Thursday, September 19, 2019

Recovering from a Broken Friendship

Broken FriendshipRelationships… we were created to desire, seek and be enriched by them. When they thrive, the joy is intense. When they break, the pain is devastating.  But as difficult as it is, there are steps you can take to get over – and get through – a broken friendship.

Let me introduce you to Cindy and Lisa, who met each other at work and soon began developing a very close friendship. They spent time together on the telephone, hiking, taking their children on outings, and playing tennis. They encouraged, advised and comforted each other and trusted one another with their greatest hopes, dreams and fears.  

Monday, August 21, 2017

How Counseling Can Save Your Life

CounselingI will be talking with Dr. Randy Carlson on the Intentional Living radio program Tuesday, August 22nd. He has asked me to spend a few minutes talking about the importance of counseling and how it can potentially save a person’s life.

As I consider how to describe the value of counseling, a few things come to mind.

At some time in everyone’s life, something unexpected and painful can occur. Death, divorce, injustice, rejection and serious accidents can bring about intense emotions or slow-burning resentment. Counseling can help you identify and manage the hurt or anger that could lead to destructive decisions and negative reactions. Lashing out in anger or holding on to resentment can have long-lasting devastating consequences and derail the healing and recovery process. Letting hurt and anger go unattended will steal the peace and joy from your life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

How to Live Well After a Loss

I’ve been thinking a lot about loss during the last week since having learned that a dear friend has died. Warren Bolthouse was the founder and long-time President of Family Life Radio.  For years, he played an important role in the opportunities I have had to observe the kind of vision, mission and hard work it takes to fulfill a dream and grow a successful organization. While his absolute faith in God assures us that he is at peace, he will be sorely missed by his family, friends and the countless number of people whose lives he positively impacted throughout the years.


No matter who you are, how much money you make or whether you feel like a success or a failure, there’s one thing you can count on: Loss. No one can go through life without experiencing the loss of someone or something important. It can happen through death, divorce, job changes, relationship breakups, health problems, economic downturns and a host of other possibilities. It can leave us asking, “What now? How do I live my life each day when it just isn’t the same?”

It is important to seek help from friends, family, your pastor or a counselor to cope with the initial loss, but there are some helpful universal principles for living that, when practiced regularly, will help you stay “up” when the world around you feels very “down”.

  1. Look beyond your circumstances

Whatever you’re going through today won’t last forever. You can rise above the pain and sorrow by focusing on the hope that better days are ahead. Optimism isn’t the opposite of reality – it’s just the best way to view it.

  1. Focus on what you have rather than what you think you lack

A scarcity mentality discourages, but an abundance mentality encourages. Counting the

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Is It Anger or Unresolved Grief?

He was one of the angriest men I had ever counseled. Jim struggled with what he called a “bad temper” for the last three years, and it was costing him his relationships and possibly his job. He said he tried everything to control his angry outbursts, but as soon as he encountered a disagreement, delay or even a minor inconvenience like an incorrect restaurant order he blew his top. He was convinced it was a character flaw or just an unchangeable part of who he was.

anger or grief

As Jim and I talked about how he had grown up and some of the events he remembered most vividly, it didn’t take long for me to realize that most of his anger wasn’t caused by the normal frustrations of life, and it wasn’t something wrong with his character, but rather it was the result of his inability to express the grief and sorrow related to several significant hurts and losses in his life. He was a man who was living every day with pain, and weighed down by a sense that real men just “suck it up and move on.”

Thursday, September 3, 2015

What is Loneliness and How Can You Rise Above It?


Loneliness is simply the feeling of being alone and feeling sad about it. It is a completely normal feeling that we all experience from time to time, but feeling trapped in our loneliness is what can become a problem. It can lead to isolation and depression or poor choices about how to feel better.

Why do we get lonely?

Loneliness can stem from missing loved ones who have died, are far away or whom we are no longer connected with because of a break-up, divorce, etc. It’s a significant factor in the process of grieving the loss.

Loneliness can also result from feeling fearful, unworthy or awkward around others. This is why you can feel lonely in a room full of people. These feelings and perceptions can make you want to withdraw and strongly influence isolation.

Sometimes, loneliness can be related to not being in love or having a romantic relationship. It’s only natural to miss feeling wanted, cared for and nurtured and to be disappointed by the absence of intimate companionship. The sense of being important in another person’s life is a deep human need for every one of us. The greatest risk with this cause of loneliness is the temptation to enter into unhealthy or unwise relationships too quickly.

If we feel lonely long enough we can become enveloped in the painful emotion and conclude that we can’t do anything about it and therefore remain passive and isolated. This is a type of loneliness that can lead to a sense of helplessness, despair and even precipitate depression.

How can you rise above loneliness?

  1. Recognize your lonely feelings and express them. Admitting we are lonely can be difficult, but it is often the beginning of breaking free from our pain. When we begin expressing our feelings of loneliness it’s
Thursday, May 28, 2015

When your Spouse Wants Out of the Marriage – Part II

Last time we introduced you to the first two steps of my recommended five-step response to when your spouse wants out of the marriage, but you don’t.  The natural temptation when we experience rejection is to hold on very tightly to what we fear we are about to lose, however, when it comes to relationships that is generally the last thing you want to do.


To review, the first step is to “go on the record” with what you think, feel and want from your partner.  The second step is to resist the urge or impulse to over pursue.  When you play the role of pursuer your partner is much more likely to play the role of distancer – even more so than they might on their own.

Here are the last three steps to consider applying when your spouse wants out of your marriage.