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Feelings are Inevitable

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...
Boundaries Start with Me

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...
The Wheel of Functioning

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...
Belonging

Belonging

A famous rock star said that she never felt more alone than after a performance in front of thousands of admirers. After the performance ended, she had no one to turn to who met her need to belong. Heroin became her closest companion and the counterfeit experience of...
Humiliation Doesn’t Have to Be

Humiliation Doesn’t Have to Be

Is the experience of humiliation normal? Although the experience of humiliation is extremely common, it is not normal. We were born with the emotional tools not to be reduced by the power of its attack. However, if we are not raised to use the tools, or do not learn...

Craving Well

To feel a powerful desire for (something) is to crave. Synonyms are long for, yearn for, desire, want, wish for, hunger for, thirst for, pine for, set one’s heart on. To live in craving requires the courage of vulnerability and the strength of patience. To live in...

Heart

The heart is the center of one’s being. Out of the heart we feel, need, desire, long, and hope. The heart is comprised of these core areas or roots. They allow us and push us to grow and connect, crave life and imagine, grieve and celebrate, attach and love. The heart...

The Courage of Sadness

Sadness is the attachment-caring feeling. It comes when what matters to us turns out differently than what we imagined, hoped, or worked for. And it comes most powerfully to those people who imagine, hope, and work for the most. Sadness is the feeling that presents us...

It’s Not OK, and It’s OK

In my work with people, I have begun to find themes that permeate the hearts of the souls that come in and out of my office. These souls have taught me that humans have A LOT of fears…like A LOT. I have witnessed how these fears can transfuse into walls and barricades...

Four Parental Responsibilities

What follows are four gifts that we can give our children (of any age), and those gifts will be delivered imperfectly: We can take responsibility for our own feelings. We don’t have to make our children responsible for our emotional conditions. Your feelings are your...
Cicadas

Cicadas

Cicadas are the bugs that come out of the ground, some every year, and others on 13 or 17 years cycles. They crawl to surfaces of tree bark or brick walls, cling to them and go through a transformation. They split open from forehead, down their backs to the “tail...

Lightning Bugs

I noticed the other evening just before dark the lightning bugs flickering here and there. To me, like the robin heralds spring, lightning bugs announce summer. When I was a child, some summer nights my brothers and sister and neighbor kids spent hours catching...

Freedom

You and I at root are emotional and spiritual creatures, created to live fully. We do so by living fully in relationship with our selves, others, and God. This realty is our pre-design. The research of the past two decades in neuroscience re-confirms this reality,...

Risking Loving

If we let ourselves love well, allowing ourselves to be “all in,” we will undoubtedly have experiences that evoke pain in our lives. Our perseverance in this life is built upon the capacity and ability (capability) to continue to love in the midst of the pain that...

Where Are You?

Ayeka is an ancient Hebrew word that is still used in daily life today. It means “where are you?” It is used today when a person, parent, friend, compatriot wants to know about your inner-world, the heart experience of you. It is a question spoken towards...

Gladness and Pain

Gladness comes to us as an outcome of being adept at the other seven feelings we carry inside of us. The other seven feelings are fear, hurt, sadness, loneliness, anger, shame, and guilt (The Voice of the Heart). Our feelings allow us to respond to life on life’s...

The Simplicity of Intimacy

Three short sentences have the capacity to break down relational barriers and push aside relational obstacles. They can help us remember connection, restore us to caring, and return us to intimacy. Intimacy is the ability and willingness to let someone “into-me-see,”...

Core Expressions of Healthy Shame

Healthy shame is the beginning of humility and risk-taking. When we awaken to how alike we are in heart and how we all carry the same inborn neediness, the healthy shame of being human awakens the following: I need you and you need me. I make mistakes and you do, too....

The Benefit of Guilt

Guilt grows out of healthy shame, and healthy shame allows me to acknowledge neediness, experience humility, identify limitations, admit mistakes, weep in sadness, wish for better, and grow in empathy and conscience as a human being. Here is how healthy shame and...

Six Freedoms from Birth

We are born with six freedoms: I have the freedom to see what I see. I have the freedom to feel what I feel. I have the freedom to need what I need. I have the freedom to talk about my heart’s experience. I have the freedom to trust my heart with others. I have the...

Sickness of Rage vs. Truth of Anger

Rage is a deeply impaired experience of fear, a fear that a person cannot and/or will not tolerate. Rage is a closed fist to ward off or destroy something or someone to eradicate vulnerability. Anger exposes us to vulnerability, because it shows the internal caring...