Dealing with Anger

Spiritual Abuse and Redefining Love

TRIGGER WARNING:This post contains discussions about mental health that may be upsetting or triggering for trauma survivors. If you are at risk for serious depression, anxiety, emotional instability, or self-harm, consider reading this post in the company of a trusted, trauma-informed supporter. This is our fourth and final segment of the four-part series titled It’s […]

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Gaslighting vs Greenlighting: It’s all about control

Gaslighting is a major buzzword right now. In fact, Merriam-Webster chose it as the word of 2022. But what does it mean? Merriam-Webster defines gaslighting as “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage.” According to the Merriam-Webster website, there was a 1740% increase in lookups of the word in

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Understanding emotions

When we think about how trauma effects the brain, we don’t necessarily think about emotions. We tend to associate emotions with the heart. Certainly we feel emotions in our hearts. But we also feel them in our skin, hair, lungs, muscles, gut, and throughout the rest of our bodies. Even though we feel emotions all

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How we get trapped in toxic circumstances

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to dive deep into how trauma transforms our brains, and why it’s important for us to understand it in order to heal. This is the first in a four-part series on trauma and the brain. The human brain is very much like a computer. It does what we

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Live a life without shame

What would a world without shame look like? There’s no way of knowing for sure, of course, because shame currently permeates every level of our culture. If you look at every instance of human suffering – big and small – at the root of it is not anger, not sadness, not envy, not even fear.

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Stepping beyond a warrior mindset

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the word “fight.” We fight for a cause. We fight for a marriage. We fight against darkness, or as some religions call it, “the enemy.” The angry cousin of fighting, of course, is “attack.” Our way of life is under attack. Our rights are under attack. Our freedoms

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On growing pains, dark times, and beginning again…

My community had a rough week. We yelled at each other. We let our big feelings get the best of us. Feelings were hurt. Friendships ended. It doesn’t really matter what happened. It’s the universal story of our times. This is our Zeitgeist – the mood of the moment. If it hadn’t been this, it

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Relational Shame Cycles

I talk a lot in Redefining Love about the Three Pillars of Boundaries, Accountability, and Grace. As a review, these three principals must be in balance both internally, towards self, and externally, towards others in order to maintain peace in your complex relationships. So the key is to learn to identify which of the Three

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Managing anger and other big feelings

There are a lot of big feelings flying around out there lately. Understandably so. Our consciousness is overstimulated with local, national, and worldwide news that has all our systems on high alert. It’s crucial that we understand how our body is designed to respond to our circumstances, so we can be healthy and regulated as

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What does it mean to be “safe?”

Trauma causes our brain to get stuck in a place of defense. Anything that reminds our trauma brain of the original experience, whether conscious or unconscious, will trigger our fight, flight, or freeze response. In order to shut off our trauma response, we must be in an environment that is truly safe. Otherwise, we will

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