I understand why we value obedience, but I think we can hyper-value it at the expense of our moral development. I don’t believe in a god who would let us obey our way into godhood. Instead, God gives us a world in which we may borrow wisdom from others, but we also must learn through the exercise of free will, through mistake-making, through the earnest seeking of truth based in our own thinking, discerning, and seeking.
It is with great sadness that I say goodbye to Dr. David Schnarch, an important professional mentor to me over the past 10 years. David died of a sudden heart attack last week. It has been devastating for his family, and so many of us, to lose a wise mentor in our lives.
Something I've been thinking about this week is that fragility in people is often difficult to track. Sometimes friends and neighbors look like they have everything together when in fact there is real limitation lurking below the surface. Those of us who are focused on a palatable exterior, who avoid conflict or even gravitate to convention out of fear, often look stronger and more "together" than they are. The glossy surface may look like strength, but in fact is a sign of limitation. Painting the ideal picture is often an attempt to get away from what is real, because what is re...
I despair sometimes at the profound divisions in our country and how much difficulty we seem to have in healing them. Our political divisions are deeper and seemingly more entrenched than ever. And in the face of George Floyd’s murder and the ensuing demonstrations against police abuses, it seems that hatred and division might consume us. What does it take to create meaningful peace? How do we create peace in a diverse and often discordant society? This challenge seems all the more overwhelming when most of us struggle to create peace in our most important relationships. The ease w...
I’ve been thinking lately about what it means to “do your best”. The reality is that we are inherently flawed and have a limited understanding of our own and others’ motivations. This impairs our ability to always do what is best or wise. There’s no getting around this. Additionally, we all have a narrative of who we are that makes our choices make sense to us, but that often are destructive to ourselves and/or others. This makes repetition of our limited choices easy, and meaningful development hard. My work is helping people see what they can’t yet see about themselves (and others),...
I've been thinking this summer a lot about anxiety and how *easy* it is, in the face of anxiety, to avoid the apparent source of it. When life is difficult, as it often is, the discomfort of our uncertainty and self-doubt, can lead us to step away from important issues or challenges in our lives. The problem with this of course, is that when we chronically avoid, the issues that created the anxiety in the first place, become bigger and more daunting. Soon we are swimming in feelings of powerlessness and self-doubt, and the original cause of the anxiety is harder to track down or deal with. ...
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