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

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

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

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

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

Trauma: Vitamin ‘T’ for the Soul

Vitamin ('vītəmĭn; noun): Any of various … substances essential in minute amounts for normal growth and activity. Imagine a supplement that could increase human compassion and sensitivity. Would you add it to your diet? If it meant enduring discomfort, as … Continue reading

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

Growing Beyond Our Limits

Humanity builds its monuments at the expense of the natural world. Our cities suck resources from the countryside. Our pleasures come strip-mined from the earth, or pumped out with aid of poisons injected underground.  We engineer plants that generate their … Continue reading

Married to Life

When do we commit to life? And how? We commit when we see our situation in context and when, seeing all the treasures and terrors life promises, we embrace the whole of it. Easy to say, but gaining such clarity … Continue reading