In a town far away on top of a hill,
Lived people so narrow, judgmental and shrill.
They decided on high that all hair should be brown.
They decided for everyone who lived in their town.
“To live here,” they cried, “brown hair is a must.
Brown hair is just right, all others are bust.
If other than brown is just who you are,
Then you must leave. Depart! Go very far!
For we won’t have people who don’t look like us.
Brown is what’s right. Our rules. It is thus!”
In one of the families, young Trent was born third.
In a family so big and so famous was heard,
A cry of great grief like someone had died,
The aunts and uncles and parents all cried.
Young Trent, their treasure, though brown hair expected,
Was born blond, a towhead, a child rejected.
Though cute and adorable, smart with eyes wide,
His parents knew that his hair had to hide.
If the neighbors and townspeople had any doubt,
That Trent was not brown-haired, the family was out.
From the day he could crawl, Trent’s hair was dyed brown.
This gave them permission to live in this town.
His parents feared someday his blond hair would show,
Because hair on a kid never ceases to grow.
Each Saturday night as the bath waters ran,
A small dab of brown came out of the can,
To cover those roots of the hair that kept growing,
Like a lawn after rain that needed some mowing.
And so it was thus, each day spent in “hair-hiding,”
In plain sight, with a hat, and some dye so complying.
And all seemed as okay, no foul and no harm,
Until one day, that day, there came cause for alarm.
That day, at the mirror, young Trent stood there staring,
At brown hair AND blond hair – so great, and so glaring.
He’d been told his whole life about hair not so brown,
These people were gross, not fit for their town.
He realized that day he was different than most.
He was blond, not brown-haired. He’s handsome, not gross.
He called to his parents to share his great joy
He was different – unique – not an average boy.
He loved this about him. It gave him great pride.
He was different indeed. He had nothing to hide.
We are each born great, we’re remarkable art.
We are perfect, unique, not a kind of half-start.
We can’t change who we are. That’s a great thing.
We are who we are; it’s our hardwiring.
His parents warned, they cautioned and cried.
“Being different’s not easy, so please Trent just hide.
Let’s dye your hair brown so you fit and blend in.
Let’s get the brown back so life’s safe as it’s been.”
But Trent just said, “No!” on that major day.
“Born different, born right,” is just what he’d say.
“Born blond, not brown-haired, is how I exist.
Being true to myself is what I insist.”
“For someone much greater thought I should be,
A towhead, a blond, not a fake brown-haired me.
Who are these others, with comments to make?
I am who I am. God made no mistake.”
The hair dying stopped on that fateful day.
Pretending was done on the 18th of May.
Proud to be done with the hair-dying story,
Trent wanted his real life, a life of grand glory.
A life that was honest and open and clear,
A life to be lived without hiding or fear.
Trent marched to school with hair like the sun.
The gold in it shone, like threads that been spun,
But support did not happen, not a moment or second.
It didn’t work out as he thought or had reckoned.
They taunted and teased, chased, hit and called, “Nay!”
It changed all his friends in only one day.
Chased into the woods, with mean words attacking.
Trent stayed hiding there ‘til daylight went packing.
He hid in the dark and was sobbing with fear,
That someone who hated his hair could be near.
“How could this all matter?” He wondered. He cried.
“How could being different make others despise?
I have no control of the color of my hair,
Born with it dark or born with it fair.
Like our gender, or height, preference or skin tone,
We get what we get, it’s really our own.
For down deep I’m still me, the same me I have been.
Down deep, I’m still Trent, their classmate and friend.”
And in that tough moment, a moment of fear,
Young Trent saw a stranger, approaching, quite near.
A man with a beard, long, thick and so white;
A smile so warm, so kind and so bright.
“What brings you to woods, so dark and so deep?
The old man continued, “And can cause you to weep?”
Trent shared his sad story in every detail.
The old man just listened and grew very pale.
He waited ‘til young Trent was all about finished,
Did not interrupt, critique or diminish
The sadness, the pain, the hurt so disarming
That someone so young could find life so alarming.
Once Trent had recounted his unhappy story,
The old man responded with strength and with glory.
His words were bold, his lessons were wise.
