Category Archives: Overcoming Adversity

Are You a Carrot, an Egg, or a Coffee Bean?

are you are carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?Most of the patients at the acute inpatient psychiatric hospital where I worked had endured unimaginable hardships that left them feeling hopeless. If there was one thing that I really wanted them to have before they left our facility, it was renewed hope.

At the end of our group therapy each day, I would share an uplifting story with them. Are You a Carrot, an Egg, or a Coffee Bean? was one of my favorites. (Especially the end) It has been around awhile so you may have heard it, but it is one of those stories you may want to read again and again.

Are You a Carrot, an Egg, or a Coffee Bean? Continue reading

What is Your Value?

valueWhat would happen if you were blind and someone gave you a $100.00 bill and told you that it was only one dollar?

To you, the value of the piece of paper in your hand would only be $1.00. You would miss the opportunity to buy your mother that new coat for her birthday because it cost $40.00. You would miss the opportunity to replace your holey shoes because you can’t find any at the dollar store. Matter-of-fact, you might even buy a candy bar at the local convenient store and tell the worker to keep the change. (Which might not be a bad thing as long as you can afford a $99.11 tip.)

The point is….The actual value of the $100.00 bill becomes irrelevant because, to you, it is only one dollar. Our self-worth is not so different. Continue reading

Coping with Traumatic Stress

coping with  traumaWhat makes some people thrive after trauma and others deteriorate?

One of the most important factors in how well a person will heal following trauma depends on the coping skills they utilize both before and after the trauma. People who have learned healthy ways to cope with stress prior to experiencing life changing trauma respond in healthier ways when crisis hits.

It really is about learning effective strategies to cope with distress and practicing them until they become habitual. Yes, it helps if your healthy coping strategies are already habitual prior to experiencing a  traumatic event, but they can also be learned following a crisis. Continue reading

Post Traumatic Growth: Why Do Some Bounce Back?

post traumatic growthA New York Times article written by Jim Rendon discusses “post traumatic growth” and includes five areas of positive transformation following a life changing struggle.

In this post, I share with you those five areas of transformation and explain why some people are able to experience amazing personal growth following trauma while others deteriorate.

Richard Tedeschi and Lawrence Calhoun, psychologists and researchers at the University of North Carolina studied more than 600 trauma survivors and heard the same thing over and over again.  Continue reading

How to Let Go of Resentment

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How to Let Go of Resentment

Is resentment holding you back from living a more peaceful, joyful, and confident life? Do you feel like you have been wronged, judged, or mistreated in some way? Do you ruminate about it and play it over and over in your head? Do you feel your anger increasing the more this internal tape is played?

The purpose of this post is to

  1. Tell you that you are not alone!
  2. Help you let go of resentment.

First of all, you are not alone! People filled with resentment fill the waiting room of the psychotherapy practice where I work everyday. Millions of others are drowning in resentment and get no help at all. We all feel resentment from time to time. We have all been hurt, judged, and rejected at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, this is part of being human. We are going to experience joy and pain as life ebbs and flows.

You may be thinking, “Yes, we all experience pain, but you have no idea what I have been through!” 

You’re right. I don’t. I can’t even imagine! If you told me your situation, I could try to imagine and I could empathize, but I have not experienced the exact same thing as you. Even when two people share a similar experience such as a history of abuse, divorce, infidelity, or the loss of a loved one, their situations differ and they experience the crisis differently.

Although we each experience our pain, anger, and frustration in our own way, and some of us have experienced more trauma and pain than others, we have all been hurt and there are things that we can do to help release the resentment that takes up residence in our hearts and in our minds.

Release the resentment that resides within. The only thing worse than someone else hurting you in the past, is for you to continue to hurt yourself for the rest of your life. Your resentment poisons YOU, not the one who harmed you.

If you are tired of being angry and resentful, here is what you can do. Continue reading