Toxic Relationships

Naming, blaming, and the uncluttered subconscious

We are heading into our second week discussing how trauma transforms our brains. I originally intended this to be a four-part series, but during our discussion last week, I realized that there is another segment of this discussion that needs to be addressed: naming versus blaming. Last week we talked about how we get trapped …

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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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Surround yourself with those going in your direction

I’ve been thinking so much lately about my incredible friends – my self-made family. And I’ve been thinking about how different my life became when I realized that I was not floating through life haphazardly, bumping up against people in ways that were beyond my control. Once I realized that every relationship in my life …

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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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Exploring the reality of choice

Trauma is tricky because it makes us believe that we don’t have a choice – a choice about our relationships, our emotions, and our reactions. The truth is, unless we are physically held captive,* we do have choices. A huge part of healing is learning to recognize our choices, and trusting ourselves to change course …

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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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Boundaries the Redefining Love Way

Setting boundaries is so much more than saying “no.” Boundaries determine where you end and other people begin. In enmeshed family systems or codependent relationships there are few, if any, boundaries. Without boundaries, there is no you. In order to love yourself, you must know who you are. In order to know who you are, …

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Is It Just Me? Why Is Adult Friendship So Hard?

We are all so busy. And our kids are so busy. And marriage takes work. And work takes work. And somebody in the house is always sick. And when we’re not sick we’re running in a million directions. And sometimes we just need to eat a meal at home. And sometimes we need to just …

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