The Current

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Resolution Success in the New Year

Most of us at the beginning of the New Year see it as a time of new beginnings. It really is because we can start from day 1 and have 364 days afterwards to come to a conclusion of some sort for a solution. Of course, we also all know the trap of day 17 or day 221, both arbitrary as can be, when we decide that we can give ourselves a break for having worked so hard, and do the thing we are resolved to move away from. We all know that trap, and the sense of failure and

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Connect With Your Whole Self This Year

A helpful way to understand ourselves is through the metaphor of an iceberg. In my psychology research, I once learned that up to 70% of an iceberg is below the surface. I’ve found the same is true with the human heart. What you see is not always the whole story. When it comes to the human heart, there is much more going on below the surface. Sheaths of ice (or layers of being) encase the human soul. Often, in the therapeutic process, you’re invited to peel back these layers, to feel your feelings, tell the truth, and trust the process.

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What You Need To Cut Loose

I recently found myself in a discussion about the desire to move or explore a new place, recognizing the plethora of all the things that weigh us down, even when those things seem to also bring a sense of safety. In that conversation, the image of an old-fashioned hot air balloon came to me.   The kind we see in The Wizard of Oz that brings Dorothy to the Emerald City; a woven basket tethered tenuously to a fragile orb, laden with bags of sand around its edges for ballast to control the rise and fall of this seemingly lighter

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Are You Taking On Too Many Roles?

Every year when August hits, and the air (supposedly) cools off, my Saturday mornings typically begin with coffee in hand and ESPN Gameday on the TV — I am getting geared up to watch my Auburn Tigers play later on. In the past few years, I’ve noticed a segment on ESPN Gameday called “You Had One Job.” While this is mostly a way for the commentators to shame young 18-22 year old athletes, I’ve found myself joining in on the laughter and accusations of, “Come on! You blew it! You really did only have one job!” However, last week it

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Why We Don’t Tell The Truth

We all know the classic sayings about Truth: "The truth hurts" "You can't handle the truth" "The truth will set you free" But do we really want the truth, and is it really loving to tell the truth?   Often when we tell the truth, it gets labeled as: arrogant, mean, selfish, critical, over-analyzing, or overly sensitive. We have likely all felt the pain of being labeled for telling the truth inside of us. But if we commit to these labels and believe them about ourselves, we will remain in hiding and never be fully known. We will continue to

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How to Heal from Traumatic Events

When scary things happen to people we know, in places we have been, like a church or a school, or at concerts we might have attended, or airports we’ve traveled through — there is a quietness of disbelief. An echo of these questions... Why did this happen? Was there a motive? How could something so heartbreaking happen so close to home?  Am I in danger?  When traumatic events occur, they stay frozen like a snapshot in the mind. In these moments, we go into a trauma response — whether it's fight, flight, or freeze. The story gets lost from the narrative

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How to Stop People Pleasing

A mentor of mine recently shared part of a conversation she had with her daughter in which the question, “what is the opposite of disappointed” was posed. After thinking about it for a few moments she responded, “The opposite of disappointed is appointed.” While Merriam-Webster may disagree with this assessment of the word, it left quite an impression. I cannot tell you the number of times I have made decisions (or not made them) solely to avoid potentially disappointing others. I can’t leave this job, say no to that event, go on the trip, end a relationship, because doing so

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Finding God in Your Loneliness

What if the questions we ask around our faith and spirituality are making us more lonely, more afraid, and more isolated? Our questions have become formulas… How can I do more of this (prayer, bible studies, quiet times) to add more of this (peace, joy, love) and subtract all of this (shame, rejection, and fear of abandonment)? We have become a culture fixated on finding the the answer that will get us out of our pain and out of facing the story of our life. When I’m told to pray more or have more faith as an answer to my

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The Most Difficult Years of Marriage

I’ve been helping couples in the context of marriage counseling about a decade and half. In that time, I’ve noticed something: the prime number years of relationships are often the hardest  (i.e. 1, 3. 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29…) Often, it seems these years correspond with significant transitions and pressure points in marriage. Learning the tools to handle these transitions and pressure points is essential to being satisfied in a relationship long term. Below are the questions I find couples asking during their “odd years”: Year 1: Where did the person I felt so in love with go?

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Getting Down to the Heart

When we look back on our lives, there are people who play significant roles in shaping us into the people we become: relatives, friends, coaches, mentors. For me, it was my middle school English teacher. I was raised in a small town and attended a private Christian school. I lived within what some may call a “bubble.” I don’t note this because I think it is bad necessarily, but instead to emphasize that I did not know that anything existed outside of that bubble. That bubble burst the day I sat down in Mr. Fletcher’s class. Even now Mr. Fletcher

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