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Roses and Thorns

The task in the beginning is to learn to love self. This is accomplished by the provision of healthy caretaker inputs from outside-in. A child must first be loved, in order to learn how to experience love, in order to learn how to love. Learning to love your self is a crucial developmental task for love to have experiential personal meaning. The root word of the root word in meaning is the first two letters or the word formed by “m” + “e” = “me”. Meaning is often self-centered, self-absorbed and self-aggrandizing because the focus is on “me”. With me, myself brings me to I ......
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“I Am Not A Man...”

For much of my professional career as a practicing clinical psychologist, I have articulated a sincere and explicit sentiment with virtually every adult female client and, usually by the end of the first session, that within the context of our professional relationship, “I am not a man but a doctor!” My reason has been to continually remind myself of what I will never know, as a man, about being female in the world! I am often fond of saying that “men live in the world of men but women live in the world of women and they must also live in the w......
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Winners and Losers

The problem with “winners” is that the “losers” almost invariably seek revenge and retaliation.  And when the “losers” eventually become the “winners,” the process recapitulates itself, ad infinitum. Human beings seem to innately discern, very quickly, what is deemed to be “fair” or “not fair.”  When someone believes they have been treated “not fair” the feelings engendered often are to “get even.” By “leveling-the-playing-field” and “making the other guy pay” we seek to “even the score.”  Of course, a “tied-score” gets all combatants to “even” or the equivalent of being “zero-ed-out.” At “zero,” there can be no compelling justification for “the thrill of victory” or “the agony of defeat.”Recall that when ......
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“PSYCHOBIOSOCIOGEOPOLITICOECONOMIC”

In my opinion, symptoms, typically, do not occur within a vacuum but, rather, within an ‘n’-dimensional, multi-latticed, multi-tiered, multi-multipled context! This multi-dimensioned context provides a crucial staging ground from within which, and out from which, the adaptive meaning, purpose and value of any given “symptom” becomes readily identifiable and, eventually, understandable, albeit, relative to its experienced context. The context is, simultaneously, one which is predicated upon a certain “consensual reality,” as well as, the “subjective experiential reality” of the individual (or group) afflicted by their unique or particular symptoms. Years ago, it occurred to me that an “effect” could, theoretically, be a result of a neces......
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32 Edits

I recently wrote a very short article which required 32 edits. My written work, I thought, was substandard and the message, I thought, was unclear. When I write, consistent excellence is my minimum standard and my point must be sharp and penetrating... Unless, “journalistic license” wins-out and I choose to implicate my meaning by intentional design. All works of art, I suspect, are perceived, interpreted and experienced in the subjective eye of each beholder. My writings, much like a famous inkblot test, provide the reader a standing invitation to see whatever they wish to see. It is not my intent to int......
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Nugget of Gold

Alaska had always been a life-long dream destination for a poor, inner-city kid like me, so when my wife asked what I really wanted to do for our 25th wedding anniversary, almost eighteen years ago, I jumped at the prospect of making that pipe-dream a “dream come true.” We packed our bags and with our seven year old daughter responded to my, and Jack London’s, “Call of the Wild.” Little did I anticipate the deep and profound life-lessons that our anniversary destination vacation would have on me, as a lingering, ever-present, and palpably reverberating effect to this very day! I am fond of s......
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"I Count Grains of Sand"

He was but a humble young adult visitor from a foreign land, a guest in the home of a very wealthy older man.Opulence, bordering on decadence, permeated every room of the host’s palacial estate. A clever psychopath-in-disguise and less-than-honorable man, the elder made a most striking first impression!Who was this heavily monied individual with visible means beyond compare, thought the wide-eyed foreign lad. Timidly, he queried his host: “Sir, what exactly is it that you do?”Whereupon, followed a most unusual and dismissive reply: “I count grains of sand.” No further discussion ensued for how could it as the answer stopped the question ......
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Pain

On November 8, 2010 I had an L2-S1 spinal fusion with multiple discectomies and multiple laminectomies to address degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and spinal scoliosis. Orthopedic experts were uncertain as to causality, however, I suspect that my sitting for 10-to 14 hours a day as a clinical psychologist for almost four decades coupled with rigorous martial arts training for almost twenty years may have played a contributory role in my affliction along with inherited and constitutional factors. The surgery reportedly required more than 10 hours to successfully complete and surgical staff were quick to apprise me that “there were a ......
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The Three Legged Stool of Character

“Character” is a “three-legged stool.” It is who you are when everything is going your way.It is who you are when nothing is going your way.It is who you are when no one is looking. The three legs do not have to be even. But the “stool” must be able to stand on its own.One leg may be longer or shorter or larger or smaller.But the “stool” must be able to stand on its own. The interesting thing about “character” is that everything matters and that everthing is connected to everything all the time. The person you want to become actually depends upon who yo......
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The Fulcrum of Truth

  Imagine a teeter-totter on a playground. The balance-point or center is called the fulcrum. Now think of the word: T-R-U-T-H equally positioned on the teeter-totter. Where is the fulcrum? It’s U! Now think of the word: T-R-U-S-T equally positioned on the teeter-totter.Where is the fulcrum? Again, it’s U! Take a breath.Hold it.Exhale. Think long and hard and deep.Consider what this means. If U are the fulcrum of your truth...And if U are the fulcrum of your trust...Then U are the fulcrum of you! The balance-point or center of the truth of your trust and the trust in your truth must......
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"Mop's Here..."

He was a “full-bird Colonel," of Napoleonic stature, always with an enormous Churchill in his mouth. The highest ranking officer of our army medical reserve unit and the rest of “the brass,” along with the rest of the troops, held him in singular high regard since he was the only soldier amongst us who had direct combat experience having previously served in a “real” war. I was barely 18 years of age and only a lowly Private assigned to the tedium of “shuffling paperwork.” Not quite comfortable in my new military uniform, I couldn’t help but notice how “the old man” sparkled in h......
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Three Questions to "Know Thyself"

In my opinion, there are three questions to ask and to answer, as honestly as possible, in order to “know thyself.” #1. Who are you?#2. What is important to live for?#3. What are you doing about it? The apparent simplicity of these three questions belie the true complexity of the life-long self-discovery process to reveal the three answers which are correct, at core, for you. “Who are you?” is a deceptively inviting three-word interrogatory for “who are you and how did you come to be the unique person you are today.” The question obliges the respondent to think very carefully on these matte......
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What Are You Worth?

Many people I have encountered over the years erroneously believe they are “worth” what they want to be “worth,” what they hope to be “worth,” or even what they idealize themselves to be “worth.” Those who are extremely concrete and literal, incorrectly, assess what they are “worth” by the “bottom line” of their financial portfolio or the kinds of “perks” they have at work or the “pedigree” of their material possessions. In my opinion, however, “you’re worth what you settle for!” How many times have you heard someone proclaim that they would “never tolerate an abusive spouse” and yet, even if they divorce, may find themselves re-enga......
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Whole and Holey

When I think of the personal mentors in my life, I am reminded of their sage insights, their discerning candor, and the genuineness of their own “walk.” Mostly, I recall their unflagging commitment to me – guiding me forward, sometimes back, often up and down and around, and sideways a few times, to be sure, but always in service of me – and my personal growth and development.   My personal mentors took nothing for granted and were grateful for everything. They sought meaning every day, in every act, and within each moment - carpe diem. They engaged living with awe and wonder,......
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