what his parents wanted him to become. He needed to scream at the top of his lungs, “I hate medicine!” until he was finally heard, but he kept quiet. His “voice” eventually came out in his poor performance in school and his failure in residence.

Negative assertions are a reality. Just as we need to take responsibility for what lies inside our boundaries, we need to admit to ourselves what lies outside. Some negative assertions would be: “No, I don’t like to speak before large...

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The Hardest Boundaries You'll Set in Your Life

Uncategorized Oct 29, 2020

In each of our lives, there's one person who's always tearing us down, who recklessly spends our money and makes inexplicable decisions that cost us valuable time, and sometimes that person can let us down like no one else. Yep, I'm talking about myself. And you. And everyone who struggles to place boundaries that they can adhere to in their own lives.

Being mature about the boundaries we set for ourselves is tough.

How to begin:

Address your real need!

Out-of-control patterns often disguise themselves as something else. You need to address the underlying need before you can deal with the out-of-control behavior. For example, impulsive eaters may discover that food is a way to separate and stay safe from romantic and sexual intimacy. Their fear of being faced with those kinds of emotionally laden situations may cause them to use food as a boundary. As their internal boundaries with the opposite sex become firmer, they can give up their destructive food boundary. They learn to ask...

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No Matter How Bad It Gets, You Have Options

Uncategorized Oct 28, 2020

A woman complained to me about a coworker who would always interrupt her while she was trying to get her job done. She acted as if her tendency to be behind in her work was her coworker’s fault.

“Why do you talk to her?” I asked.

“What do you mean?” she replied.

“When she comes in and interrupts, why do you get into a conversation with her?”

“Well, I have to. She is standing there talking.”

“Why don’t you just tell her that you have work to do, or close your door and put up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign?”

The woman looked at me with a blank stare. To have choices and to have control of her own behavior was a concept that hadn’t occurred to her. She felt that if something happened “to her,” then that was the way it had to be.

There was nothing she could do to change it.

When I suggested that she had many choices, she quizzed me about them. I gave her five or six suggestions, from talking...

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Addressing Mental Health Goes Beyond Prayer

Uncategorized Oct 28, 2020

 God is a person who does certain things that produce life, over and over again. And, he has created us in his image, able to do those same things. We are to be “like him,” living healthy lives. So, as we grow in his image, doing what he does, healing occurs as a result. I began to understand that salvation equals healing, just as the Greek word implies. Said another way: The more that God helps us to become like him, bearing his image, we get well. So what does that look like?

As I wrote in my book “Changes That Heal,” I think this happens in four basic areas:

First, God is able to form emotional connections. He bonds with the other members of the Trinity, and then with us. He has ongoing, unbroken relationships, and created us to be able to do the same. What we know from science and experience is that disconnection, or emotional isolation and detachment lead to all sorts of emotional and relational problems. From depression, to anxiety, to breakdowns...

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Your Anger Isn't a Sin

Uncategorized Oct 28, 2020

In the last 30 years or so, we have seen a big swing in the way that Christians look at anger. Back then, it was almost all seen as sin. And, there are a lot of verses that tell us about the danger of anger, for it can be a very destructive emotion. As Proverbs 27:4 says, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming.” We all know what it feels like to be on the wrong end of someone’s rage attack. Because of this teaching, 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 church often did not give them 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 understanding that hidden anger could cause sickness, and play a major role in a lot of psychiatric problems,...

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Why Emotional Tone is So Important

Uncategorized Oct 28, 2020

There are two human drives. One is connection and the other is aggression. Aggression here does not mean anger. It means initiative and energy, which are used in the service of goals.

Everything we do is either relational or goal directed—or, ideally, both. Basically, we are “lovers and workers.”

We have relationships and we do things. We connect and we accomplish tasks. Care and drive. Be and do. Love and work. The love requires a positive relational tone and the work requires drive, expectations and discipline.
An integrated leader does both at the same time in a way where one affects the other. They provide a positive state of being and tone while aggressively accomplishing things with people. The problem comes when we do one without the other. When we are about people but are not giving them the boundaries that lead to aggressive accomplishment—things like structure, goals and measures of accountability — we fail them.

Lack of structure...

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How to Show Yourself Grace

Uncategorized Oct 27, 2020

Have you ever had one of those moments where everything just seemed perfect? It never seems to last, does it?

What are those perfect moments? How do we create more of them?

We all have a perfect nature, and in a perfect world, every one of us would succeed beyond our wildest dreams. However, we do not live in a perfect world, so we have to manage the imperfection that makes up our day-to-day reality. We have to pursue virtue and ideal outcomes despite living in a world that sometimes seems to reward people who act in bad faith.

We need to develop the character to face reality, to handle whatever challenges are put in front of us, and to overcome them. Part of developing that character is admitting your imperfections to yourself. There may be a lot of qualities that you really don't like in others, that you might give yourself a pass on because you haven't examined your own life the way you scrutinize others. We must do this because otherwise we will be continually disappointed, and...

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