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Nov 5

Stormy Night

Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, TreeHouse, Values

treebranchessky-74600_640Gender bashing
Culture clashing

Voices
Cascading
Even louder
Like crashing symbols

Yelling
Screaming
Stammering
Clawing for attention

No!
You’re wrong!
That’s $%^&&*&* up!

Listen!
Point made
Counterpoint

Last night I had the hardest support group I’ve led in more than ten years. Teens yelling, screaming, not listening to one another nearly enough.

At TreeHouse teens learn that they are not alone in dealing with any issue. There is always someone who can relate to what is going on in another group member’s life. Teens learn how to support someone else in need. They are reminded that they are lovable, capable and worthwhile. TreeHouse support groups become a place where youth know that they will always be listened to and that what they say matters to others.

Oct 31

Listen, Don’t T.R.I.P.

Posted on Thursday, October 31, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

tripThis week I’m focusing on five listening moments.

Monday was Listening to Understand
Tuesday was Listen Deeply
Wednesday was Listen Beneath The Surface

Listen In

Too often I thought I knew what someone was going to say. Too often I’ve made wrong assumptions, flawed judgments and drawn the wrong conclusions. I’m well intentioned, but I unfortunately T.R.I.P. and stumble and hurt others.

The acronym T.R.I.P. is a warning to me to be a better listener; maybe it will help you too.

Live It

T – Listen Tenderly
R – Listen Respectfully
I – Listen to avoid Ignorance
P – Listen, be Patient

Oct 30

Listen Beneath The Surface

Posted on Wednesday, October 30, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

rememberingsA while back I wrote the very popular 9 Consequences Of Not Listening.

This week I’d like to highlight five listening moments.

Monday was Listening to Understand
Tuesday was Listen Deeply

Listen In

One of the treasures in my life is how much other people trust me. The joys, the sorrows, the missteps and the secrets that people share with me are among my most precious treasures.

Sometimes we wander onto a treasure like a random twenty dollar bill on the ground. Sometimes we find a treasure by randomly watching a movie on Netflix. Sometimes we have to dig deep for a treasure like hard gardening work in the Spring months before a Fall harvest.

Oct 29

Listen Deeply

Posted on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 in How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

longing_2A year and a half ago I wrote the very popular 9 Consequences Of Not Listening.

This week I’d like to highlight five listening moments.

Monday was Listening to Understand

Listen In

Listening, really listening, makes a huge difference in our relationships.
– We hear more of what’s being said
– We quiet our need to be in control
– The speaker feels more lovable as we pay attention
– We assure the speaker feels worthwhile as we listen
– Our self-respect grows as we commend ourselves as capable listeners

Oct 28

Listening to Understand

Posted on Monday, October 28, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Values

scream-37172-mA year and a half ago I wrote the very popular 9 Consequences Of Not Listening.

This week I’d like to highlight five listening moments.

Listen In

“I can’t stand it!”, she said. An exasperated parent continued, “Don’t you hate it when you are in a nice restaurant and enjoying your meal and suddenly a screaming kid ruins it?” Without waiting for an answer, she continued, “I can’t stand when my mood and my meal is ruined someone’s screaming children.” As her angry exposition continued her face contorted, “This time it was MY son!”

Jun 25

Learn Empathy

Posted on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

praying66955_640

 

People Challenges

My first year at TreeHouse was challenging. During that first year I quickly realized that despite an excellent education, wise mentors and patient supervision that I was unprepared.
– Unprepared for the pain I would see
– Unprepared for the emotions people would express
– Unprepared for the evil “loved ones” would perpetrate
– Unprepared for the diverse values, motives and philosophies of life

People, caring about people, is challenging.

Learn Empathy

Every emotionally healthy person can learn empathy. We can all develop what google.com called our “ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” 1

Mar 13

Your Compassion

Posted on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

920325_sadness_5Monday How To Express Your Compassion began a series on compassion, followed by Silently Express Your Compassion.

I would argue that undermost circumstances when we express compassion we are better to be silent that to talk too much.

It’s important to listen patiently without an agenda.
And, to listen compassionately without judgment.

We all need to listen patiently, graciously and sensitively; seeking neither to give advice nor to fix people.

Sometimes we do need to speak up. It’s a challenge to know when to speak up and when to shut up.

Mar 12

Silently Express Your Compassion

Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

1022427_despairlonelynessYesterday How To Express Your Compassion began a series on compassion borne out of pain.

Let me back up a step. For more than twenty years I have struggled to provide caring support for those in need.

You see, I’m a head-guy, more than a heart-guy.

As a cerebral-thinker it’s been a challenge to fit the deep emotional pain of people in pain within my worldview. It’s hard sometimes. Naturally I want to:
– Assess
– Fix
– Mind-map
– Problem-solve
– Trace things back to their origin

I want to manage, measure, navigate, unravel and diagnose.

Mar 11

How To Express Your Compassion

Posted on Monday, March 11, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

920325_sadness_5People pass away every day.

Parents are in pain every day.

Teens deal with backstabbing and drama every day.

What can you do to help?
What’s been most effective?

Listen.
Listen. Listen. Listen.
Listen patiently without an agenda.
Listen compassionately without judgment.

My Two Requests

My good friend Nick is flying tomorrow to support a loved one whose son was killed by a drunk driver.

If you’re a praying person – especially if you’re a parent – please pray for the young man’s grieving family and friends.

Mar 1

Wrecks On The Road

Posted on Friday, March 1, 2013 in Emotional, How To, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values

auto car accident crash injury fender grungeIf you’re like me when I want to get to my destination delays annoy me.

I feel embarrassed how often I’ve heartlessly passed wrecks on the road and felt annoyed.

People had their lives altered, perhaps injured or worse, and I’m just glad I can move on with my day.

God challenges us to “be kind and merciful to one another.” 1

God challenges me to be less self-centered!

Wrecks On Our Road

We might not have a chance to stop for a motorist, but will we stop to listen?