Aging Body, Golden Friend

As we age, the body begins to fail. For those who have suffered unusually severe stress, breakdowns may happen early. For instance, neck disease ended my surgical career at forty-one. Spinal problems had accumulated because of chronic muscle tension, careless … Continue reading

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All in the Name of Shame…

Funny how you can learn something about the mind many times with no change in behavior. Then, one day, you hear the same notion again, and the psyche transforms. Decades ago I watched videos of John Bradshaw talking about shame. … Continue reading

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5 Tips for Healing after Childhood Adversity

1. Reframe Vulnerabilities Those of us who experienced abuse, grief, or neglect during childhood feel different from those who didn’t. We are more easily hurt, which leads to withdrawal or rage. We feel less confident in ourselves, which leads to … Continue reading

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An Atlas of Angst

Continuing the theme of societal expectations and my failure to satisfy them, I write today from a more detached perspective. At the moment, it doesn’t seem to me like everything ‘they’ tell us is wrong, but I do believe society … Continue reading

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Could Everything ‘They’ Tell Us Be Wrong?

Why should I let others define what’s important for my life? Do they know better? Or if they know better, does what they know apply to me? More and more, I’m thinking not. I’m thinking that what society values is … Continue reading

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Mindfulness Instruction: A Trigger for Flashbacks of Abuse?

Why can’t mindfulness and I just get along? It’s perverse: here’s this healthy practice endorsed by scientists and mystics alike. Since I respect both, you’d think I’d find it easy to join the fad. But I balk. I find myself … Continue reading

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The Art of Healing

We all enter times when mind, body, and spirit feel aligned. Today is like that for me, and I’m finding it instructive to look at what lends me peace. It comes down to this: right now I am able to … Continue reading

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There’s No Such Thing as an Adverse Childhood

Adverse (ad´vərs, ´advərs; adjective): preventing success or development; harmful; unfavorable. Definitions matter, because the words we apply to our lives influence whether we feel hopeful or discouraged. Can a childhood be adverse? Events during childhood can certainly be harmful and unfavorable. And yes, painful formative … Continue reading

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Child Abuse: Just My Imagination?

Are memories of childhood adversity nothing but self-defeating stories we tell ourselves? It’s easy to question the way childhood hardship often lingers on the mind. Does thinking about the past do more harm than good? A few years ago, after a book and a … Continue reading

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My Childhood Made Me Do It!

The good thing about having been raised badly is that it provides an excuse for the embarrassments of later years. Have you succumbed to addiction? The Adverse Childhood Experience Study demonstrates how susceptibility to alcoholism and drug abuse rises in near-lockstep with one’s burden of early hardships. … Continue reading

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