Trent listened intently for ways to devise,
A way to be happy when others all yack.
To be strong and courageous when others attack.
The wise man was brilliant and very aware.
He took in a breath, then started to share:
“We are truly born great, just as we are!
Our lives are important. You’re amazing, my young star.
But with others, they think, it’s for them to say
Who is fine, who is good, who is right, who’s okay.”
“For greatness is not in brown hair or blond.
Greatness is not in how our words sound.
Greatness is not on our outside – our skin.
Greatness, true greatness, always happens within.”
“We just can’t know how great you can become
By looking at hair color. That’s crazy, that’s dumb.
Down deep we’re amazing and awesome and bold.
Down deep is our value, our treasure, our gold.”
“No one has eyes to see what you see.
No one can tell you who or what you should be.
That’s your job. Yes it is. It’s all up to you.
It’s your work and your life. You’ve got to be true.”
“Life isn’t easy, its tough and its trying.
It gives you hard tests to make sure you’re applying
What you know of TrueYou, what gifts you receive,
How great you can be and what you believe.”
“You were born awesome – awesome indeed.
But to live each day awesome you must become freed
From the judgments of others, from perspectives so narrow
To let your light soar like a brilliant gold arrow.”
“The world needs TrueYou – the “you” as you are.
Blond or brunette, gay, straight or bizarre.
You are you, and amazing! The “you” born just right.
You were born to shine brightly, to share your great light.”
But you can’t shine in life, when you let yourself hide.
And you can’t change the world, if you’re ashamed inside.
You didn’t choose how you’re born, where you’re from.
But you can surely choose the “you” you become.
Young Trent felt alive and committed to greatness.
He thanked the wise man but feared for the lateness.
His family’d be worried, scared and unbound,
That young Trent was not home, not safe and not sound.
He hurried right home in the dark of the night.
But this time for him, a walk without fright.
More aware, more informed and so much more wise.
He got to his door at a quarter to five.
Once home and together, the lost son lamented
With details and stories. The sobbing relented.
Trent shared a new lesson of power and strength.
They stood right by him; they’d go to great lengths
To handle what happens, to just rise above.
To help Trent show up to a life he can love.
The next day with power and confidence glowing,
Trent moved through the town without any fear showing.
He let loose his blond hair and wore it with pride.
He stood up to names and to insults so snide.
His courage to be true soon had others inspired,
The insults then stopped, mean comments subsided.
Trent showed that hair color makes no difference at all
Be true to yourself and you’ll never feel small.
We didn’t choose how we’re born, where we’re from.
But we can surely choose the “who” we become.
And soon many others with all hair colors flowing,
Appeared in the town, the numbers were growing.
People in fear with hair a fake brown,
Were actually there hiding, still living in town.
Pretending is bad, it loads on the strife.
Hiding restricts us, it limits our life.
We are each given gifts to discover and use,
And we shortchange the world if we don’t know or refuse
To be open and honest and accept the real “me”.
Trent learned that it takes this to really be free.
In just that one moment, things started to change.
People are people, not weirdoes or strange,
Just people, all different, all great, all divine,
Allowed to be true, to be honest, and fine.
And changed they all were from perspectives so narrow.
They cheered and applauded and hailed Trent like pharaoh.
But Trent just continued to live life each day,
Honest and great, in his unique way.
From that day on, in towns far and near
That kept people out because of some fear.
Now invited them in – all are welcome you know.
We all belong. Yes we do! It is right. It is so.
Come out from your hiding. Join life. Be alive!
When you hide you stay small and afraid - you can’t thrive.
You’re an original, not a copy or fake.
You’re the real deal, just perfect; you are no mistake.
So find your right place, as soon as you can.
Be an accountant, a salesman, a singer or stuntman.
It’s all up to you, the directions you choose.
It’s all up to you, don’t wait, don’t you snooze.
Each day that goes by, you never get back.
Each moment, each day, each minute, each track
Is gone. Yes it is, but the next one is here.
Use it wisely. Don’t waste it! Let your best self appear.
You were born awesome, no matter what you’ve been taught.
You were born amazing, born cool – you got what you got.
It’s your gift. It’s yours. It’s all just for you.
