My Bio-Spiritual Journey

It happens that I’m applying to a training program for spiritual directors. The program requires submission of a ‘spiritual autobiography.’ Since I began blogging in 2006, my online writings have served to document my growth, and especially my efforts to merge … Continue reading

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My Refuge in Reality

Anyone who has followed my writings, however sporadically, has witnessed my maturation. As I review essays written over six years, it seems clear my tone has grown less competitive, more accepting, less self-centered, and more compassionate. This budding of genuine adulthood has proceeded … Continue reading

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Doubt Is Healthier for the Mind than Faith

This post’s title may sound like a call to skepticism, but it’s not. In my experience, skepticism gets exercised when I critique someone else’s beliefs, but seldom when I consider my own. Doubt, on the other hand, is indiscriminate; I’m … Continue reading

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The Problem Isn’t Neural, It’s Spiritual

“You’re taking a lot of garbage.” Those words, spoken to me by a psychiatrist newly evaluating my case, changed my life. At the time I was on two antidepressants, two mood stabilizers, and an atypical antipsychotic. I had also been … 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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Childhood Suffering and the Promise of Freedom

Can you imagine feeling grateful for childhood adversity? Though such sentiment would once have seemed absurd to me, it’s now an established feature of my life. This striking shift in outlook prompts me to start a new blog. More than five years ago I launched an online journal called WillSpirit … Continue reading

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The Value of Sorrow

My previous essay promoted acceptance as a path to achieving inner peace and transcending toxic notions of mental illness. By fully embracing our lives and selves, we wash ourselves clean of the misery that comes from wishing things to be … Continue reading

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Deep Peace

What would good mental health look like? Would we be happy all the time? Would we be happy sometimes, neutral much of the time, and depressed or anxious just a little? Or would we be exactly as depressed, anxious, or … Continue reading

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Sculpting Happiness

Today I am filling in at the local Suicide Hot Line. Since this time of day tends to be slow, I’ll probably have time to complete a post. As I planned this essay, knowing where I’d be writing it, the … Continue reading

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Building a Peaceful Mind

About four years ago, the mental health providers who were helping me encouraged me to ramp up my meditation practice. I’d been pursuing silent worship and retreats as a quaker for twenty years by that point, and had taken my … Continue reading

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