be-true-to-yourself-300x220To be true to yourself means to act in accordance with who you are and what you believe. If you know and love yourself you will find it effortless to be true to yourself. Just as you cannot love anyone else until you love yourself, you cannot be true to anyone else until you are true to yourself. Be who you are! Have the courage to accept yourself as you really are, not as someone else thinks you should be. Do not take action or pretend to be someone else for the sake of gaining acceptance. When you do things that are not genuine or a reflection of the real you, you will not be happy with yourself and will end up confused. You’ll be confused because you won’t know whom to please, or how. Self-respect comes from being true to who you really are and from acting in accordance with your fundamental nature. When you respect yourself, others will respect you. They will sense that you are strong and capable of standing up for yourself and your beliefs. When you are true to yourself, you allow your individuality and uniqueness to shine through. You respect the opinions of others but do not conform to stereotypes or their expectations of you. To be true to yourself takes courage. It requires you to be introspective, sincere, open-minded and fair. It does not mean that you are inconsiderate or disrespectful of others. It means that you will not let others define you or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself.

“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.” – Raymond Hull

man-worriedWorrying can be helpful when it spurs you to take action and solve a problem. But if you’re preoccupied with “what ifs” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem. Unrelenting doubts and fears can be paralyzing. They can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. But chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective. Constant worrying takes a heavy toll. It keeps you up at night and makes you tense and edgy during the day. You hate feeling like a nervous wreck. So why is it so difficult to stop worrying? For most chronic worriers, the anxious thoughts are fueled by the beliefs—both negative and positive—they hold about worrying. On the negative side, you may believe that your constant worrying is harmful, that it’s going to drive you crazy or affect your physical health. Or you may worry that you’re going to lose all control over your worrying—that it will take over and never stop. On the positive side, you may believe that your worrying helps you avoid bad things, prevents problems, prepares you for the worst, or leads to solutions. Negative beliefs, or worrying about worrying, add to your anxiety and keep worry going. But positive beliefs about worrying can be just as damaging. It’s tough to break the worry habit if you believe that your worrying protects you. In order to stop worry and anxiety for good, you must give up your belief that worrying serves a positive purpose. Once you realize that worrying is the problem, not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind. Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D.,

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” - Tenzin Gyatso, Dalai Lama XIC

Next week is Faith & Freedom Week and the Houston Graduate School of Theology along with Willow Meadows Baptist Church as put together some great sessions on educating us on Human Trafficking.  Please take time to visit one or all of these sessions.

September 15 – 18, 2014

9/15/2014-MONDAY (6:30-8:00 PM)

Representatives from Arrow Child & Family Ministries and Freedom Place will discuss their work rescuing victims of human trafficking in the USA and Abroad and how churches can be involved.

9/16/2014-TUESDAY (6:30-8:00 PM)

Human Trafficking 101 Class will be presented by Misa Nguyen, Deputy Director of United Against Human Trafficking.

9/17/2014-WEDNESDAY (6:30-8:00 PM)

Founder of Peace Gospel Int’l and She Has Hope, Kirby Trapolino, will describe the work of these ministries which rescues and rehabilitates human trafficking survivors with the goal of restoring them to a life full of hope.

9/18/2014-THURSDAY (12:30PM-3:00PM)

Houston Graduate School of Theology is hosting an academic colloquium on the topic of human trafficking entitled “The God Who Sees: A Theological Response to Human Trafficking”.

Willow Meadows Baptist Church
Fellowship Hall
4300 West Bellfort Street
Houston, TX  77035

For more information, please contact Dr. Chuch Pitts ( or Ms. Jannell Ray (
Phone: 713.942.9505

26594It is your duty to search for truth. It is everyone’s responsibility to seek what is right and just. Being mature enough to admit that you are wrong lend dignity to you. It also insures that you will remain open-minded about life.

1. Notice that you are upset when someone else doesn’t agree that you are right. This is the first step in the process. It is a simple awareness that you are in reaction.

2. Pause and allow yourself to see how crazy it is to be upset about who’s right. This is a simple task that requires that you give your ego a small time out. It is goofy to be that upset about whether people agree with you or not.

3. Don’t be angry that you are in reaction, but chalk it up to an opportunity to gain insight about yourself. Actually change the meaning of your reaction from something that is off base to an opportunity.

4. Forgive the other person for not having your “wonderful” insight. Hey, they have the freedom to believe what they want, just like you do.

5. Examine if you are possibly wrong. If by any remote possibility you believe that you are in reaction and wrong about it, please admit it.

6. Don’t expect them to love you just because you admitted you were wrong. Just admit it and see what happens.

That will help you get more real, more humble and will help your relationships deepen. There is great dignity in being able to admit when you are wrong. It is wonderful to be around that kind of person. By Louis Tartaglia, M.D.