It’s divine in its nature so, be true to your “who.”
Be yourself, be your best. Live life your own way.
Be proud, find your place, make the most of each day.
You’re great and your awesome, just as you are.
Be your true self, be a bright shining star.
This article was written by Jay Forte
Click HERE to Learn more about Jay’s work.
There are many layers to our existence, and the depth of our awareness determines the kind of life we lead. What we see on the surface—in the form of relationship issues, health challenges or money problems—may have very little to do with what’s really going on. If we dig deeper, we can tap into a whole new dimension of possibilities—in ourselves and in our world.
Take the case of 40-year-old Marie, whose life seemed to be filled with conflict and crises. Her relationships were everything she didn’t want, her work as a designer no longer felt fulfilling, and things rarely seemed to go the way she wanted them to. On the surface, she appeared to just be unlucky—attracting the wrong kind of guy, working in a demanding industry, and suffering the inevitable slew of health problems due to stress, pressures at work, emotional angst and fatigue.
If we dig beneath the circumstances, seeing them as signposts towards a deeper truth, we might see that Marie has some deeply engrained beliefs about not being lovable or worthy, and about life being a constant struggle because she felt she didn’t deserve to have it easy.
If we go deeper again, we might see that those beliefs have a strong emotional charge that attracts the very people, situations and dynamics that confirm the validity of those negative beliefs. (Thanks to exciting discoveries in quantum physics, we now know that our thoughts are electrical and our emotions magnetic, giving us the power to affect our circumstances, whether we do so consciously or not.)
If we dig even deeper, we might see that Marie is being challenged in the very areas where she is emotionally ‘wobbly’ (due to her upbringing), and that she is attracting the perfect opportunities for flexing her emotional ‘muscles’ in order to develop a healthier sense of self.
Going deeper again, we see just how powerful Marie really is, having created the perfect scenarios for growth and personal transformation. The challenges that she considered to be ‘bad luck’, the result of ‘all the good men having been snapped up’, or simply the inevitable price to be paid for having a demanding job, are actually the direct result of her subconscious pushing her towards wholeness.
By bringing her face to face with the physical manifestation of her low self-worth, her subconscious is giving her lots of opportunities to reclaim herself. For as long as she fails to see what’s really going on, however, those frustrating scenarios will keep repeating themselves until she gets the message. It’s not about the men out there, the industry she works in, or other people being difficult. It’s all about Marie.
Relationships fail because of our incomplete understanding of their true purpose as stepping-stones to self-discovery and personal autonomy. They mirror our ‘missing pieces’, reflecting back to us what’s missing inside as a result of how we were programmed to think and feel about ourselves. Whether we have issues with colleagues, clients, friends, family or lovers, all our relationships are powerful catalysts for change, challenging us to address whatever is in the way of healthy self-acceptance and self-expression.
Providing us with a unique perspective of ourselves, relationships show us that when we lack certain essential qualities, such as acceptance, respect, validation and support, we attract people with those same missing pieces—which is why we so often experience heartache and disappointment when we fail to get from our partner the very things we ourselves have been missing. Once we understand that filling in our own missing pieces makes us magnets for more of those same positive qualities, we can use our relationships as springboards towards wholeness …and the love, laughter, ease and fulfillment that automatically result.
Five steps to freedom
1. Identify what qualities are missing from your relationships. These often include acceptance, respect, trust, emotional honesty, validation and support—all of which are required for us to be ourselves and for our relationships to be harmonious, authentic and mutually supportive.
2. Find practical, everyday ways to start demonstrating those qualities in your life—especially towards those who fail to express those same qualities to you. Remember: what’s missing in your relationships is missing inside you.
3. Catch yourself if you think it’s about them. Stay focused on making you whole, rather than blaming someone else for not giving you what you need. When you take care of your own emotional needs, you attract others who have cultivated the same healthy self-sufficiency.
4. Take responsibility for your choices, actions and reactions. Our choices and boundaries define us, telling the world what we think we are worth. If we make unhealthy compromises in the hope of being accepted, for example, we perpetuate a cycle of neediness. We must accept, validate and honour ourselves first, if we want to see those qualities expressed to us by others.
