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.

Do I like me?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

facingthesunYour playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”   – – Marianne Williamson

A month or so ago Ann and I had the opportunity to spend an evening with some of the 14-18 year olds in our neighborhood and talk about relationships. Our assignment was to focus on the four main relationships in each of our lives: With our God, with our families, with our fellowmen, and with ourselves.

No surprise, but we started with questions and let the group provide the insights and personal experiences that helped us work toward some answers. I guess the logical place to start is to ask “What is a relationship?” Continue reading Do I like me?

Why are our organizations failing?


The Veteran’s Administration.



Social Security.





And that’s just here in the United States. If we look around the world, the list becomes too long to enumerate.

At first glance, one would ask if the organization itself is inherently bad. I suppose arguments could be made both for and against. Perhaps laws need to be passed to help improve the situation.

Oh wait, wouldn’t that require a governmental, law-making system that worked?

And that just proves the point.

Was there a time when these entities did function appropriately? Continue reading Why are our organizations failing?

There needs to be continuing dialogue on religion and homosexuality. But can we agree on what the conversation is about?

What is love?

There may be as many definitions or interpretations as there are people on the planet. Some seem to think that it means giving those you love anything they want. Some seem to think that unconditional love is telling family members that we support and approve of whatever they do. Today, more than ever before, many people seem to think that love must be accompanied by intense sexual desire and satisfaction. If we start to feel admiration or attraction to be with someone, then there must be a sexual component that has to be acted on.

And we call that love.

I don’t really agree with any of those definitions. You might. If you do, I respect your position and feelings. Because to me, that would be part of loving you.

But I still don’t agree with those positions or feelings. Both loving and disagreeing can exist at the same time.

Is love easy?   Continue reading There needs to be continuing dialogue on religion and homosexuality. But can we agree on what the conversation is about?

What is real? What difference does it make if something is real or imagined?

While the kids were young we always had a family book that we read after dinner and the kitchen was cleaned up. Some were single volumes, others were entire series. We loved quite a variety. We made it through hundreds.


Sometimes we’d stay up later than we should, cuddled on the couch, and reading “just one more chapter, please!” This was true as we worked our way through the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.

I remember one evening particularly when the power had gone out and we were reading by flashlight. We ended up staying awake past 1:00 a.m. to finish the book. That memory is dear to all of us.

We did the same thing with the movies. We all waited and saw them for the first time together. Kind of a fun family tradition. Since then, watching and reading again has always made us think of each other.

Over the weekend we were watching the final Harry Potter movie together before Alex leaves for graduate school in a few weeks. So, when we came close to the end of the film, we all knew what was coming before it happened.

It’s one of my favorite conversations, in both book and movie. The scene takes place after Harry has willingly let Voldemort kill him in order to save all of the others. After the wand blast, Harry finds himself in a clean, white, between-life conversation with Professor Dumbledore. As Harry makes the choice to go back and continue the fight against evil, the scene ends with this last interchange:

“Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?” Continue reading What is real? What difference does it make if something is real or imagined?

Lessons learned in the loony bin

This article is part 4 of a 5 part series.

For part 1, click here.

For series summary, click here.

I think the timing on trying to put together some words to express thoughts and feelings from lessons learned is pretty great. That doesn’t make it any easier to try to share, but the timing is good.


Ann and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this week. Over the past few months I have been experiencing an increase in the intensity of my love for her. I feel as if I could reach out and grab it as a tangible, real entity that surrounds us. I am humbled by the whole thing. To have the love of someone the quality of Ann Batty makes everything else seem kind of trivial.

But at the time that my love feels like it is exploding inside me, Ann is trying to work through a real fear of what she may come home and find at the end of a long work day. And this would be every day. After all, I was admitted to the psych ward for suicidal and harmful ideations. This isn’t something imagined or can be ignored. It has become a real part of our life that has to be addressed and conquered.

I really learned some important things during my stay in the nut house that will help us conquer. As I go through them to help us figure a way to relieve some of Ann’s concerns, there may be some things that could help you on your own journey to safety and security. Continue reading Lessons learned in the loony bin