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Blame

Posted by on Jul 20, 2012 in Noah's Ark Now | Comments Off on Blame

I’ll be honest. I’ve avoided taking on this topic for a long time. It’s huge – pervasive and endemic in human interactions. The easiest way to approach it (perhaps not the most fun) is to start with myself. I admit to Blaming. It was like a dark cloud that shadowed my life. Blaming is different from holding someone accountable for their actions. We’ll get to that. When something happens or has happened that distresses us, the first thing we do is look to Blame, perhaps ourselves but more often someone else (this...

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Story

Posted by on Jun 17, 2012 in Noah's Ark Now | Comments Off on Story

  “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” Anne Lamott One of the most damaging legacies of childhood trauma is loss of voice. It can take a lifetime to identify this crippling pattern, let alone change it. When we do commit to having a voice in our own life, our own destiny, we often doubt our ability to express ourselves skillfully. Perhaps we had no role models, no permission, no support – all of the above. The...

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Trauma II

Posted by on Apr 17, 2012 in Noah's Ark Now | Comments Off on Trauma II

“The childhood I remember is not the only version that exists.” from PE by  Victor Lodato In the previous essay on Trauma, I noted that our route to a fulfilling life must include an assessment of what is getting in our way. I promised to talk about How to do that assessment. The starting point is our thoughts, which then lead to our self-talk and the way we treat ourselves and others. If we were victims of childhood trauma, our memories and re-playing of that can pre-occupy us for a lifetime. There are entire decades I’d...

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Trauma

Posted by on Mar 18, 2012 in Featured, Noah's Ark Now | 2 comments

Trauma

“Where a man has a certain fantasy, another man may lose his life, or, breach his spirit.” Carl Jung I begin with this quote from Carl Jung to demonstrate that Trauma is endemic in human society. The sense of the word “breach” as Jung uses it here is “rupture.”  The aspect of trauma that I’m discussing in this essay is where there is an identified victim or victims and a perpetrator (or perpetrators). Trauma can come from natural disasters, man-made disasters and many natural or everyday...

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Forgiveness III

Posted by on Dec 5, 2011 in Noah's Ark Now | Comments Off on Forgiveness III

I’m ready to dive into the murkier stuff. I hope you’ll accompany me. This will be easier if we’re all together. (Make sure you’ve read Forgiveness I and II first.) Recently I decided to rewrite “The Story of Me.” This is the narrative we tell people as they’re getting to know us and we update it as we see fit. The story I told all of my adult life had a significant dose of victimhood in it. Entering my sixth decade has a lot to do with my willingness to change. (“If not now, when?”) From a young age, I was the recipient of what might...

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Diligence

Posted by on Nov 10, 2011 in Noah's Ark Now | Comments Off on Diligence

Diligence – giving the degree of care required in a given situation. As I write this, students at Penn State University are reeling from the announcement that the Board of Trustees has fired Joe Paterno, legendary head football coach, and Graham Spanier, University president. It appears that a majority of students interviewed believe that Paterno in particular is being unfairly treated. I’d like to write as though I had the opportunity to address the students directly. In my career as a hospice chaplain and grief counselor, there is no trauma...

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Hope

Posted by on Oct 20, 2011 in Noah's Ark Now | Comments Off on Hope

Hope

This is a controversial quality, one of the more difficult topics I’ve attempted. Consider that the philosopher Frederick Nietzsche said “Hope is the worst of evils for it prolongs the torment of man.” Most of us understand where Nietzsche was coming from with this opinion. We sometimes feel set up by Hope when whatever it is we earnestly Hope for remains unfulfilled. Physicians are often criticized for offering Hope when a medical outcome is uncertain. “False Hope” is one of the most well known phrases on the planet. All that being said, I’d...

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Serenity

Posted by on Sep 7, 2011 in Noah's Ark Now | Comments Off on Serenity

The lake in this photo isn’t always an image of Serenity. A few days before I snapped this shot, it had white caps and the sky was black as a hurricane passed through. Nature, like our internal landscape, has moods. Unlike Nature, we can be agents of change when it comes to our moods. There are, fortunately, tools we can use to lead ourselves closer to Serenity. You know Serenity when you’re in it and you sure know when you’re not. So, what to do when anxiety, over-caring, worry, and stress wreak havoc with our internal...

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Reality

Posted by on Aug 23, 2011 in Noah's Ark Now | Comments Off on Reality

Reality

“What do you think of reality?” “I’m against it. I’m completely against it.”                                     Eckhart Tolle                                     The Flowering of Human Consciousness When you reflect on it, isn’t this our main issue?  We are in...

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LOVE

Posted by on Jul 21, 2011 in Noah's Ark Now | 1 comment

Love   “Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future you will gradually, without noticing it, live your way into the answer.”   Rainer Maria Rilke Love, like Forgiveness, is such a deep topic that I...

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