5. Pre-live and pre-love your ideal future life. Since your emotions are magnetic, the more you think, feel and act like the person you want to be, the more you become that person—and then attract the perfect complement to it. Trust in your magnetism to attract what you truly deserve—and get excited about the good things coming your way.
Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions we can experience in transforming our lives. If we feel deep gratitude and excitement about our ideal future reality—before it happens—we create a strong magnetism that draws that reality to us. Pre-living and pre-loving your ideal future reality is the most powerful way to make it happen.
Only Marie can change what she is attracting—by changing what she feels and believes about herself and what she is subconsciously transmitting to her world. She can reflect on some of her habitual thoughts (such as: this won’t work and there are no decent men out there) and feelings (such as frustration, disappointment and hopelessness) and ask herself: Do I want more of that? If not, she can focus on their opposites and start to embody the qualities that she wishes to see in herself and in her partner, colleagues and clients: optimism, confidence, validation and healthy self-worth.
Life gets exciting when we realize that we can orchestrate our own reality rather than being at the mercy of seemingly random circumstances. When we recognize the truth of our deeper selves, we can turn our lives around. We can consciously convert limiting beliefs to their positive counterparts; we can choose to feel certain uplifting magnetic emotions that align with the love and life we desire; and we can start to leverage the power of both in transforming struggle into ease, conflict into harmony, and work into pleasure.
The deeper we dig within ourselves, the deeper the truth we discover …and the truth will always set us free.
This article was written by Olga Sheean
Click HERE to Learn more about Olga’s work.
Most of us think about trauma as just about the worst thing that can happen to us. And for many, it is. Even if you’ve survived trauma, you still may be dealing with its physical and emotional aftermath, which perhaps includes emotional eating. How, then, can trauma ever have an upside?
In “How trauma can change lives—for the better,” Jim Rendon, author of Upside: The New Science of Post-Traumatic Growth, says yes, indeed, it can (TIME 8/3/15, p. 29). Therapists and the general public have long been schooled in the notion that trauma is terrible and nothing more, he says, one that changes peoples’ lives for the worse and stays with them to death. Post-traumatic stress disorder, with its nightmares, hyper-vigilance and flashbacks, can be frightening to experience or live with in a loved one.
What, then, is science telling Rendon that makes him believe that trauma sometimes can be anything but a negative experience? He says that “an estimated 75% of people will experience a traumatic event in their lifetime” and that, while many report negative effects, down the road, others report positive changes—greater inner strength, increased intimacy, and a “reorientation” in life toward more fulfilling goals. In short, over time, the pain of trauma can help people “change for the better.” Rendon maintains that “Growth begins with healing from trauma.”
He also says that growth and transformative change are based on the premise that people seek and receive help. Sadly, many trauma survivors don’t recognize themselves as having been trauma victims and, therefore, forgo clinical treatment. They’re too scared of opening up old wounds or too ashamed of what happened to them, even when they were innocent victims. Moreover, when trauma occurs, their pre-trauma mental health determines how they’ll react to and heal from it.
I’ve seen people do exactly what Rendon says: survive trauma and go on to change their lives—and the lives of others—for the better because of it. This happens when: women and men who are raped go on to become sexual abuse counselors and victim advocates, parents of murdered children put their hearts into changing gun laws and increasing access to mental health counseling, and when people hurt by drunk drivers work to educate the public about drinking and driving. If you’re a trauma survivor, consider how both trauma and healing might change your life for the better. Then, even if you’re afraid, get the treatment you need.
This article was written by Karen R. Koenig
Click HERE to Learn more about Karen’s work.
The Calling and Vocation to care God’s people I would say started on the first Sunday of August 2013. Through this journey there have been times of struggle, growth and clarity of God’s purpose in and for my life. There is a reason that this season is in God's plan for my wife and I. Now at 60 years, I have had the honor to see much of this world, interact with people, through traveling in many geographic regions, cultures and communities of the United Sates and other countries. Through my Calling and experience as a son, husband, parent, student, photographer, therapist, educator, searcher and servant I have seen many changes to our homes, people, the church, schools, communities, society and governments. Some Good and Some just plain BAD for all.