“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.” - John C. Maxwell

Once again, continuing the theme of “300: Rise of an Empire” I found a third subtheme in this movie.  Although not really impressed with the movie as a whole and how Hollywood has distorted history and also added a completely fabricated and unnecessary sexual scene to this movie, I thought it had some deeper recovery-related gems.  For those that don’t know much about this movie (and I don’t expect those early in their recovery to watch the entire movie) here is a summary from Wikipedia:

Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield-on the sea-as Greek general Themistocles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. This film pits Themistocles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.

Nevertheless, in watching this movie, I did pick up on  the recovery-related themes.  Maybe it was me trying to find some sort of redemptive quality in a poorly made movie, or maybe it was the Holy Spirit saying to me, “use this material, men will ‘listen’ when you speak to them through these films.”  I don’t know which one it was, but I’m hoping it was the latter.  The third subtheme I saw in this movie is that of a violent and vicious female naval commander, Artemisia, who shows no mercy and destroys her enemies.  What we see in 300: Rise of an Empire, is a discussion that takes place between Themistocles and his generals discussing Artemisia and her childhood.  Here we see a child who was severely traumatized, through no fault of her own, and who grows up to be, to put it bluntly, a psychopathic killer.  This movie does a good job establishing the connection between childhood trauma and the acting out of that trauma in adulthood.  There are many in recovery who experienced a tremendous amount of childhood trauma, even to the extent of what is shown in the film, who have medicated the trauma by acting out in a variety of ways. Understanding this childhood trauma and how it affects those around us is important because we begin to feel empathy for the individual and not hold on to our resentments against them.  Trauma does not excuse the acting out, it only allows us to understand why the individual is choosing to act out in a very destructive ways; ways that show a need for safety and self-preservation.  I hope you enjoy watching this film as much as I enjoyed making it.  It’s amazing how many recovery themes one can find in the average Hollywood movie.  I encourage you to look deeper in to the media you watch and see what the Holy Spirit is telling you about that media.

Disclaimer: Although tempted to watch the original movie from where this clip was taken, a person new to recovery should consult their therapist, sponsor, and/or accountability partner on whether to watch this film.  It has a sex scene with some partial nudity that could sexually trigger the individual. Also, the excessive violence (some of which I removed from this clip) can be harmful to your recovery if you are like I was early on; prone to medicate the viewing of violence and associated guilt.
As always, take what you like and leave the rest.
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franchise-mistakesAdmitting you are wrong is associated with resourcefulness. Low self-esteem makes a person less resourceful and prone to being addicted to being right. A person who is able to admit being wrong is more resourceful because he believes he has the right to develop new capabilities. Admitting you’re wrong breeds an environment of tolerance. I’ve been wrong enough to know that you and others are capable of making mistakes too. We all do. Admitting to being wrong creates an environment of tolerance, not just personal tolerance, but tolerance of others. Admitting you’re wrong creates open-mindedness. By that I mean a more willing environment for your opinions to be reviewed. This is extremely important if you are in search of the truth. Open-mindedness is an essential ingredient to discovering the truth. Admitting you’re wrong will help point out where you sound stupid. This may not be a high priority on the list of things sought for by someone who is addicted to being right, but as one becomes more mature it is important to know where you sound like a fool and how to correct it. Addicted to being right sounds fairly lame to people who are interested in truth and high ideals so you may as well figure out early on in life where you sound stupid. Why wait to correct that? Lastly it is important to admit you’re wrong and then listen. Learning to listen after admitting you are wrong is a powerful way to get a fine education. You will learn much more by listening to others that by talking.

“We all mess up. It’s what we learn from our mistakes that matters.” - Lauren Myracle

Posted on September 9, 2013 by

I have often said that a person cannot be a successful sex addict without being a world-class liar. This is not a character attack but simply an observation based on many years of working with sex addicts and partners.

Why do sex addicts lie? Lying often begins as a way of escaping an abusive parent, a demanding coach, or an exacting teacher. But carried into adulthood, lying may take on a life of its own.

Sex addicts lie to cover their acting out behavior. It is also true that sex addicts may lie about things that do not have anything to do with their addiction. They may lie about things that truly do not matter. Lying has become so ingrained that their default position is to lie in order to present themselves in a better light.

Recovery from any addiction includes having a renewed commitment to live in the truth, tell the truth, and accept nothing short of complete honesty from themselves. A colleague whose partner is an addict recently told me that to her, rigorous honesty is the Holy Grail of recovery.

I hope that if you are in recovery that telling and living in the truth has become a new way of living.