Posts Tagged ‘healing’


When I was younger I must have fallen asleep for twenty years like Rip Van Winkle. Then when I awoke, somewhere in adulthood, I noticed a most unusual evolving phenomenon: in a world where only two distinct races existed (black and white) there were now Hispanics, Asians, Latinos, and others. Over the next several decades, more and more groups of people were being classified as such. A recent internet search uncovered an anthropologist named Carleton S. Coon who, a mere fifty years ago, decided to divide humankind into four major races: white/Caucasian, Mongoloid/Asian, Negroid/Black, and Australoid (sounds like something from outer space). These races are further subdivided into as many as 30 subgroups. Wow! I’m speechless!

I question who granted Mr. Coon the authority to decide people needed to be segmented into distinct groups? And by what criteria – the color of their skin, shape of their eyes, country of origin? And for what possible purpose? Was some good meant to evolve from this action? I can understand segmenting animals into specific categories: mammals, fish, birds, insects. Each has distinct characteristics, needs, living conditions, behaviors, and so forth that set it apart from other species. But people? How are we so intrinsically different from one another that we need to be regulated into different classes? Are we not all comprised of bone and tissue, muscle mass and organs, hair and skin, fingers and toes? Do we not all share the same emotions, need the same things to survive such as food, water and love? Do we not all enter this world in the same way, breathe the same air, laugh, cry, hope, and dream the same things?

Classifying dogs into different breeds is harmless. Each canine knows instinctively that underneath the obvious external differences, they are alike. People? Not so much. Categorizing humans causes a breakdown in understanding, trust, and ultimately relationships. We fracture our likenesses. By emphasizing our differences we instill uncertainty and fear in one another. And fear leads to aggression. To survive as a species, we must develop and mentality of unity, of similarities and commonalities, of oneness. We are all children of God…Period.
Let’s remove all language and attitudes that separate and divide us. Let us think and speak as one and the same. I am human. You are human. The packaging may be different but inherently we all identical. When asked what race I belong to, I respond with, “The HUMAN race.” You see, it truly is the only one. Everything else is a myth.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+


Keeping our disagreements from becoming full-blown fights can be challenging. Many times, we’re so passionate about our beliefs or what we want to do that any form of opposition causes us to become frustrated and angry. We may prefer that others simply agree with our position or if they don’t to remain silent. We may be willing to hear their point of view at times but are not necessarily anxious to discuss it further. Lacking the proper skills necessary to communicate effectively leaves one feeling at a disadvantage and somewhat vulnerable. We fight to get our point across, to prove our position right, to convince the other party to ultimately agree with us or at the very least to get them to back down from theirs.

The following five techniques found in the L~A~V~S~S Method can dramatically reduce the risk of escalating a disagreement into a heated argument. They are:

Listen: Begin by first being willing to listen to what the other person has to say. By doing so, it shows that their feelings or position are important to you. This eases their concerns that they will not be given ample time to express their position and puts them at ease knowing that you are a trustworthy person who cares about them and is willing to put them first. Listen with the intent to understand; not for the purpose of responding. This is a critical mistake many of us make.

Ask Questions: Ask for more information. “Why is this important to you? How long have you felt this way?” “Can you give me more details?” Questions enable the inquirer to gain further insight into the other person’s position. It also signifies that they are important to you and that the issues at hand matter as well. Answers to those questions provide valuable insights into the nature of the other person as well as the subject matter. Knowledge is power when used productively and in this regard gives you greater ability to ultimately resolve your differences.

Validate: Rather than criticize or belittle the other person for their feelings it’s critical to simply acknowledge that you recognize how important this is to them. Too often, we are prepared for the other side to try to prove that we’re wrong, or that our way of thinking is flawed. To do so only devalues the person, diminishes their feelings, and exacerbates the situation. And in doing so, they feel disrespected and will defend their position even more or discontinue the discussion. During this stage of the process, it’s important not to give advice. Simply acknowledge what the other person is saying.

Share Your Side: Once you have thoroughly listened to what they had to say, thoughtfully share your position as well. Be succinct and clear, always being respectful and sensitive in your comments. Be truthful while taking into consideration that your objective is not to prove your position more valid than theirs but rather that they may have a better understanding of what truly matters to you as well. Avoid criticizing, downplaying or comparing your position to theirs.

Seek a Solution: Once both sides have carefully shared their thoughts and feelings, the final step is to determine how they are going to proceed: is it possible to find a viable solution? Is in the best interest of both parties to let the issue go (if it’s not one of great importance)? Can they continue in the relationship or do they need to respectfully go their separate ways? Whatever the decision is, keep in mind that it is considered to be the best decision at the time and may possibly be revisited at some point in the future.

Regardless of the topic, nature of your relationship with the opposing party, or your personal feelings, any disagreement can be rationally discussed and resolved to a reasonable degree. Keep in mind that there will not always be a unanimous meeting of the minds but there can always be a respectful discussion. Remember, too, that their feelings and position are as valid to them as yours are to you. Your role is not to persuade or change the other person but to listen with the intent to understand. In doing go, your responses will be more thoughtful and kind and that will garner their respect. And with respect, there is little chance for a nasty fight to ensue. L~A~V~S~S: Listen, Ask Questions, Validate, Share Your Side, and Seek a Solution. That’s pretty simple, isn’t it? (Say yes. Thank you!)

