Holiday Permissions

If you need someone to give you permission to be joyful this holiday season, in spite of it all, let me be that person.
This may not be the most warm and fuzzy thing to talk about this time of year. But our refusal to talk about it only makes the situation that much more difficult for those who are struggling. We have to name our pain before we can address it. So I’m going to do the unpopular thing and put it all out there. The holidays are really hard for a lot of people. Like, hardest ti...
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A safe place to tell your story: A candid discussion about faith

This is a safe place to tell your faith story.
No other topic that I’ve written about has resonated with readers as much as when I talk about God. Why is this? Are we all so hungry for meaning? I think perhaps yes. I’m tired of the rule that we aren’t supposed to talk about religion. Why not? Does it so offend us when someone disagrees with our foundational values that we are unable to listen? Are we truly that inse...
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Gossip is my weakness

When you stop talking to people, stop talking about them, too.
The tricky thing about gossip is that it’s hard to define. When does genuine caring and concern turn into gossip? What about venting? We all need to get things off our chest, right? Because it is so amorphous, gossip is an easy crime to commit. I know I have. In fact, it’s my biggest vice, or it used to be. I grew up in gossip central. Nobody does gossip lik...
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But love should be easy, right?

When you set boundaries with someone, both people grow.
When I say love isn’t supposed to always be warm and fuzzy, what do I mean? Before I can answer this question, I have to explain what love is not. Love Is Not… Cruel.Abusive.Manipulative.Lying. Love may not always be warm and fuzzy, but it is decidedly none of the above things. But does love hurt? Can our love actually hurt someone? Can someone we love hu...
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The death of grace

Perhaps the most detrimental fallout of an entire generation obsessed with perfection is the death of grace.
As my kids gear up for back to school, I can’t help but wonder how they will look back at their childhoods, the time and place in which they were raised, their family experience, and the impact their culture has on their growing hearts and minds. How did we get here? I can’t pretend to be perfect. I actually tried that for a really long time. It didn’t work. Her...
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Do you have a toxic relationship with your news source?

Do you have a toxic relationships with your news source?
In order to understand the big picture of Redefining Love, we must learn that institutions can be just as toxic as individual relationships. Just as family systems can be rife with dysfunction that developed over generations, so too can larger systems within our society. Entire religions, governments, political parties, corporations, education institutions, and sectors...
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Parenting yourself

Love yourself and love your life, without conditions, just like a good mama would.
When my therapist first introduced the idea of parenting myself, I thought I had that nailed down. Since both my parents had been checked out in one way or another during my childhood, I’d been doing that my entire life anyway. What I came to realize, though, was that the coping skills I’d developed to survive my unconventional childhood were no longer serving me. Sure...
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Getting organized: What do you need?

Your life becomes a masterpiece when you learn to master peace.
I know it’s trendy right now to get organized. I know that’s a thing. But I’ve never been very good at following trends, so let me challenge that for a minute. Let me tell you how I used to be. I used to think I had all the answers. I used to have a perfectly kept house. I used to scrub my shower until I could eat from it and fold all my laundry and put it away while i...
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Surround yourself with those going in your direction

If you want to reach your goals, you've got to get around people that are going in the same direction you want to be going.
I’ve always been a thinker of big thoughts. I’m not a fan of physical risk, like sky diving. I like to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. My thoughts, on the other hand… they go a mile a minute, and they are sky high. I like fantastical ideas, big dreams, and audacious creativity. Unfortunately, I didn’t grow up in a family that encouraged that kind of thin...
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Not everyone who disagrees with you is evil

Not everyone who disagrees with you is evil.
We are very confused about good and evil. We have been brainwashed by extremists to believe that anyone who disagrees with us is evil. And this isn’t just a liberal problem, or a conservative problem. This is an everyone problem. Both sides do it in equal measure. Here is the truth: NOT EVERYONE WHO DISAGREES WITH YOU IS EVIL. Yes, there is evil in the world. But a ...
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