One of my goals for 2012 was to write more. Beyond writing weekly for the online publication Start Marriage Right, I was able to share some thoughts and writings here on my counseling site. Below are the top 5 shared and viewed posts from the past year.

Stop Trying to Be Normal, You’re Not 167

Normal is depressing. Normal is just plain vanilla, no toppings. Normal is the path of no resistance. Not least resistance, no resistance. Normal is normal, and more and more people are looking for the supposed feel-good nature of being normal. Let others define what normal is, then jump on the bandwagon to feel accepted, part of the team. But you’re not accepted or connected. You’re a drone that parrots what you think others want to hear, what you think others value as popular or normal. …Stop Trying to Be Normal, You’re Not

The Sexual Commodity of Beauty 92

There are two issues here. First is the need for women to transcend the message that to be sexy and hot is to be beautiful. To take it one step further, women need to reject the notion that beauty is synonymous with being sexual. Some of the most beautiful people in the world would never be selected to appear on the cover of a vanity magazine. Capturing and extending external beauty is a losing battle. It’s not just the women’s responsibility to reject this, it also requires men to engage beauty and sexuality in a mature and person-centered manner. …The Sexual Commodity of Beauty

Seeing the Real You 77

We care what others think because it’s easy. It’s easy to ask someone else to define you. To judge you. To tell you who or what you are (and in most cases, they will tell you what you are, not who you are). We want easy, because hard is painful. Hard is just that, hard. And not many of us like hard. … Seeing the Real You

Parenting Kids, Not Controlling Them 62

Parenting is the essence of training a child in how to relate to the world around them. There are hundreds of books to help you along this journey, but the most important piece that a book can never teach you is how to engage your child in who they are. When we control our kids, we ask them to be someone that they are not. It’s scarier to be in relationships with others, our kids included, where we are not in control. Control will crush a relationship, and your child’s spirit. You will do more harm than good by ushering them down the path of life that you want for them. … Parenting Kids, Not Controlling Them

Fear of Losing Her 57

I’m afraid I’ll lose him or her can be one of the most powerful motivators in a relationship. There are many stories that shape the foundation of this fear, but regardless of it’s origin, the way you behave out of this fear will either result in bondage or freedom. If we’re honest, we all have fears about doing or not doing something that will bring an end to an important relationship. This fear may not be consciously present for both partners, but it’s in there.

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