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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...
What is Maturity?

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...
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...
Created to Need

Created to Need

What is a need? To put it as starkly as possible, needs are deficits that require biological, emotional and spiritual gratification for fulfillment. Deficit fulfillment keeps us fully alive. Needs have to be gratified to be alive. The specific needs we have are the...

The Common Sense of Needs

I wrote a book called The Needs of the Heart. It is a simple book that speaks to how we are created to need, and describes specific needs. It is well written, well edited, and not popular! I suspect it is not popular because it exposes our condition as unavoidably and...

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...

10 Things the Wilderness Taught Me in 4 Days

Recently, I organized an adventure trip for male leaders through Wilderness Collective . In four days, we covered more than 275 miles from Sequoia National Forest to Yosemite National Park. We traversed rugged terrain on enduro motorcycles that lead us over mountain...

Laying Claim, Not Blame

When you or I say to someone, “I feel sad” about some loss, or “I feel lonely” about some disconnection, we are simply laying claim to our own internal emotional experience. The “I feel” statement, followed by our reference point to...

A Friend’s Prayer

A good friend recently took the time to send me a prayer that he has been praying for himself and his friends for some time. I’m very grateful to be someone he prays for. He told me to pass it along, so other friends and loved ones could be reminded to pray for...

Taking Love for Granted

What a gift to be able to take love for granted. Much of my life, I thought that for me to take anything for granted was somehow an expression of ingratitude or callousness towards something or someone. Or ingratitude or callousness towards me, if someone took my love...

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,”...

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...

The Extra Mile

I believe very much that we need to push ourselves. We need to be able to take the next step, work hard, find out that we can persevere in hardship, and find within us the ability to get the job done if at all possible. We need to be able to press on because doing so...

Courage and Neediness

    Courage in its simplest form means full-hearted participation. It says, “I’m all in.” When it comes to full-hearted participation, children seem to do it best. They don’t know all about the foibles and terrors of their futures yet,...

A Great Sadness

The heart of the human being often becomes a rejected treasure that children begin to hide when they do not experience themselves as pursued and affirmed. This common experience is a great sadness. When the heart is experienced as the enemy of the child, then God,...

What Children Want

We are born to grow into who we are created to become, so we can do what we are created to do. Children grow from within by having their hearts affirmed and confirmed by caregivers. Affirmation says, “Yes” to how a child is created as an emotional and spiritual...