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Sorrow

Posted by on Dec 17, 2012 in Noah's Ark Now | Comments Off on Sorrow

“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.                                      Kahil Gibran   In this space I have written about tragic events from the news before. On a site dedicated to survivors of trauma, it sometimes is the responsible thing to do. Always, it is a sacred trust to attempt to find words for the unspeakable. This is the fourth...

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Balance

Posted by on Oct 8, 2012 in Noah's Ark Now | Comments Off on Balance

Balance is not only about one’s relationship with gravity, although this is where learning about Balance is fundamental. Any variables (like water and slippery rocks)  immediately make balance challenging. How we remain upright demands our focus.   Beyond the challenges of gravity, there are many levels to the concept of Balance. What I want to highlight today is balancing the different aspects of ourselves on a daily basis, specifically, Body, Mind, Spirit, and Emotional Self. This involves asking the question “Am I giving...

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Fortitude

Posted by on Aug 22, 2012 in Noah's Ark Now | Comments Off on Fortitude

This is a rather old fashioned word. I don’t hear it so much these days. I do hear it’s Pop culture synonyms quite often though – guts, grit, even moxie.  It’s my opinion that we still need the word Fortitude to describe what enables us to endure, with moment-by-moment courage, the legacy of trauma, whether in ourselves or loved ones. Trauma interferes with our sense of Self. In the case of children, that sense of Self is developing and childhood trauma interrupts, diverts, co-opts, that natural process.  The Psyche will organize itself to...

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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 Noah's Ark Now, Slider | 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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