The Current

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Learning to Fail

There is no doubt that our culture is bent on the pursuit of success; we see it everywhere. In turn, the idea of failure is one that we expend a lot of focus and energy avoiding and helping others avoid, especially our children.     In my First-Year Seminar course for new college freshman, we spend an entire class exploring “Failure” in order to expand our understanding about what it really is, and why we’re really afraid of it — why have we been taught to avoid something that’s likely inevitable, even helpful? A number of the sources we examine

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A Different Depression

I used to believe that depression meant lying in bed all day with the covers pulled over my head. Or not going out with friends or smiling during a funny movie scene. Over time, I have come to the realization that depression is more a suppression of feelings. It can look like trying to hold it all in. It becomes more of a stature of trying to hold in your heart. Saying things like “I can do it,” or “No thanks, I don’t need any help.” Slowly, the weight of depression can push down my desires  and make me believe

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Marriage: More than You Bargained For

This is based on a homily I recently delivered at my friends’ wedding. There’s a lot here to reflect on about marriage, how it changes us, and what it calls us to become. The Judeo-Christian marriage is much more than a legal union. It’s a spiritual joining that, in it’s very nature, is designed to change people—mature them. It is so central to the spiritual DNA of life that it’s one of the major themes in the creation story. Genesis, Chapter 2, is the first narrative story in both the Hebrew Torah and Christian Pentateuch, and it sets the framework

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What does it mean to dream?

We are created to dream big. The moment we dream, we open ourselves up to feeling, desiring, aching, grieving, suffering, and celebrating. To dream means to be fully alive in a beautiful and tragic world. It means that we are willing to reach outside of ourselves, fully aware that we may not grasp what we long for. Part of the therapy process involves unearthing dreams that have been lost to trauma, addiction, depression, and anxiety. However, when we face the story of our life and begin to heal, we can risk dreaming again. I have spent a big portion of

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Music and Melancholy

As one who is all too familiar with the realities and exhausting effects of depression, I find myself looking for ways to describe it in a more tangible way to myself and the people in my life. The difficulty is that, unlike other infirmities, you cannot see depression like you can see a flesh wound or a broken leg or even a terminal illness. As Parker Palmer (one who has experienced multiple personal bouts with depression) writes in his book, Let Your Life Speak, “I still find depression difficult to speak about because the experience is so unspeakable.” While there

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Getting to the Root of Depression

In my experience, depression has had two opposing effects: it protected me from feeling deep pain but, at the same time, robbed me of relationships and healing. Thirty-eight years ago today, my life was changed forever. What should have been a time of joy and celebration turned into sadness, despair, and a journey into depression. My two infant twin sons were born too early to survive. All the things that I had learned through my childhood about faith and never doubting God's plan began to fade. How could something that I thought was in God's plan go so terribly wrong?

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5 Ways to Engage Your Partner

Are you familiar with the song “Will You Be There” by Michael Jackson? If you have ever seen the movie Free Willy, it is the epic ballad playing as Willy traverses the wall that has held him captive for his entire life, singing him into the sweet freedom that the ocean holds. If you have never heard this song, I must request that you stop reading, open up your music streaming app of choice, and listen to it instantly. In its most epic moment, this song begs the question, “Will you show to me you’ll be there for me and

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11 Things You Don’t Want In a Therapist

Picking the right therapist for your specific concerns can feel daunting. This list is designed to help you assess your therapy experience and feel more confident in who you choose to move forward this. While counselors are humans and make mistakes all the time, there are some people who practice as therapists who aren't professionally prepared or emotionally ready to be in the role. Here are some helpful indicators for assessing whether or not a therapist is a good a fit for you or not: They felt more like a friend than a professional. While it’s important to have a

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What Questions Will You Ask This Year?

At the beginning of this year, I sat with a client as he marked two years of consistent counseling.   As he remembered the beginning of this journey, he described realizing early on that there was a closed door inside his heart. The key to unlocking the door was a question. What if there are some things in me I need to deal with? And the further he’s opened the door, the more questions and life he’s found. What if…? It’s a common question, isn’t it? It’s the question underneath every New Year’s resolution and behind the most mundane decisions.

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What is Your Next “Yes”?

As the new year unfolds, I find myself asking what is my next “yes”? I first heard it put this way years ago listening to a then 23-year-old woman talk about her 14 children. With a smile and glimmer in her eye, she shared that her family had grown in a series of yeses. It started with a trip to Uganda and then the decision to bypass a promising life in the States by moving there permanently. Katie then shared the stories of her first five adoptions, small moments when she felt God whisper “Will you?”, and she managed a

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