Life Lessons Category

Legitimate Reason or Lame Excuse

Legitimate Reason or Lame Excuse


The distinguishing factor of what separates reasons from excuses is the allocation of accountability. An excuse is a faultfinding attempt to get yourself “off the hook” for something that you did or didn't do. A reason, on the other hand, is presented with integrity and describes the circumstances, action or situation without any attempt to escape blame or avoid consequences. Generally excuses are deceptive behavior and are a red flag on a spiked flagpole. Reasons include honesty and are built on trust and mutual respect, necessary components for good relations.


Using excuses habitually, being defensive and intertwining those ‘tiny little exaggerations’ into your explanations can undermine a friendship and weaken the value of your word; the essence of who you are and how you’re perceived. For many, excuses are defense mechanisms not born of malice. Others are aware of, on some level, th...

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Psychopath vs. Sociopath

Psychopath vs. Sociopath

Retired FBI profiler Mary Ellen O’Toole, Ph.D. poses the question, “Think you know how to spot a psychopath?” She then warns, “Think again.” Dr. O’Toole suggests not trusting your gut when it comes to strangers or those you don’t know well. Behaviors like normalizing or rationalizing or simply not wanting to appear overdramatic will prevent us from taking (or not taking) actions based on our judgments. Our creative minds can draw up worst-case scenarios and have us questioning what we think and feel. While instincts are important, when it comes to your safety and well being you can increase it and decrease stranger-danger. Most people are confused about the differences in a Psychopath vs. Sociopath. Having the ability to recognize someone’s behavior as questionable can help you to get a baseline feel for those with whom you or your family interacts. *

Commonly thought of as interchangeable are the terms “...

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The power of choice

We all have choices. Each day we are faced with a myriad of choices from when to get up in the morning, to what to wear and how we spend our time daily. Many choices are small ones with little significance. However, there are choices that have big consequences. If we don't stop and think we can make a choice that can alter the course of our lives forever. I was watching the show Lisa Ling had on Teen Mothers. One girl got pregnant at 14, decided to have her baby. You would think she would've learned her lesson but then she got pregnant at 16 and now has two kids. She made the choice to stop her birth control. Imagine being 17 years old and having two kids under 4. What an overwhelming experience. The choice to not protect herself and use birth control totally altered the course of her life.

Impulsive decisions can cause great consequences. It is so important to really focus and reflect on what you want out of your life and for your future. Write down your long term goals and list the ...

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The Wall and the Bridge: Constructing a Path to Overcome Past Wounds

By Matt W. Sandford, LMHC

Everybody is wounded. It’s like we’re in a worldwide war that is always going on. From the time we were young there was shooting going on around us and sometimes we got hit. Maybe we got hit by a random bullet of shame or judgment or ridicule from a loved one? Of course they also could have been well timed sniper attacks by those who wished to take us down? Maybe we got caught in the machine gun cross fire of attacks between parents or family members? Maybe we were the victim of a tank assault that blew our church apart? Maybe it was the grenades thrown by bullies at school? Whatever kind of attack it was, I believe that no one arrives at adulthood unscathed. There’s just too much shooting going on for someone to make it with no wounds. And that includes the perpetrators, those wielding the guns and pointing the mortars and grenade launchers. Because I believe the book by Sandra Wilson, with the title, Hurt People, Hurt People. Heck, that is...

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Guided Meditation for Releasing Regret and Guilt

Join Rev. Tracy L. Cox for a guided meditation designed to overcome feelings of regret and guilt, as we will encounter in our spiritual journey.



May you be blessed, now and in the Eternal Moment of Always. 

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Acceptance and Appreciation of Differences

Imagine for a moment how much healthier, happier, and safe our world would/could be if we all had a true and deep appreciation, respect, and acceptance of one another and our differences….

When people think of differences, the more obvious ones immediately come to mind, including race, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, or economic status. Then there are those differences not so obvious to the naked eye, such as sexual orientation, cultural beliefs, lessons learned early on in life, developmental differences, and communication styles. I once worked with a couple who initially presented with issues around communicating. They stated they were “fighting a lot about just about anything” and “we got along great at the beginning of our relationship but now everything seems to be a power and control struggle.” Over the course of three or four sessions, it became more clear to me (as the therapist) just how much of this couple’s initial attraction to ea...

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On Forgiveness

People find forgiveness difficult. I suspect the reason for that is that most people think forgiveness is about the other person, about letting them off the hook, or letting them get away with whatever they've done, and that somehow, forgiving them means you are weak.

As far as I can tell, it's just the opposite: forgiveness makes you strong. Forgiveness is NOT for the other person, it's for YOU.

Someone once told me that refusing to forgive someone is just like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. I love the image that brings to mind. You are trying to hurt them, because they deserve it! But the only one you are harming is yourself. You are the one sitting there feeling hateful and spiteful and angry. The other person is not worried about you or your bitterness. They are off living their life, not paying you any mind. You are the one carrying around the pain wishing you weren't.

Forgiving someone does not mean that what they did is ok with you. It does mean that you...

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Grounding and Finding Your Center: 4 Ways to Step into Spirit, Ground Out, & Find Your Inner Balance

Many times we hear about finding our center, grounding ourselves, reaching balance in areas of our lives. In this blog I want to share with you my personal journey that led me to grounding, as well as 4 simple ways you can learn to ground in your own life.

For many years, I dealt with anxiety and had been diagnosed with panic disorder. I lived disconnected from my body and excluded from the world. My anxiety peaked in my undergraduate years of college at rapid speed. I sought therapist after therapist to help me with this unique phobia. As I grew older, my spirituality started to grow with me. I tried various alternative therapies, as well as psychotherapy to help me get this anxiety and panic under control. I was tired of it ruling my life. I avoided people, places, and things that would trigger me. Nothing seemed to help long enough and I would go back to having panic attacks. After many therapists, I found a therapist who helped me reach some level of control. She encouraged techni...

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How to get the most out of challenges: 3 Step Obstacle Clearing

We all have challenging moments in life that can sometimes bring us to our knees in writhe. Sometimes we dread having to make those difficult decisions when we are faced with challenging obstacles.

When you are stressed out, overwhelmed, being triggered by someone or something, having to make a difficult decisions, etc…it can feel scary, distressing, frustrating, irritating, or saddening. Obstacles were meant to be placed in our lives as a source of opportunity for self realization. I am sure you have heard the phrase “when opportunity knocks, answer” BUT what if that opportunity knocking at our door was something that we didn’t want? What if that opportunity was scary? What if that opportunity felt uncomfortable? We may sometimes only want opportunity when it is good, non-challenging, easy, and comforting. It is easier to answer the door when the opportunity doesn’t ruffle our britches!

How can we take challenges, obstacles, and roadblocks and begin to...

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Second-Hand Parents

Grandparenting and second-hand shopping have a lot in common.

Both are absolutely wonderful.

They're not first of all mine. Their way of being has been tested. I don't have to break them in. And there's a lot less thought about how things look, what will people think of me, and does it match?

Aside from the pleasant frugality of shopping second-hand, I know the product has been tried. If it was going to shrink, it is shrunk. If it was fragile, it wouldn't be there. If it scuffs easily, I can see the scuffs. This has belonged to someone else. And now I have an opportunity to take it home if I wish.

Nothing to do with the trend of the day. What works works. Sometimes crazy pizzaz, and usually just plain comfortable and easy-wear. Sometimes bright and shiny, usually fairly non-descript.

Parenting is dealing with someone brand new! Our whole identity seems at stake. People are watching, aren't they? How will our children behave? What will people think when my child tantrums at the gro...

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