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Josh Misner, PhD

Mindful Living in a Distracted World

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Forgiveness & Redemption

Everything I Know About Forgiveness, I Learned From My Dog

Allow me to begin this story by emphatically declaring that I am much more of a cat person than a dog person. I’ve always identified with the following quote from Robert De Niro’s character in Meet the Parents:

You see, Greg, when you yell at a dog, his tail will go between his legs and cover his genitals, his ears will go down. A dog is very easy to break, but cats make you work for their affection. They don’t sell out the way dogs do.

I genuinely admire the way I have to earn a cat’s love and affection. In fact, I have a cat at this moment who did not warm up to me for at least a few years, but once I earned her trust slowly and methodically, I became her best friend (until I rub her belly, and then all bets are off). Continue reading “Everything I Know About Forgiveness, I Learned From My Dog”

The Bookmarks to Our Life Stories

fb_img_1428860458077_900858ba3edad2232d66bc617464e937.today-inline-largeThis week, the online world was introduced to a young man named Carter Gentle, a brave little boy with a congenital heart defect who has undergone multiple open-heart surgeries, and when looking at his chest riddled with scars, Carter cried when seeing them out of the fear of being judged by others as hideous or ugly. Carter’s dad, though, acted nobly by sharing this story online, so that his son could hear from the rest of the world how beautiful he is because of the stories his scars tell us about uncommon strength. In less than 24 hours, Carter had over half a million people reassure him that his scars were not only nothing to be ashamed of, but stories of which he should be proud. As of this writing, that number is in the millions.

As Carter’s story spread, others came forward to share their scar stories, as well as how they came to terms with what those scars represented to them. The sharing of this story has given way to a crucial conversation on the definition of beauty as it relates to personal “flaws,” and more importantly, how we, as a society, allow our culture to define what is flawed. These conversations have been ongoing in my family for the last seven years or so, thanks to one event that could be considered any parent’s nightmare. Continue reading “The Bookmarks to Our Life Stories”

A Powerful Lesson in Doing the Right Thing

Note: I ran across this amazing and powerfully written story of father strength, conviction, and the ability to see past blind rage to do the right thing, and I knew I had to share it here…

ANGRY FATHERS

by Mel Lazarus

“Daddy’s going to be very angry about this,” my mother said. It was August 1938 at a Catskill Mountains boarding house. One hot Friday afternoon, three of us—nine-year-old city boys—got to feeling listless. We’d done all the summer-country stuff, caught all the frogs, picked the blueberries and shivered in enough icy river water. What we needed on this unbearably boring afternoon was some action. Continue reading “A Powerful Lesson in Doing the Right Thing”

The Mighty Fork: More Powerful Than Sword or Pen

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The year was 1986.  Top Gun and Ferris Bueller dominated the silver screen, while Whitney Houston and The Beastie Boys ruled the airwaves.  Walking into my 6th-grade classroom on the first day of school, I was a punk.  Being only my second year in public school after transitioning away from a strange combination of home school and private school, my rebellious spirit had blossomed into full-fledged obnoxiousness.  I had a chip on my shoulder, the last thing a four-and-a-half-foot boy should be packing around, but my mouth overflowed with biting sarcasm.  Not a day went by when I wasn’t in trouble with my father and on the receiving end of a two-by-four swung at my backside like a designated hitter warming up for the Yankees. Continue reading “The Mighty Fork: More Powerful Than Sword or Pen”

Write Your Own Obituary

Deep in thoughtThe topic of death terrifies most of us. Facing our own mortality is neither a pleasant thought, nor is it one that most of us would choose to entertain on a daily basis. Even as I type the word “death,” I am suddenly reminded of the absolute truth that all of us will die, including myself and all of those whom I love — or not.

With this week’s passing of Westboro’s infamous Fred Phelps, I am reminded once again that death comes for us all. It matters not how we live our lives, for death is an immutable event and one of life’s few universal commonalities, though the chosen trajectories of each life may dictate the timing of our day of ultimate atonement. Continue reading “Write Your Own Obituary”

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