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Nov 8

Life’s Tests

Posted on Friday, November 8, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

tired_lost_sportmanClear shot at an eight-point buck, missed.
Perfect moment for a first kiss, interrupted.
Business plan, rejected.
Cleaned the house, not good enough.
Sincere proposal, denied.
Studied hard, failed.
Doctor’s report, bad news.
Ran your best race, lost.

Life is filled with disappointments.
Life is filled with happiness-crushing hassles.

But that’s not the end of the story.

Despite our circumstances and doubts Happiness IS possiblefor all of us.

Sometimes, the pursuit of happiness involves a change of mind, a new perspective, a reversal of direction. Sometimes it’s a mind-altering mysteries like, “great pain can become great possibilities and you can “pray your pain out.”

Aug 1

Fear of Water

Posted on Thursday, August 1, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Social, Spiritual, Values

021_21I’ll be in water, on water and underwater today.

The fear of drowning is one of my fears. It probably always has been a fear, but childhood bullying certainly made it worse. Sometimes I’m not even aware that I’m thinking about it.

Our Fears

Fear will try to stop us.
Doubts will try to stop us.

We’ll be tempted to duck responsibilities.
We’ll be tempted to from taking chances.
We’ll be tempted to lay low and avoid risks.

Fear has paralyzed many people from
– attempting great accomplishments
– facing great questions
– embracing great opportunities
– joining great adventures
– creating something new
– sharing gifts with others

Jun 19

Persecuted

Posted on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

1375943_fireworks_9Yesterday my friend LeAndra posted on Facebook, “I have a love / hate relationship with this time of year…because of all the fireworks. I don’t know of I should hit the floor or look out the window at all the pretty colors…it all sounds like gun shots.”

She’s heard gun shots.
She’s heard fireworks.

Will the sound be followed by the beauty of celebration or the horror of violence?

The threat can be real; “hit the floor“.

Hit The Floor

LeAndra’s insightful comment reminded me of growing up bullied.

Jun 6

Bless The Bully

Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values

284860_winning_boxer_2Two teens on two Tuesdays.
They made opposite decisions.
They experienced different outcomes.

One

A feared gang leader sauntered into the room.
He looked nervous, but none of the teens in the room saw it.
They saw “him.”
They froze.

TreeHouse is an incredibly safe place.
Suddenly, for them, it felt unsafe.

I knew the reaction.
I didn’t know him.

He was required to be there.
He stayed ten minutes and left.
I followed, hoping we could have a conversation another day.
He didn’t stop.
He didn’t speak.
I never saw him again.
Sadly, he was killed in a gang-related incident within a year.

Oct 24

Things Change

Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Sports, Values

“Things change.”

“Things change. Change isn’t easy, but it’s necessary.”

Mark Anderson is speaking at TreeHouse’s Women of Hope event today. 

Last night in a room-full of interested listeners Mark Anderson captivated us with humor, heart-ache and wisdom.  In Mark’s inspiring story entitled “Defeat to Victory” he shared some strategies that have enabled him to overcome tremendous obstacles and achieve high levels of performance in his life.

Mark and his family faced many challenges growing up. Fortunately, as he said, “things change.”

Aug 17

What Now?

Posted on Friday, August 17, 2012 in Emotional, How To, Music, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

If you’re like me, this has been a thought-provoking week.

The reader-response to this week’s mysilentscream.com had me thinking long and hard about the depth of our drama, the taste of our of trauma, and the deep pit in which some of our hidden pain resides.

Next week we’ll take a look at how to deal with our anger.

As this week concludes this ancient song — known as Psalm 51 — continues to echo through my mind as a prayer to God for help. 1

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.

Aug 16

Warning: Anger Can Become Toxic

Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

Monday I began this dialogue with Olympics: Judge & Jury, and continued it yesterday with “Caution – We don’t know the whole story.

One gracious reader read and replied, “I was raped by a guy when I was 22 I would judge him and say he needs help…because he did. (He victimized) 5 other women…but he is and was aware of what he was doing so I wouldn’t feel sympathy.”

As someone who has never experienced a rape I cannot begin to grasp the depth of how that would affect a victim, all I can say is “Wow, thank you you for your humble willingness to add your perspective to our dialogue.”

Jul 6

Remember Me, I Want Revenge (Justice).

Posted on Friday, July 6, 2012 in Education, Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

Remember me, I want revenge.

I had many revenge fantasies when I was in junior high:
– Revenge against the guy who would flip my school books out of my hand.
– Revenge against the guy who would push me down the stairs.
– Revenge against the guy who sat on my chest and pummeled my face.
– Revenge against the guy who stuffed me upside down in the lunchroom trash can.
– Revenge…revenge…revenge…the stories would go on.

I had never been strong, powerful, popular or courageous, so my revenge fantasies were just that.  No way to get back.  No way to gather forces.  And, no, I never told anyone in authority. I should have.

Jun 6

End of the School Year Advice

Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2012 in Education, Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

So many teens and adults are tense as the school year ends.

Teens who encounter their bullies with their last-day-of-school threats.
Bullies who want to make a final statement before summer.

Teachers whose patience has run out.
School administrators who are running on fumes.

Co-workers trying to figure out day care choices.
Colleagues worried about their unsupervised teens.
Police officers dreading the last day of school drama.

And, all of us who care about them.

Here’s some life-transforming advice for all of us:

Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath.

Jun 3

Jerks & Bullies Are Near. Embrace Your Need To Be Heard.

Posted on Friday, June 3, 2011 in Emotional, Relational, Social, Values

I hated swimming in gym class.

It wasn’t bad enough that I didn’t like swimming, but the school pool had more chlorine in it than a toxic waste dump.

I’m certain that I would win a substantial lawsuit if I videotaped the other humiliations projected upon me by the gym teachers, but my least favorite part of swimming was when the teacher was out of the room.

One day two upperclassmen held me under the water in the deep end so long that I ABSOLUTELY PANICKED.