Tag Archives: feelings

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Dealing with Difficult People

While a bear from the wild may be captured to live in a zoo or trained to ride a bike in the circus, for the most part, wild bears do what wild bears do.   Several years ago, while trying to emphasize a point about how to deal with difficult people, I began to pick on bears. I could have easily picked on some other animal, but bears are an easy target. We’ve all heard horrible stories here and there about a bear somewhere attacking an innocent hiker. More frequently, we hear stories of a bear entering a campground and

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Do You Deny Yourself Joy?

My grandmother’s jewelry hangs in an organizer in my closet. I recently pulled it out from behind coats to find dust inside the pouches that neatly hold the precious metals, stones, and colors. I touched a couple of the pieces she wore often, and that most reminded me of her. My chest ached and my eyes watered at the memory, wishing it was now, and feeling sad that it could no longer be. Gladness and sadness both were present in that moment. And I’m finding that both of these feelings must be present in order to experience true joy. Unfortunately,

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Finding An Anthem For Affliction

The first time I heard John Mark McMillan’s (now widely-known) song "How He Loves Us,” I was at the funeral of a high school friend who passed away in a car accident. I distinctly remember how the words confounded my mind but resonated somewhere within my heart all at once. Part of the chorus goes like this: He is jealous for me Love’s like a hurricane, I am a tree Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy After singing it through both seasons of heartache and celebration over the past decade, one line continues to stop me in my

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The “Should’s” and “Supposed To’s”

Recently, a large poll was taken in which A.A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh ranked number one for the most beloved children’s books of all time, even beating J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Milne created a brilliant and endearing narrative that all its readers and viewers get lost in, only to find ourselves identifying with the animals living deep in the Hundred Acre Wood. While some of us may relate more to Piglet’s anxiety than Pooh’s clumsiness, each of the characters lives within us. Though we are designed to express our feelings, majority of us have been taught the “should's” and

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Listening to the Voice of Your Heart

When the phone rang, I knew what the call would be about. It was like that part in an adventure movie where the hero is about to reach the top of the mountain – you know what’s going to happen next. The only thing missing from the moment was swelling orchestral strings to enhance the drama. I answered the phone with satisfaction, and savored the description of the formal job offer, adorned in sparkly detail of important title, more money and the power to shape the strategy of a company. I unhesitatingly accepted the offer that we had spent the

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E is for Empathy

I am more and more convinced that empathy is the key to healthy relationships. Empathy is why individual counseling and marriage therapy can be so effective. Your therapist is trained to listen to the voice of your heart and understand what’s at the root of your anxiety or depression, but also your hopes and dreams. That’s what empathy is. An awareness and joining of your feelings. Too often we simply feel the feelings without seeking a deeper understanding of what they might mean. This is true for both our interpersonal relationships and our relationships with ourselves. My favorite examination of empathy

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