Take stock of your life for a moment. Think about what you dreamed for yourself as a young man, and how that dream developed over time. Now think about where you are today: is this what you wanted? Are you satisfied with your career? Do you feel fulfilled in your relationships? If you feel like you’re not the man you want to be, you are not alone. Fortunately, Christian counseling offers an excellent space to learn and to grow in your development as a confident yet sensitive man in today’s world.
Sadly, our culture does not encourage men to speak openly about their struggles and challenges. For that reason, one of the most common issues facing men today is silence: we often do not feel that we can acknowledge our weaknesses and pain before others. Men, like women, can struggle with eating disorders or abuse; yet, unlike women, we are told to be strong and bury our pain. Counseling can be a wonderful place to find a voice for yourself in all your complexity as a man in today’s world.
The standards of ‘masculinity’ can place a lot of weight on men today: being a man means that you are strong, confident, handsome, and successful in your work and relationships. When we change ourselves to meet these unrealistic expectations, we can become caught up in unhealthy habits and ways of being that betray our authentic selves. This only adds problems to your life and makes true intimacy with others difficult.
At Seattle Christian Counseling, we are interested in helping men discern how to be Godly leaders. What does it mean to be a Christian man in a world where masculinity is so often identified with power and success? How do we learn to be loving husbands and devoted fathers? How can we be role models for the next generation of Christian men? Learning how to be a prayerful man in a world marked by hyper-sexuality, violence, and apathy is a lifelong process that takes patience and strength.
Anxiety is an emotion we all experience. We can all point to a time when we got butterflies in our stomach before giving an important presentation or going on a promising first date. We can all remember worrying about bills that are due, getting our Christmas shopping list done, or completing that task list that seems to have gotten a mile long.
In a way, it is good that we have some levels of anxiety – without any anxiety we would feel perfectly content and complacent, never getting anything done! Anxiety is the way we have adapted to take care of sick loved ones or our own well-being.
Did you see the movie Inside Out? In that movie, the mind of a little girl was “controlled” by her emotions: anger, fear, joy, sadness, and disgust. Throughout the course of the movie, we see different emotions taking over her “control panel,” causing her to act out in different ways. Then at the end of the movie, a much more complex control panel is brought in and replaces the old one as she hits puberty.
While a cute demonstration, in some ways this is exactly how our minds work. Our thoughts and actions tend to filter through a sea of emotions, working in balance with each other. However, trouble arises when one emotion tends to override the rest and take complete command over our own internal control panel.
If you’ve come to this post, you may be feeling...Read More
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8
Depression is one of the more common psychological struggles a person can experience in a lifetime. According to ADAA.org, “MDD affects more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.”
“In 2015, an estimated 3 million adolescents age 12 to 17 in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the previous year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.”
While depression can feel like a very isolating, lonely experience, the fact is, many people have or will experience some form of depression in their lifetime. Anything from a divorce, the loss of a loved one, exposure to traumatic events, or other kinds of emotional or physical harm can lead to feelings of hopelessness.
The good news is that you’re not alone, and because this type of feeling can be so common, there is a lot of research dedicated to providing you with support.
“The smartest thing I’ve ever learned is I don’t have all the answers, just a little light to call my own. Though it pales in comparison to the over-arching shadows, a speck of light can re-ignite the sun, and swallow darkness whole.” – Sleeping at Last, “Emphasis”
Here are...Read More
More than any other addiction, sex addiction has the most potential to dial up shame. This is what can make it so hard to talk about, and therefore too often it stays hidden.
Unfortunately, as they say in 12-step programs, we are only as sick as our secrets. What this means is when we do things we know are wrong and then hide those behaviors from our loved ones, we gradually poison our soul, and the longer we wait, the worse it is when our behavior comes to light. The good news is that God does not think we are disgusting or hopeless. We are loved and worthy of redemption, no matter what.
Our bodies are created with the capacity for sexual response, and at the physical level that response is involuntary. People in scientific studies who are shown photos of animals mating often respond with disgust, but almost without exception their bodies display the physical attributes of arousal. This is important to understand when beginning to think about addiction.
We are created to be in relationship, to bond, to join, to procreate, and these needs are interwoven with our deepest emotions of hope (to be seen, known, and loved as we are) and fear (that we will be judged, found inadequate, and be rejected). Addictive behaviors are activated by those needs and fears.
The more early trauma we have in our story, the more likely we will be susceptible to addictive tendencies...Read More