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+


I’ve been teaching anger management and conflict resolution for nearly a quarter of a century. What makes me so successful in my work is that I do not lecture on any subject matter that I haven’t personally experienced and mastered. In that regard, people find me authentic and know that if I’ve succeeded at healing my anger and being at peace with my surroundings, they can achieve the same or more. For the most part, I’m a pretty easygoing and relatively calm person. For certain, I’m never rude or disrespectful even when I am upset. When I do get angry, I carefully choose my words so as not to offend or hurt anyone. Well, until this past weekend that is.

Brief synop: I have a family member who has had a serious issue with me for many years. Try as I have to resolve things with her, I’ve been unsuccessful. For the sake of my own inner peace, I no longer have contact with her. However, due to a change of family circumstances, that has recently changed as well. As a mutually close family member approaches the final stages of her life, we have been brought together to make some end of life decisions for her. Needless to say, this is a stressful and unpleasant situation for both of us but one that must be what it is.
At one point, I needed to address a very sensitive issue of the disappearance of personal items that belonged to that particular family member. These items were to be given to specific family members upon the death of our loved one. This person was the only one who had access to them. I respectfully stated that I was aware that they were missing and requested that they be promptly returned until the appropriate time to distribute them. I knew that in doing so, I was putting myself at risk for her wrath, as she has great animosity towards me. My instincts were correct as she came after me with a vengeance. Spewing hateful comments, she resorted to calling me names. I immediately drew on my arsenal of conflict resolution strategies to diffuse a volatile situation. “You misinterpreted what I said.” But she cut me off with more accusations. Suddenly she came towards me in an aggressive manner. I immediately backed away. She became even more hostile. Sensing that I could be in physical danger, I quickly exited the premises. “I have nothing to say to you. Leave me alone.” I repeated this over and over but to no avail. Her insults were relentless. Within less than two minutes, I had reached my breaking point, turned to her, and release some hurtful comments of my own. Immediately, I felt shame and regret for what I had done but proceeded to my car in order to protect myself and leave.

A short time later, I discussed this incident with a few family members who were all too aware of the volatile behavior of the other party. All offered their support and reassured me that I was perfectly justified in the way I handled myself. One even stated he was proud of me for finally standing up to her. I felt no satisfaction nor pleasure in the manner in which I handled myself. In fact, I felt nothing but shame and remorse. As a Christian and as one who is proficient in anger management and conflict resolution, I was deeply disappointed in my performance. My daughter reassured me that sometimes anger management simply doesn’t work.

Why is that? What were the critical mistakes I made that caused me to be ineffective in this situation?

Where did I go wrong?
1. I knew going in that I was taking a risk. This was a sensitive issue that had the potential to incite her. Knowing that she has nothing but contempt for me and a volatile temper, I was sorely prepared for the rage she was about to impose on me. I should have more seriously contemplated her anticipated reaction, my response, and how I was going to handle the situation. Having a plan provides a sense of authority, confidence, and personal power.
2. Knowing full well that any discussion of this issue would most likely not be well received, it would have behooved me to have a neutral third party present before engaging in a dialog with her. I failed to even consider this from the get go.
3. I allowed her hate filled comments to get to me. I failed to remain centered, paying careful attention to my inner dialogue which ultimately controlled my feelings. I gave away my personal power which left me feeling vulnerable. This ultimately enabled her to push my buttons and trigger an angry, out of control response from me.

What I did that worked.
1. Initially when the attacks began, I refused to engage with her. I clearly stated that she had misinterpreted what I had said in an attempt to clear that matter up. When she was unreceptive and escalated her assaults, I repeated diffusing statements in an attempt to calm her down as well as enable me to keep my cool. “I have nothing to say. Leave me alone.” I repeatedly stated these with confidence as I continued to make yet another smart choice.
2. Realizing that any chance for a productive discussion was futile and that I was in a potentially dangerous situation, I quickly removed myself from her presence. Even as she aggressively followed me in a very intimidating and threatening manner, I refused to make eye contact with her but rather kept my focus on my vehicle, which was my source of escape.

Where do I go from here?
1. When one mishandles a situation such as I did, it’s important to review the events as soon as possible thereafter. Be completely truthful about your role in the failure of the process.
2. Identify more effective ways to handle things next time. Write them down, post, and review often.
3. Extend an apology to anyone you have offended, even those who mistreated you. You are not responsible for their behavior but you are responsible for your own. Their disrespect of you does not justify yours towards them.
4. Forgive yourself for your indiscretions. Everyone makes mistakes. Learn from them and vow to do better next time.

I’ve been practicing what I teach for as long as I’ve been teaching it and it does work. But every once in awhile, even an expert like me makes a critical mistake. It’s hard for me to forgive myself for ever hurting another human being but I am trying. I do know that next time, I will more closely follow my own advice and am confident I’ll see much better results.

Peter 3:9 “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+