purpose

Does your past matter?

Does your past really matter?

by:  Courtney Hollingsworth, LPC

shutterstock_155509727How often to you pick up a novel or biography you have not previously read, flip to a random page in the middle of the book, and start reading from there? Have you ever tried to sit down in the middle of a movie and pick up the storyline? Our lives are stories full of experiences that connect and impact what comes next. So when we say that the past doesn’t matter or our childhood has no significance when it comes to what’s going on in our lives today, it seems to me more like it’s wishful thinking than what is actually true.

I think there are different reasons why we want to downplay the significance of our past, specifically our early years. Sometimes it seems to stem from a desire to believe we’ve moved past it all, grown too strong and mature for any of those vulnerable years to still have the power to impact us today. For others the motivation to downplay prior experiences comes from an avoidance of the pain which accompanies them.

The reality, however, is that our lives are a whole intricate story.

Think about it this way: what’s the first thing a doctor asks about? Your medical history. What do you want to know about a car before buying it? Accident history and mileage. Similarly, when you are getting know someone new, whether a friend, co-worker, or date, conversation will surely be filled with facts about the present, but part of getting to know them is also understanding their past and where they come from, both literally and figuratively.

Neglecting the importance of our past, especially our early impressionable and very vulnerable years, is a misstep that hinders our growth and depth in the present.

History is a mandatory subject in school for a reason. We can become students of our own histories and discover how and why we got to where we are, potential pitfalls and blindspots we operate with, and relational patterns and styles that may contribute to our present relational struggles.

Busy, Busy, Busy

by: Courtney Hollingsworth, PLPC


The ‘Busy’ Trap


Ringing with truth and clarity, when I came across this article in the New York Times about busyness I knew I wanted to share author Tim Kreider’s ideas here with you. I agreed, resonated, and felt convicted by his look at how busyness is a trap we have created and accepted in our mainstream culture, that we then in turn create and accept in our lives. While I didn’t necessarily nod along to every point he made in the article, his overall thesis that we perpetuate busy lives to create importance to our days and therefore significance to our lives, is one I see and feel all around me as well as in me.


Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.


Rather than view idleness as the enemy, or evidence of emptiness, he posits idleness as an important factor to fullness in life. “Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.” 


I often discover when sitting with people in the counseling room, allowing ourselves  space is a battle. Space time-wise, physically, and even mentally. The battle can be external in the pressures and requirements of the day, but often it is more internal. Allowing for some quiet inside ourselves, some space between the stimulus and the response, and some stillness to sort through, process, reflect upon that which is bouncing around inside of us. 

Here is a link to the article. I recommend taking a break from your busyness to read it 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/?smid=pl-share



Technological Food for Thought

By: Katy Martin, LPC


I’m sure that everyone, by this time, has heard that Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple, has passed away after a long battle with cancer.  The news has been everywhere: websites, newsfeeds, facebook, emails, tv, etc.

I find it ironic that I heard the news via my husband’s AM radio as he listened to the Cardinals game, but that’s beside the point.

To be honest, I knew nothing about him prior to this week.  Sure, I know he was a genius and that he was probably beyond rich.  I’m sad that it was in his passing that I learned so much more.

Steve Jobs really was a genius, a creative genius, who worked hard and claimed to be living his dream.  He had a family whom he talked about loving very much.  He was adopted as a baby, given a home.  He has had a huge impact on technology as we see it now.  His creations and innovations were his passion and truly exciting to him.  Media is painting the picture that he lived a full, rich life.


As I reflect on the impact this man’s life and passing appear to have, I wonder what kind of impact we are all making.  Do you live with the same passion?  Do you find joy in life?  Are you accomplishing what you would like to accomplish?  Or are you just trying to survive each day and maybe looking forward to the next big thing?

I didn’t personally know Steve Jobs, but I still can’t help believe that he really did love life and made the most of his time here on earth.



The good news: every day is a new day.  We have the opportunity to create goals, fulfill dreams, and really love the people who are around us.  We can seek forgiveness, give forgiveness, and find emotional healing.


The best news: Jesus states in John 10:10 that He came to give us life and life to the FULL.  Do you believe this?  What would it look like to invite God into the struggle you have to find joy and fulfillment?  


What would it take for you to begin living a full life?  After all, today is a new day and tomorrow begins a new week.