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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The Accidental Self

Is who we become in life decided by chance, or by choice? Our genetic composition was determined when our parents (and all prior ancestors) selected mates, but these weren’t our decisions, so our stock of genes is a chance outcome as far as we’re concerned. Likewise, the quality of … Continue reading

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Out of the Casino and into the Arms of Life

In my last entry I described how emotional healing proceeds by means of Ten Steps Forward, Nine Steps Back. That essay grew out of my recent mood profile: for the last year or so I’ve enjoyed long stretches of expansive … Continue reading

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Healing after Trauma: Ten Steps Forward, Nine Steps Back

Most of us have suffered psychological wounds. Just as the body can be damaged, so can the mind. But the similarity ends there, because mental and physical injuries heal by different means. At another time I’ll explore physical healing in … 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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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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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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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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Those Absolutely Essential Truths I Can’t Remember

My dog fell ill, and I forgot every healthy lesson life has taught me. Ralphy, an eleven pound mass of gray white fur and–I believe–the most affectionate companion in the world, has been one of my steadiest supporters for seven years. Saturday morning, … Continue reading

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