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.

Feelings are the Devil

Posted by on May 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

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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Sight Without Vision: What We Don’t See

Posted by on Sep 28, 2016 in Connection, Counseling, Featured | 1 comment

The Dr. asked me to close my eyes as he slid my first pair of glasses past my 5th grade ears and onto my nose. He requested I look out the window as I open my eyes. Blinking repeatedly, I looked out across Lincoln Avenue onto the bricks of the old Union Bank across the street. Individual bricks were suddenly visible as was mortar between them. A stunning view. Colors, shapes, and textures came into focus. Even as I write this, I can remember the sensation that ran through my body as the entire world developed before my eyes. On the way home...

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Political Sparring: Why We love It

Posted by on Sep 8, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Political Sparring: Why We love It

The thing I’m observing this election year more than ever before, is the grand-scale political sparring. There is an epic game of emotional hide and seek taking place behind all that rhetoric. I grew up in a home that had a very similar emotional environment for most of my formative years. The intensity around religion and politics was overwhelming. There was no gray. Certainly not fifty shades. I could explain the absolute ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ position on any subject. I could argue any point and create a space where the opposing...

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Inside the Mind of Suicide: Death and Other Options

Posted by on Jul 19, 2016 in Connection, Counseling, Grief and Loss, Shame, Trauma | 3 comments

Questions about suicide fly around my office more often than ever before. Big, round, bumble bee questions that have nowhere to land. They buzz and hum without resolution. Why? Why? Why? Since April of last year, there have been seven student suicides at one high school in Colorado Springs. Seven. It’s horrific and heartbreaking. The students, staff, and the community vacillate between profound sorrow and disconnection. Each time word of another death reaches us, there is a collective clenching of hearts and teeth and the deepest sense of...

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Is It Time For A Relational Upgrade?

Posted by on Jun 5, 2016 in Codependency, Connection, Featured, Sexual Abuse, Shame, Spiritual Abuse, Trauma | 1 comment

The appliances in my kitchen are 24 years old. I’ve decided new appliances now ensures a reasonable price rather than buying in a melting emergency when the refrigerator eventually and inevitably buys the farm. The sales guy shows me dishwashers that scrub stemware in billowy diamond suds and a refrigerator that lands the space shuttle while keeping food cold. After 20 minutes of my continual, “I don’t think I need it to do that,” I can sense his defeat. To give you an idea of the level of basic kitchen appliance I was accustomed to, my...

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