Exquisitely beautiful, Exquisitely tragic

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One of the greatest tragedies of living is dying.  Even in my darkest most painful moments, I have believed this to be true.  Life should be cherished. Every breath, every heartbeat, given full awareness.  Each day brings new moments to seize; an abundance of opportunities just waiting for us to rest our attention upon them.  Hoping to be snatched up and spent with the air of importance they deserve.

Each second we have on this earth is meant uniquely for us.  Each second waits to be experienced or expressed as part of your specific journey.  No two persons stories are the same, even if by some chance on the surface, they appear to be hauntingly similar.  It is impossible for another human being to see or feel the world, or the essence of life itself, exactly the way you do.

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The Quiet Christian

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As I have moved through the progressive classes of my counseling program, I have been challenged on many occasions, to doubt who I am and what I believe.  I am a naturally humble person and I am quiet in my faith and beliefs.  I do not boast or try to convince others to live or believe the way I do.  I do not feel it is my calling to change others or to lead them down the path of light to the moment they will indeed be saved.  I am not even sure I know what such an attempt would look like or what being “saved” really means.

I  have however, spent so many moments listening to others and drinking in their thoughts and beliefs.  Questioning what I was hearing and asking myself questions such as, does this resonate with me?  How does this compare to what I was taught to believe? Where do my beliefs come from and how did I come to believe them?  Who am I and how does what I believe affect others?  What exactly are my values?  Who am I as a person and who am I as a counselor; are these two parts of me different or separate?

As part of the counseling program, we are taught not to allow our values to affect how we counsel others, while simultaneously being told to “bring ourselves into the room.”  How exactly does that work?

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Goal Setting vs New Years Resolutions – Setting Yourself Up for Success.

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While the year 2016 had its moments (the good, the bad and the ugly), it did not shape up to be the year I wanted it to be.  As I took a look back at my accomplishments, I realized not only had I not set any new years resolutions, but I did not set any goals either.  While I have a bucket list in my head, I have never written it down.  To be honest, I am not a big fan of creating new years resolutions anyway, because I can never seem to follow through with them. I know so many people who feel the same way!

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Sleeping Tips

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Improving your sleep can have a remarkable effect on your amygdala. The best approach to improving sleep is to take a careful look at your sleeping practices and make sure that they are healthy. The following sleeping practices can really assist you in achieving a good night’s sleep.

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Brutiful

Brutiful – adj.: Life is brutal. And life is beautiful. Brutiful, I call it. Life’s brutal and beautiful are woven together so tightly they are inseparable. We must embrace both or neither. If we reject the brutal, we reject the beautiful. Our problems stem from our refusal to surrender to the fact that life is truly more brutal and beautiful than we can imagine. We must let it be. Breathe deeply and know that if we let it come and feel it all – the brutal will make us kinder, softer, stronger, even more beautiful.

― Glennon Doyle Melton

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On The Military Battlefield and Beyond

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Do not miss a heartbeat; dare not blink.  Know what needs to be done and follow through no matter what happens.  Do not hesitate; there is no room for fear or even a millisecond of weakness.  It is your oath to watch their back; it is theirs to watch yours.  Hesitating will get you killed. Or worse; it will get your buddy, your best friend or your entire squad taken out.  Mistakes are not just unacceptable, they are deadly.  Do not fuck it up!

Values become ingrained like a second coat of armor.  Among many things taught, we learn:              

                       Suck it up             figure it out            get it done          soldier on        

trying is not good enough       mistakes lead to disaster         weakness is deadly

bring your A game 24/7                       rely on the training – do not think

                       sleep with one eye open                    there is no room for excuses

  prepare for the worst, hope for the best        there is no room for emotions         

a soldier’s life is no longer theirs   –  the mission is the only thing that matters

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Turning the Page; My Book of Inadequacies​

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I recently told a friend, I was afraid of what people might think of me if they knew who I really was deep down inside.  She looked at me quizzically.  Yet, I realized this was the truth I had created for myself, creatively held within the pages of my “book of inadequacies.”

Whether we own up to the idea or not, I think we all are in possession of a book of inadequacies.  Whether we bury them deep within our conscious, or obstinately face them in our daily lives, they impact our every thought.  Which in turn impacts how we chose to live our lives, how we create our stories and who we invite on our journey.

Shame and fear, I have found, take turns driving and riding shotgun on my own personal journey. Recently, I asked myself why this had become true and what if anything, I could do about it.  As I pieced together the different experiences I had as a child and a young adult, via as honest of a lens as I could muster, I began to see more clearly the root of these feelings.

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