My faith has been challenged throughout this life, More recently: one of our son’s at age 12 was diagnosed with Osteo Sarconoma (bone cancer) in Sept 2014 and he asked if I would leave Alaska to come to Portland OR, to help while he was going through treatment and surgery. My wife and I felt that I needed to be there so, she remained in Alaska while I went to be with him. He currently is in remission of cancer and will require monitoring for the rest of his life. (Our son resides with his biological mother in Gresham, OR) What do you tell your son when he ask’s, “Why is God allowing this to happen to me” and you have No answer.” What would you say?
During that time of caring for my son, when I arrived and visited with my parents. I found that my parents had not been fully honest with me during phones calls and e-mails as to my dad’s health condition. My father and mother reside in Vancouver, WA. (Across the river from Portland, OR) My father is 83, a veteran who was in remission from multiple cancers, lived his life with severe Parkinson’s disease.) Due to his increased needs and symptoms he was experiencing, I became his caregiver as well, when not with my son. My father passed on in 2017. How do you divide myself and be a son, care-giver, father, husband etc..?
After 2004 my separation and ultimately Divorce from the younger Childers mother. 2 boys and 1 girl, at the time their ages were 3,2, and 11 months. Working 50 to 60 weeks, had weekly visitation with my children, sort of being a single dad part-time. Now some will say well that is not that bad. A little clarification. As I look back now, I ask “How did I do it” The answer then and now with Family and Friends. My oldest son (34) called me not long after the birth of his second daughter and asked me “Dad how did you do it, with Sean, Scott and Aleena. We had a great discussion after that about him and being a father.
This course I truly believe was started many years ago when my parents opened my eyes to wonders of our land, people, landmarks, inside/outside our borders. (Jeramiah 29 11-14) and now Romans 12v 12-22. My parents both served in the military and my father went on to become an officer. I also as an adult witness my parents coming to know the Lord as their LORD and Savior. I also witnessed the growth of my father in the Lord to be called as a Chaplain to the Elderly and had the Honor to Serve with Him.
Through this journey God has opened my Eyes and Heart to what service really is and that when his season arrives, we are to serve and be served, Disciple and Be Discipled to live in Christ and to share Christ with others. The gifts he has allowed me to share and serve for HIS glory is the calling and vocation he has provided.
“Your Heart (who you really are) is Known by the Path You Walk”
This article was written by Rev. Marc Baisden, MACP, MIN
Click HERE to Learn more about Marc Baisden.
How to Spot and Support your Spouse through Depression?
Are you noticing a strange difference in the behaviour of your spouse from the last few weeks or months? Sometimes, it is a temporary issue that lasts for a few days because of the difference in mutual understanding or some bad phase of life. However, some symptoms are long-lasting and become a part of life. If the problem with your spouse is persisting for a long time, it can be depression. The term depression has become too common that you can find every second person suffering from it. Sometimes, it can also be a bipolar disorder but people mistook as depression. The depression treatment and bipolar treatment are two different things that only a psychiatrist can tell you with deep explanations. If your spouse is suffering from depression, it is your duty to help them in coming out of the situation.
The Major Problem With Mental Disorders
Whether it is a depression, dementia, bipolar disorder or anything else, most of the people don’t have any idea that they are suffering from a mental disorder. There is a common assumption that a person suffering from mental illness is considered unfit for society. This is totally wrong because almost everyone goes through depressive and manic phases of life for a while or longer. It doesn’t mean that they are incurable. Even after knowing the mental condition, many people never accept reality. Consequently, the problem becomes worse than finally ruin a beautiful relationship as well as personal life too. If your spouse is also facing a similar situation, it is your responsibility to get them out of the situation. Here is some crucial information regarding depression treatment that you must read and understand.
Most Common Symptoms That Spot Depression in Your Spouse
There is a long list of depression symptoms & a person may be facing only some of them. Here is a list that you need to remember:
1) Lack of concentration in work
2) Sudden change in hunger levels
3) Exhausted face
5) Sad & full of negativity
6) Hormonal fluctuation
7) Grief of failure
8) Frequent headache
9) Ruining sex life
If such kinds of symptoms are becoming apparent in your partner, you need an expert on depression treatment. However, sometimes, bipolar disorder is also mistaken as depression because of some reasons that you will know in the below article.
