Blog: Personal

Adaptive Identities

Who am I, really?  Who are you? Good way to go crazy, you might be thinking to yourself about now. Bear with me for a moment. Think about how—once you started to think about it at all—the way you think about yourself has changed over the years. As a teenager, you may have done a lot to impress your peers, whether it was acing the science test, hanging out with the “cool” kids, or getting into a su...

Pornography Lies

My parents and I were attending a basketball game, sitting among a crowd in the nosebleed section. The row ahead of us was a group of guys, each somewhere in their late twenties. Directly in front of my mom, sat one of the guys, slouched in his seat, eyes far from the action on the court as he stared down at his phone. His thumb flicked slowly, stuck scrolling through images unsuitable for the pub...

The real problem with pornography is consent.

I don’t have a problem with pornography—in theory. I think sex between consenting adults is perfectly normal. I think people watching sex between consenting adults is also perfectly normal. I don’t think we can abolish the making or consumption of pornography, but I do think we need to change the way we talk about it. People are afraid to talk about sex for a number of reasons. It’s uncomfortable....

Use Compassion as a Compass

I would consider myself a fairly compassionate person. I know, I know. Plenty of people claim this, but how many actually practice compassion day-to-day? Well, before I go any further, it’s probably a good idea to make sure we’re all on the same page here: Compassion (noun): A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate...

Multi-Careering

I remember the day my dad lost his job. He was pacing in front the house. Angry. Anxious. Confused. Kind of lost. He’d already switched careers once, going from building axles to vehicle processing. Now, he had to transition again. And he did. Let’s face it. We are all going to have multiple careers in our lives. Some by choice, others because of lay-offs and closed companies. We won’t always be a...

Top 5 Life Lessons from Working in the Arts

I work at a theater. I got my degree in Theater and Speech and have been working in wardrobe for over 10 years. I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I’ve gleaned from my time, so here are my top 5 lessons learned working in the arts. Storytelling is how we learn. We all tell stories every day. When you answer the questions, “How was your weekend”, “What are you doing after work”, ...

Forgiveness is for ordinary people.

Them. And us. That’s how we sometimes think about forgiveness, isn’t it? Jesus looked down from the cross and forgave his tormentors.  Pope John Paul II forgave his would-be assassin.  A father of a child killed in the Sandy Hook massacre offered forgiveness to the families of the killer within hours of the killings.  Mothers have been known to pardon the men who shot their sons. As a writer, I co...

It’s easier to ask for forgiveness.

Growing up, I was a pretty good kid. I was a relatively good student, surrounded myself with good people, and did my best to be a good friend to others. Some people might say this was a byproduct of good genes and others would probably claim this was due to good parenting. Whether you believe in nature or nurture, you can’t deny parenting (or lack thereof) plays a huge role in how we grow as adult...

Dear Suicidal Me

Dear Suicidal Me, Hi there. Remember me? I’m the one you worked so hard to maintain, the one you always wanted to be. All those hours at the gym, the yoga, the Psalms, the positive self talk when everything seemed wrong . . . But it failed. Because now you’re you. You look in the mirror and wish you could see a glimpse of me too. But you fail. You just see you. All those hours at counseling, the f...

Suicide’s impact is broad. And our understanding is narrow.

From the moment she walked into my classroom, I saw a little bit too much of myself in her. She was an introverted junior transfer, struggling to find a place for herself in a new school, in a new state. Over the course of the first semester, I got to know her through her writing and she frequented my classroom after school. While I have several former students who I remain close to, I normally tr...

I’m a Pastor and I Need Counseling

I walked in and there she was. A college student from the church I serve. I couldn’t turn around. I couldn’t un-commit. I could have lied about why I was there, but that’s not ethical (right?). I was caught red-handed—seeing my professional counselor. For the last decade or so, I’ve seen a professional counselor off-and-on. Sometimes, it’s been for no special reason. Other times, in the midst of a...

My First Trip to a Counselor

“You know there are people you can talk to about this, right?” My first instinct was to tell my mother, rather vehemently, that I was NOT crazy. I had a loving family, great friends, and a rock solid Christian faith. I was also 26, living in a small town with very few local friends, and spending the majority of my time working.  Overworking, really. I was definitely having a bit of a quarter life ...

When My Chest Caves In

Sometimes my chest caves in on itself. My lungs collapse. My ribs crush together with the force of two vehicles colliding, metal on metal screeching as it bends and breaks. My heart quivers and explodes. Instead of debris, I am left with a hole. I have anxiety. I am still not exactly sure what that means. Is my anxiety situational? Am I simply responding to the stress of “adulting”,  loss of a job...

Life Isn’t Fair

As I’ve got older I have become increasingly attached to the phrase ‘it is what it is’. Sometimes it’s said in recognition, sometimes in resignation. Usually it’s because something happened that’s outside my control; it may not be fair but there’s nothing I can do to change it. Why can’t life be fair? Life is fair in the movies. Life is fair with karma. Life is fair in the imaginary ideal of the w...