If this year has taught me anything, it is that there is a lot of stuff I cannot change. That realization has brought on frequent feelings of powerlessness, helplessness and frustration. It has also sometimes brought about anger, sadness and a downright desire to just throw my hands up in the air and say, “forget it all!” 2020: The Year of Uncertainty For most of us, this year has brought with it an onslaught of new stressors that could be enough to take the most positive, happy, successful, highly functioning person and...

If summer is your favorite time of year and you dread the upcoming winter – you may want to stop reading here -- or you might want to read on for hope.  Slowly, gradually, the sunny days of summer (despite the COVID-19 pandemic) are fading into the vicissitudes of autumn. Gradually, the shades of lime green, forest green, spring green and emerald green, fern and shamrock green in the canopy of leaves above are transforming.  The leaves look increasingly yellow and golden in the sunlight, with splotches of red and orange. ...

The cool breeze in the mornings lets us know that autumn is around the corner. I have not always been ready for this newness because I love the summer months and do not want to say goodbye to the warmth of the sun, the flowers, butterflies, lightning bugs, BBQs, late evenings and beach trips. There of course is nothing I can do to prevent the inevitable seasonal change. During the summer I embrace all I can as I know autumn is coming! I tackle projects, make the most of the...

Around the age of 12, I lifted my hands from the handlebars of my bike for the first time and rode down the street behind my friends who also rode with “no hands”.  It was quite the accomplishment at that time. We rode everywhere on our bikes -- to friends’ houses, the pond, the pool, the creek, to our forts in the woods, to the convenience store on the corner. Bike riding was no big deal. We had been riding bikes for years, but during the summer of 1987, as...

Stories tell us something about ourselves, others, and our experiences. Our therapists have the pleasure to sit with all kinds of people at different stages of their life and hear their stories. One approach CHRIS 180 clinicians often take with clients is to listen to the stories you share about yourself, others, and your experiences. Dan McAdams, a professor of psychology and human development, asserts that “people living in modern societies provide their lives with unity and purpose by constructing internalized and evolving narratives of the self.” Simply put, we are...

Joy. Such a small word.  A word that seems out of place in a world rocked by death, destruction, violence and oppression.  An experience that seems so far away as we are struggling to survive, or fight racism, or cure and prevent disease, or heal ourselves and others, or all the above.  And we are tired. Our struggle takes energy, and our fuel tanks may feel near empty.  Yet somehow, we endure – and we must endure for the long haul.  Change does not happen quickly enough. Where do we get the strength...

The world is completely chaotic right now. Everyday something changes. Abnormal is the new normal and for many of us the uncertainty of it all is making it hard to be optimistic. Yes, even those of us irritatingly happy people have found it hard to remain hopeful at times. I have decided that that’s okay. We all  deserve to have our moment to reflect and feel everything that’s going on. So let’s say you have done that. You have felt the sadness; you’ve given yourself time to grieve and now...

Who would have thought the brutal murders of several black men and women would, after so many years, bring out millions of people to rally for the value of all human life -- especially black lives --and to protest police violence and injustice??  Who would have thought that a virus, invisible to the naked eye, could cause a massive global disruption – taking tens of thousands of lives, throwing people into poverty and homelessness, and wreaking economic destruction? Can good come from all this violence, death and destruction?  How can we...

I am new to the CHRIS 180 family, having worked for some time at the now closed Care and Counseling Center of Georgia, I now work at the CHRIS Counseling Center – DeKalb. The counseling center has been in my life since I came to Atlanta for seminary and hospital chaplaincy training at Grady Memorial Hospital. As a clergy person, I spend time leading worship services and funerals. Believing strongly that what we do is deeply spiritual, which is always better done than spoken, it is my privilege to share our...