Reasons Why People Consider Bipolar Disorder as Depression?
The human mind is more complex than any other organ present in the body. Therefore, people sometimes fail to understand their problems. The same thing is applicable to depression because some of its symptoms are identical to bipolar disorder. Consequently, some psychiatrists star bipolar treatment rather than depression treatment. There are 2 phases of bipolar disorder i.e.
The depressive phase shares some symptoms of depression but its treatment differs.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR SPOUSE IS SUFFERING FROM DEPRESSION?
1) Gain your personal knowledge about depression
If you really want to help your spouse in getting rid of depression, it is advisable to gain some knowledge regarding depression first. With adequate knowledge, you can understand their situation in a better way. Some major symptoms are already mentioned in the above article. If you are noticing some of these symptoms, try to help your partner in realising the situation. It is possible that they will not ready to accept the truth for once but it is your duty to motivate them for visiting a psychiatrist without fearing of society or anyone else. Doctors may suggest medicines and some rejuvenating therapies.
2) Maintain a supportive environment
If the patient is not living in a healthy environment, no treatment will work effectively. At home, maintain an environment in which they follow a healthy routine of life. Some of the most important things to support them are:
1) Exercise & meditate together as a daily routine
2) Prepare a healthy diet plan as per doctor’s guideline and implement it strictly.
3) Maintain regularity in the routine of treatment without missing a single activity.
3) Love unconditionally
Depression treatment will only work successfully if you love your spouse unconditionally. A person suffering from depression may get angry on you, shout or try to harm too. Never give-up in such kinds of situations if you love them truly. Always remember that this is just a bad time and time never remain the same. However, you can create a big difference for the upcoming time with your positive efforts.
These are some positive efforts that you can attempt for the well being of your partner. Some odd circumstances may occur during the treatment period that will hurt you but never lose hope. With a proficient psychiatrist, positive attitude and full dedication, your life can return back on the track.
This article was written by Sakshi Joshi
Click HERE to Learn more about her work.
I Promise Myself…
to laugh as if nobody’s watching, and love as if I’ve never been hurt before.
to live as if I were to die tomorrow, and learn as if I were to live forever.
to let go of the heavy burden of my past. To turn my wounds into wisdom and my
difficulties into opportunities.
to love myself as much as I would like others to love me.
to die to the past every night, so that I can be born again each morning.
to never speak from a place of hate, jealousy, anger, or insecurity. And to always evaluate
my words before I let them leave my lips.
to forgive so that I can heal, and let go so that I can grow.
to learn from every experience and every interaction life sends my way.
to always look for the good in people. To treat everyone with love, kindness, compassion,
appreciation and never speak badly of anyone.
to allow life’s many challenges to make me better, not bitter.
to complain less, and live my life with an attitude of gratitude.
to create a sense of purpose and bring meaning into everyday life. No matter how many
times I fall or fail, I promise myself to never give up on myself or my dreams.
to let go of all the drama in my life, and only hold on to those things that bring me joy.
to live my life in a way that inspires others and strive to bring out the best in them.
to surround myself with people who make me hungry for life, touch my heart, and nurture
to think less and feel more. To judge less and trust more. To fear less and love more.
to walk away from everything that no longer serves me, grows me, or makes me happy.
to spend more time connecting with my authentic self, and less time chasing the love and
approval of those around me.
to show the world who I truly am and not consider what people might be thinking about me.
to transform my inner vision until I see nothing but light, my own and all those around me.
to let go of any bad habits I might be holding on to, and walk away from all those things
that hold me back in life.
to let go of all blame and take full responsibility for my own life.
to allow the world know me as I am, not as it thinks I should be.
to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving,
and empathetic of the weak.
to clothe myself with love and wear this love wherever I go.
to care more about being kind than I do about being right all the time.
to give more of my time to those who are special in my life, and show them how much they
really mean to me.
to trust my inner voice and intuition more than I trust the loud voice of those around me.
to expect less from others but more and more from myself.
to allow those I care for to be perfectly themselves without trying to twist them to fit my
own image. Loving them for who they are and not for what I want them to be.