Tag Archives: relationship

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Feelings are Inevitable

Years ago I wrote a book titled The Voice of the Heart: A Call to Full Living. It is about feelings and living how we are created to live. That was almost twenty years ago. I have continued to work in the field of “living life on life’s terms” and continue to experience the struggles and joys of life on life’s terms daily. I have also continued to discover how true it is that we are made for relationship—with our own hearts, the hearts of others, and the heart of God. We cannot live life fully unless we are living

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Loneliness: the Root of all Good

The world does not always let us in on the good of loneliness. It seems that almost everything under the sun is created to keep us distracted from catching this dreadful disease. What if this disease that we work tirelessly to avoid led us back into the good of everything that we once believed in? It seems that almost everything under the sun is created to keep us distracted from catching this dreadful disease. Unfortunately many people that come in and out of my office have built up a hatred to what were once organic cries of their heart. Why

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Hurt People Hurt People

When people get hurt in relationship and do not receive healing from the wounds, they have a logical and defensible tendency to become protective against more pain. A wound that does not receive attention remains sensitive; a person becomes wary of being relationally “cut” again. The younger one is when unattended hurt begins, the more wary they become of a potential recurrence. The wariness that becomes defensiveness becomes common sense to the wounded person—even logical and defensible. But just because it is understandable does not make the consequences to others justifiable.     The defense that protects can eventually become the defense

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I’m Sorry

What do you say when you don’t know what to say? What can be said that helps when you are presented with another person’s loss, pain, grief, and struggle? When we are presented with pain over which we are powerless to repair, the words that truly fit the circumstance are, “I’m sorry.”  We can offer a person our sorrow, the identifying pain that says, “I deeply wish that this struggle were not yours, and I offer you my care.” "I'm sorry" can be the words that hold a person’s heart for a moment.     We do not usually believe the words,

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Two Gifts Children Need

Children are human just like parents, except that they are younger. A great separation between the parent and the child, however, is that children neither know, nor have they experienced all that the parent has found out or been through. With that reality in mind, there are two great gifts parents can offer children—throughout their lives because they will always be younger, no matter how old they become. Parents can become really good about seeking forgiveness and living in confession. These two gifts are primary blessings for children. They teach and offer children blessings that are needed for their own

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Boundaries Start with Me

Boundaries in relationships are the markers that help differentiate you from someone else, or communicate where you “begin” and “end.” Using an analogy of land ownership with fences and gates, boundaries are the fences around your land. Gates are the passageways that allow others onto your land. You control the gates on your land. If anyone comes onto your land in any fashion except through the gates, without your permission, they are trespassing. Boundaries in relationships are the markers that help communicate where you “begin” and “end.”     You are responsible for your own fences that mark your land, and you are

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The Wheel of Functioning

A primary responsibility of a healthy family system is to help develop children into capable human beings. Two hallmark expressions of the emotionally and spiritually capable human being are the ability to work and to love, i.e., to be able to live fully in relationship with others and God. To work and love successfully requires the development of resilience and empathy, and the capacity to receive and give.    Though somewhat oversimplified, healthy development occurs when the child reaches out towards the parent(s) for relational connection with their primary needs of belonging and mattering, and the parent reaches back with affirmation

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What is Maturity?

As an external description, maturity is the evidence of reaching full natural growth or development. As an internal description, maturity is the emotional and relational capability of living fully and loving deeply while experiencing life on life’s terms. By being able to need well and truthfully, we grow up from the roots of getting our needs met first, into producing fruit as a natural outcome of having our needs met. We see who we are created to be, so we can do what we are created to do.     Concerning maturity as an internal experience and process, a person can reach

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Works in Progress

The best we will ever become is Works in Progress (WIPs). No matter what we do, we will always be like giraffes running on ice — clumsy. Our dreams really will always exceed our grasp, no matter how perfect our plans. I believe that God likes that we dream. We carry eternity in our hearts according to Ecclesiastes. God loves for us to rise up against gravity, so to speak, even though we are coming back down.  Even so, perfection—the idea that I can defeat gravity—seems so much better than the inevitable WIP status. The best we will ever become

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Mattering

The need to belong is met by having a place where you can be yourself, in all the struggles that entails. A place where you can be accepted as you share and deal with feelings, needs, desire, longings, and hope. You belong when you know that you can be celebrated in joyful times and grieved over in times of loss. Belonging affirms your worth as a person. The need to matter is met through being appreciated for your own individual giftedness—what is born into us, and is developed. The gifts are an active expression of what you naturally are drawn

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