Your Sacred Stories

December 14, 2023|Uncategorized|

  Have you wondered—or heard someone else wonder—if there’s value in revisiting the past? After all, they say, you can’t change what happened, so why stir things up? If you are familiar with the internal family members we call protectors, you will probably feel the fear behind this question.   Their job is to avoid vulnerability, and the tender stories in your past are kryptonite to them. Sometimes, a rationalizing part of you fixates on the logic; indeed, revisiting past events doesn’t change the fact that they happened. What pure logic misses is that revisiting past events in a healing --->

A Vision of Wholeness

December 4, 2023|Uncategorized|

When overwhelm, anxiety, or anguish consume our lives, we need a compelling vision to reorient ourselves. A vision can shift our gaze from problems to possibilities. It’s a beacon lighting a path that we desperately need when we are stumbling around in the dark, barking our shins on obstacles. The vision for our lives given in Scripture is the Great Commandment—loving God and others as we love ourselves.   I wish we called it the Great Vision because “commandment” can conjure up an image of a divine judge who hands down an edict. But that’s not the spirit of this --->

You Can Have the Best of Both

October 27, 2023|Uncategorized|

Do you ever wonder if your longing for lasting change is “too much”? Does a part of you suggest you should settle for “good enough” because it’s greedy or self-absorbed to believe that your desire is a signal worthy of attention? With compassion for the parts of you who want to tamp down expectations, I encourage you to lean into those desires and longings. Listen to your soul, and attend to the voice of the Spirit leading you to wholeness. After all, that is God’s hope for you. Since entering seminary to study marriage and family therapy, I have worked --->

How Do You Feel About Being Wrong?

October 15, 2023|Uncategorized|

How do you feel about being wrong? I’m guessing it’s your favorite thing! Who doesn’t love the flush of shame, feeling like someone punched you in the gut, and hours of repetitively revisiting the moment someone caught you making a mistake? For most of us, it feels awful, so protective parts of us use a variety of strategies to avoid it. They prompt us to double-check our work and monitor our words. Seeking the safety of being an insider, they move us toward majority opinions, sometimes at the expense of our intuition. They proactively criticize us so others can’t catch --->

Shifting Perspective Opens Space for Hope

August 2, 2023|Uncategorized|

Have you noticed how distress narrows your focus? The problematic conversation, tricky decision, or unwelcome symptom is like the fog that blankets your inner system, blocking everything else. It doesn’t feel like you have the necessary resources to tackle the challenge. Frustration can spiral into despair or hopelessness. How can you regain clarity? What helps broaden your perspective? First, let’s talk about what doesn’t work. Bypassing pain with platitudes is an understandable protective strategy, but it dishonors your experience. We do it to ourselves and “offer” it to others because it is challenging to turn toward vulnerability with curiosity. Protective --->

How to Courageously Overcome Obstacles

June 23, 2023|Uncategorized|

It’s wildflower season in Central Oregon, and I’m delighted by the variety we see on our daily hike. They’re fleeting, so this week’s will be replaced by others before the heat of summer consumes the last of them. Wildflowers are courageous. They emerge in spaces dominated by soaring pines and massive boulders. The soil is dusty and rocky; water is already scarce. Their stems are fragile—so fine one wonders how they hold their blooms. Against the odds, they muster determination and persistence to bring beauty to the world. They remind me of you. We might not have a personal relationship, --->

What Blocks Joy?

June 23, 2023|Uncategorized|

Are you allowing yourself to feel joy? Joy is juicy, sparkly, and exuberant. When we let it course through us, we dance and giggle. We focus on the present moment; worries dissipate, and fears subside. Why wouldn’t we allow ourselves to feel joy? Joy is open, unguarded, and expansive, which feels risky to some members of your internal family. They worry you’ll be blindsided and hurt if joy distracts you. If you aren’t aware of threats, you aren’t in control. Protective members of your internal family want to maintain control. They don’t realize control is an illusion. Their strategies---like perfectionism, --->

Identifying and Expressing Needs

June 23, 2023|Uncategorized|

This week, I met with a fellow writer who offered tips for introducing more people to my book. Whenever I have conversations about promoting my work, part of me cringes, and another part of me feels like she wants to run away from the topic. These protective members of my inner family wish people would magically find and benefit from the book—end of story. Imagine their reaction to hearing that one of the best ways for people to discover my book was by having more book reviews. Amazon’s algorithm is kind to authors whose readers give reviews. But that requires --->

Living While You Wait

March 21, 2023|Uncategorized|

    Do you feel like you are in a holding pattern, like a plane trying to land at a busy airport when the skies are congested? Circling, using up fuel, the view obscured by clouds, making little progress toward the next phase of your journey? As I began writing this, my daughter-in-law was six days past the due date for their second child. She veered between trying to control the uncontrollable with acupuncture appointments and castor oil, tears of frustration, and savoring her family of three before it became a family of four. Anticipating the ordeal of labor and --->

Are You Feeling Compassion Fatigue?

February 22, 2023|Uncategorized|

Do you sometimes feel like you lack compassion? Much as we would like to turn the page on problems when we enter a new year, they persist. In the context of unrelenting challenges, you’ll sometimes see the phrase “compassion fatigue.” Compassion fatigue is a myth. It’s much more likely we’re experiencing empathy fatigue. While we often use the terms interchangeably, compassion and empathy are different. We know from neuroscience that they reside in distinct areas of the brain. Empathy is feeling with which helps us understand why—when we are bombarded by suffering—we can become overwhelmed and exhausted. Empathy takes us --->

Go to Top