•  There’s a word in my vocabulary that seems to hang around a lot lately.  Here is Webster’s take on it:  weary |ˈwi(ə)rē| adjective ( wearier , weariest ) feeling or showing tiredness, esp. as a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep : he gave a long, weary sigh• reluctant to see or experience any more of; tired of : she was weary of their constant arguments | [in combination ] war-weary Americans. • calling for a great amount of energy or endurance; tiring and tedious : the weary journey began again.            I personally know what it feels like to have excessively  exerted oneself over and over again, in the hopes that a problem or a heartache will be resolved.   Trying different techniques, placing hopes on what a certain specialist or professional has to offer; this is familiar territory to me.    Though I can be a slow learner, I have learned that there are some problems, some relationships, and some situations that are not easily understood; much less fixed.   When a client is struggling with the weariness of their own personal  journey, I can empathize.    Unmet expectations are often some of the cruelest traveling

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    Scars

    23 May 2014

    Scars tell a story, some of which are more obvious than others.  I have a relatively new scar that I’m quite certain no one would ever guess the origin of.  In fact, I amuse myself when thinking just how unlikely it is that anyone could acquire a scar similar to mine, even if desperately trying.     It’s been  almost exactly a  year now since we moved into a house we had totally remodeled, or more appropriately stated, rebuilt from the ground up.    It was an arduous process.  Settling in was lengthy and full of the frustrations new homes bring.     I was feeling quite good about finally reaching the point where  I was ready to bake the first batch of cookies in my new oven.   Bending over to slide the cookie tray into the middle rack,  I was silently congratulating myself for figuring out how to set the timer.       Ten minutes later, after grabbing the hot pads to remove my cookies,  I reached in to retrieve the tray.  It tipped forward and down, as I frantically tried to save my cookies .  In the process, I reached forward with my left arm and somehow managed to brush it against the inside of  the oven.  Not only did I feel the pain; I

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    I have recently had the opportunity of watching my first grandchild begin exerting his 'no' muscle.  Many moons ago when I was parenting my own toddlers, that consistent 'no' was sometimes... shall we say...a little annoying.    But this time around I see it in a much more positive light.  Though I could attribute it to being older and wiser, it is actually something I learned in my counseling studies.   Being able to say no is the first verbal boundary children learn.  They communicate what they don't like, don't want, and won't do, often with fervor.  It can seem like they are on a 'no' power trip, and in a sense they are.   How important it is for parents to honor that no;  as long as the safety of the child, or anyone else,  is not compromised.    It is setting the stage for the child to say no in the future when someone else is threatening their safety or integrity.   Just as important a task for parents is to help their child learn to respect others' boundaries.  Learning to say 'no', as well as accept 'no',  are building blocks for living a life with healthy boundaries. If you are interested in learning more about boundaries, I highly recommend Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend/s wonderful classic, Boundaries.  If you apply it's principles, it can change your life for the better.

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    The Mirror

    15 Apr 2014

    A lousy mirror can ruin a good day shopping.  Have you ever noticed how the mirrors in some clothing stores seem to magnify wrinkles, imperfections, and ‘roundness’? And then there are the kinder mirrors that make us look, well, not so bad.  The reflection we receive of ourselves can be powerful, and I’m not just talking about the mirrors at Macy’s. From the time we are infants, we are all receiving messages, reflections of who we are.  The way our primary caretakers respond to us and interact with us informs us in many ways.  Are we important?  Will our needs be met?  Are we safe?  Is the world safe?   The most important mirrors in our lives come in the form of human beings, for better or for worse.   Some of the  most heartbreaking work I do as a therapist is to try to undermine faulty reflections that came from a parent, grandparent, or important person in my client’s life.   You see, generally children will reflect what others mirror to them.  If an alcoholic parent mirrors inconsistent behavior, playful and loving in one instance, angry and abusive in another; the mirror has spoken.   Depending on a child’s temperament, what it has said may differ.  Some possibilities are ‘I cannot trust that I will be safe; therefore I will hide’,  or maybe ‘If

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