Category Archives: Becoming through change

Life isn’t about being stagnant, it’s about growing and becoming all we have within us to be. That only happens through change. Sometimes the changes are pretty brutal and take a lifetime. But not only do we become more in the end, we learn to see the everyday in a new and clearer light.

To those feeling themselves slipping into madness

This is part of a series of letters to those who may feel lost. Sometimes when we are down, discovering something in the mailbox is just the thing.

It reminds us that we aren’t as alone as we think.

Today I write to a young man who feels like he is losing his mind, and it’s making him crazy – because it’s inconceivable to him that he could actually be crazy.

Let’s call him Adam.

question mark6Dear Adam,

What is real?

Lately I would imagine that has become a question you’d rather not ask, because you aren’t really sure of the answer.

Scary, I know.

One of the hardest things is trying to find the words to explain it to those around you.

You know inside, even though you don’t want to acknowledge it, that something is very, very wrong. But you have told yourself that if you just give it some time, you’ll work your way through it.

And it will get better.

Kind of like a cold.

Or a broken leg.

I wish it could be that simple, but it’s not. Here’s the hard truth:

This isn’t going to just go away; most people won’t understand that something is really wrong until it’s too late and something bad has happened; and all of your natural instincts to fight it are pretty much going to make it worse.

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Reassuring, right?

So, what’s a guy to do?

It kind of sounds crazy, but accepting that you are a little crazy will, in the end, make you less crazy.

Continue reading To those feeling themselves slipping into madness

To the bully

This is part of a series of letters to those who may feel lost. Sometimes when we are down, discovering something in the mailbox is just the thing.

It reminds us that we aren’t as alone as we think.

However, today I write to a young woman who feels safely distanced enough through Internet anonymity to mindlessly type words to one such as Lily and then hit send.

textingI’m tempted to not dignify her with a name, but that always gives more power to the deceiver. It’s important that we put both a name and a face with the painful text. After all, someone who really knows who they are would never hide behind secrecy.

Let’s call her Ashley.

Ashley,

I know what you’ve been doing to Lily.

I see you shrug your shoulders and say “it was all a joke, it really isn’t that big of a deal – besides everyone was doing it.”

My first instinct is to grab you and shake you so hard that your teeth rattle and then scream “What is wrong with you?”

Okay, it would also be my second.

And my third.

It is NOT a joke.

It really IS a big deal.

Fist beating into Water, vertical, splash

And right now, I’m dealing with you – you can’t hide anymore behind this nameless group called “everybody.”

So, I’ll punch the wall, pace for a few hours, and take some calming breaths.

And quietly ask again:

“What is wrong with you?”

Continue reading To the bully

Policing political correctness

I don’t like Donald Trump.

That being said, let’s just skip past the ranting monologue enumerating his many evils and, instead, focus on the eye-opening phenomenon of people loving that he “says what he thinks.”

Of even more concern to me is that many support him because he says what they think, but are too afraid to say themselves.

Because it’s politically incorrect.

I really wonder if we aren’t missing the bigger problem here.

Rather than being so focused on what someone may or may not say that will presumably cause offense, the more important question is:

Why do they want to say it in the first place? Why do they think these thoughts about others?

And just as significant,

Why is everyone so quick to be offended by something a stranger may say or do?

sirenYou can probably already hear the sirens getting louder. The thought police are on their way to not only tell us what we can’t say, but also what we can’t think.

Knowing that political correctness and thought police would fit right in with the adversary’s plan and not the one we chose to support, we’d be right to bristle at the mere thought.

But that doesn’t mean that our thoughts shouldn’t be policed.

We just need to police our own, and not those of others.

Continue reading Policing political correctness

We’ve made it through the forest, only to find that there are still lots of trees

One of the little surprises this holiday season was a framed quote that many of you have already seen:

My doctor asked if any members of my family suffered from insanity. I replied, “No, we all seem to enjoy it.” 

After the initial chuckle, taking time to ponder just what this statement can mean still brings a smile to my face.

But probably without the laughter.

A few weekends before Alex was scheduled to arrive home, Ann and I thought that I should call Monday morning and see if I could get an emergent appointment with the doctor in Salt Lake. The combination of mental illness symptoms and medication side effects felt just out of my reach of control.

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I have learned how to control my outward actions and responses to the mental inward implosions. The feelings of slowing slipping into insanity, the screaming inside at being locked in an unreal prison that is more restricting than any cell made of iron bars, and the overwhelming physical exhaustion can be tamed and kept within.

I actually think I’m pretty nice and easy going overall.

But we had hit that point where I didn’t think I could last until our next appointment after the first of the year.

Continue reading We’ve made it through the forest, only to find that there are still lots of trees

My New Year’s Prayer 

It was probably 15 years ago when I bought cheap lanyards for our store team to wear. I wanted something to hold the keys to the dressing rooms as well as laminated cards with reminders of the current store promotions.

Several of them had the letters WWJD repeated in bright colors.

I had no idea what it meant.

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After my team laughed at my continuous naiveté, I decided we would still use them. Heck, I was never very good at political correctness anyway.

Now, perhaps not as naïve as I used to be, but still full of hope for mankind, I understand that it is in fact the real question that we have to be asking if we want to change the natural course of human events.

It’s the only question that can change human nature.

What would Jesus do?

Not just the Sunday School answers, but what would He really do? What DID He ACTUALLY do?

Continue reading My New Year’s Prayer