Blog about daily observations related to mental health and positive outlooks. From our home here in Colorado Springs to wherever our blog finds you.  This blog is NOT intended to diagnose, treat, or replace person-to-person psychological, medical, or legal professional consultation.

Scared Shitless: Puppy Trauma

Posted by on Oct 4, 2017 in For Fun, Therapy Dog Blog | 1 comment

Hi, humans! I’ve grown up so much since I wrote to you last time, and am officially a therapy dog. I love my clients and get excited when they come in to see me. I know lots about trauma and LOVE to help. Helping is my favorite thing! Mom asked me to share something kind of embarrassing. I don’t want to, but she said it might help some humans. So, I said ok. One day, my big brother Murphy and I were playing in the backyard. We do zoomies around the trees and chase the bunnies. We run around the barn and play hide and...

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21 Signs of Spiritual Abuse (Or, No, You’re Not Crazy!)

Posted by on Sep 18, 2017 in Featured, Shame, Spiritual Abuse, Spirituality, Trauma | Comments Off on 21 Signs of Spiritual Abuse (Or, No, You’re Not Crazy!)

  Spiritual abuse comes in many forms. It can be subtle or overt. It’s damaging regardless of the shape it takes. Most spiritual abuse isn’t the sort that gets news coverage.   When children are taken from their homes because a cult leader has sexually abused them in the name of God, it’s easy to call it spiritual abuse. But, it’s the more subtle, mainstream abuse that’s widespread. A recent conversation with a friend caused me to consider how to better define and outline spiritual abuse. As we discussed spiritual...

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When Shame is Protective

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Aversion, Counseling, Sexual Abuse, Shame | 1 comment

Most of my life was spent marinating in shame. It felt like part of my genetic makeup. Shame held my head underwater and told me to resign to my fate, to stop fighting. Shame left me feeling my very personhood was flawed. At a very young age, I remember telling an adult about the sexual abuse I was suffering. I didn’t know the words sexual or abuse but said what I could in my best seven-year-old language. The person I told should have protected the very vulnerable little me. Instead, the look on the individual’s face said everything. The...

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On the Hook: Why We Run

Posted by on Aug 9, 2017 in Counseling, Featured, Trauma, Vulnerability | Comments Off on On the Hook: Why We Run

Last night a Bassett Hound puppy and his early twenty-something human were practicing commands in the thick grass along the shore of Lake Dillon. I had a great view from the deck of the rental condo. I watched for a while, wanting to kiss the little pup right between the eyes on his velvety face. The smart puppy was learning sit, stay, down, and come. He was obedient and eager-to-please. Puppy perfection. This morning, I’m again on the deck. This time with a piece of toast and a cup of tea while watching the sun come up on the lake. I watch...

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Feelings are the Devil

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Feelings are the Devil

There’s a pervasive belief that is destroying hearts and lives. A certainty that emotions are morally wrong, and feelings such as anger and fear are the problem. Joy and love are touted as holy, but pain and shame represent a black mark on your character. I find this to be true specifically within certain Christian cultures. The idea is that feelings are the problem and if we could only conquer those nasty moods we’d be just fine, thank you very much. Feelings are to be considered weakness or even a lack of faith. When...

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When Feeling Joy Requires Courage

Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Codependency, Connection, Uncategorized, Vulnerability | 1 comment

When life is filled with pain, betrayal, and heartache, it takes great courage to allow joy. When anger and fear are the feelings primarily modeled for us, they become the essential building blocks of our emotional DNA. We understand pain and shame. They are expected. We know how to behave and what to anticipate when unenjoyable feelings are on the scene. The first time I became aware that joy was difficult to accept, I was about to leave on vacation. At the time, I was working for a brilliant, kind man who had taken me under his wing...

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Why We Like Likes: Choosing Moments Over Memories

Posted by on Jan 8, 2017 in Codependency, Connection, Featured, Grief and Loss | Comments Off on Why We Like Likes: Choosing Moments Over Memories

I recently read an article about a couple whose gender reveal party didn’t go as planned. The balloon store made an error. They used bright, mixed balloons instead of pink or blue. The mother-to-be ends up in tears and the father-to-be begins cursing. They rectify the situation, and re-enact the scene with the correct color of party supplies for the camera.  When the experience of recording an event becomes more essential than experiencing the event, we have risen to the level of PhD in Missing the Point. There has been much written...

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Shut Up In The Name of Jesus

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in Featured, Shame, Spiritual Abuse, Spirituality, Trauma | 1 comment

Have you ever been told to shut up in the name of Jesus? Have you ever been on the receiving end of a conversation being told to zip your lip by the power of the Holy Spirit? It happens on the radio, in line at the coffee shop, in church or ministry staff meetings, and at family dinners. Let’s call the manipulative, cliché, controlling, nonsense what it is: spiritual abuse. When someone in a place of power uses their spiritual position to dominate another person, it’s spiritual abuse. Sometimes it’s extreme, and other times it’s...

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Blessed Are the Merciful

Posted by on Nov 2, 2016 in Featured, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Blessed Are the Merciful

Clients teach me powerful lessons everyday. The best education has come from listening to their experiences and hopes. One particular example still leaves me all verklempt. What should have been a quick kidney stone surgery with a few days of recovery became two surgeries, raging infection, and more than three weeks out of my mind and out of the office. My amazing makes-everything-seem-easy assistant continued to cancel sessions as my situation escalated. I was distraught about the multiple cancellations. Not because I thought...

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18 Ways to Fight Election Fatigue and Other ‘Hopeless’ Situations

Posted by on Oct 12, 2016 in Counseling, Uncategorized, Vulnerability | Comments Off on 18 Ways to Fight Election Fatigue and Other ‘Hopeless’ Situations

Listening to the doom, waning hope, and frustrations about the upcoming election #election2016, I boomerang back to one thing each time. Responsibility. I’m not talking about the “get your ass in gear” or “cowboy up” (is that really a thing?) kind of responsibility. I’m speaking of influence. Where do we and don’t we have influence? What choices do we make each day? When we feel stuck or trapped, movement is always the key. Even contemplating movement can contain the whisperings of empowerment. Action is a essential. Often in our...

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