The way, truth, and life

Only One Way

God has given us His Spirit who can and will empower us to overcome the battles within.  But we must be willing to allow Him the authority to be in control of our emotions and behaviors, especially those surrounding the toxic shame and false beliefs we have internalized from childhood. This is the very nature […]

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Journey through thick woods

The Journey Is The Destination

”For the Word of God s alive and powerful.  It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.  It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires” (Hebrews 4:12 NLT). In an earlier chapter, I reflected on a season in my early adult life when it felt as though […]

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Apples same but different colors

Same Experiences, Yet Different Effects

“The unique nature of who we are is reflected most accurately through the characteristics of our inborn temperament.”  Dr. Dave Ralston Am I Enough? At this point in our journey, you’re most likely beginning to make significant connections between the experiences of your childhood and the intra- or inter-personal plaguing your adult life.  To clearly […]

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Man at top of stairs looking out

I Am What I Am. I Cannot Change.

Shame that is a product of our acting out (I’ll refer to this as “post-shame”) is somewhat different than shame that was the precursor to our acting out (I’ll refer to this as “pre-shame”), although both weeds share the same roots. As we looked at in detail already, pre-shame leads to discomfort that we feel […]

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Boy invalidated by his father

Your Feelings Do Matter

What If Our Parents Were Wrong? I love the way Robin Grille and Beth Macgregor, in their article entitled “Good” Children – at What Price? help us consider what they call the “secret costs of shame.” Our parents and caregivers’ voices are the first we hear, and in childhood, theirs are the words that echo […]

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Slow fade

The Slow Fade Into Sin

Temptation The Bible assures Christians in 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV): “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind.  And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” We […]

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Defective in dictionary

No One Is Born Shamed

Toxic shame is experientially acquired more than it is cognitively learned.  It evolves from an unmet need, into a chronically unmet need, into a false belief, into an altered self-image.  This will develop in uniquely different ways in the lives of individuals who have been exposed to the very same environment.  For some, it may […]

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New Wine Requires New Wineskins

“The closer you get to God, the better you’re going to understand yourself.” Pastor Rick Warren  Our Identity Is Always Found in Someone (Or Something) The term “codependence” is a word that people tend to hear fairly often yet may not fully understand its meaning.  What is it?  Where does it come from?  Do I […]

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Hiding My Shame Behind A Mask

I Thought I Was a Christian I can’t even begin to tell you the number of counseling clients I’ve met over the past decade or so who have sincerely said to me something like this: “I’ve always thought I was a Christian.  But, if I really am, why do I still struggle with so much […]

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Setting Priorities – Part 2

Healthy, Godly Priorities Relationship Priorities In an identity dependent life, our relationship priorities got skewed.  We took upon ourselves the needs of others, based on our own compulsions, shame, and guilt.  We believed we needed to focus on others, more than on ourselves.  But these misplaced priorities led to numerous problems.  Rather than attempting to […]

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