by May 15, 2020Easy and Light


We don’t know what to do; but our eyes are on you.

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a cognitive-behavioral treatment developed in the 1980’s to treat people who experience extremely intense, negative emotion. DBT emerged from the philosophical perspective of dialectics: two seemingly opposite perspectives can be held at the same time. A common term used in DBT is “both-and,” as opposed to “either-or”. I learned about this theory in a class and it really helped me. It’s a simple way to reframe our negative thoughts and emotions into a concept that is easier to live with. Reframing to “both-and” helps us live with the tensions that we inevitably will feel in this life. It allows space for the distressing emotions and discovers a way to make space for them instead of ignoring them or letting them take over. One way to do this is to take out the “but” and replace it with “and.”

Here are a few examples:
I really care about my brother AND I feel frustrated when he doesn’t call me back. (Both things are true and accepting it doesn’t mean one thought is better or stronger than the other.)

I’m doing the best I can AND I know I can improve. (Allowing both statements to be true at the same time creates room to both accept where we are and push ourselves to continue to grow and mature.)

The Bible is full of dialectics! The most important one? We are sinners AND Jesus died for us! Both are equally true and hold equal space. We must accept that we are helpless sinners without hope, but we don’t stop with that thought. Equally true is that Jesus conquered death by dying for our sins and giving us the hope of eternity with him. Both-And.

God, everything feels upside down right now. Each day brings new information and new things to worry about and plan for. We’ve endured so much change in such a short time. Even though we don’t know what today will hold, may we take comfort in knowing that none of this surprises You. You know. You see. You understand. You grieve with us and for us. One day all will be made right, but until that day, may we figure out a way to trust You in the middle of the unknown. We love You.

Another example that comes to mind is when Jesus told the adulterous woman, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:11) In one statement Jesus both acknowledges that the woman has sinned AND that he does not condemn her.

This is comforting because life is hard and unpredictable, especially now in a worldwide pandemic. I find myself swinging between all sorts of different and opposite emotions. One day I love being home with my family, the next day I find myself resenting it. And that’s okay. It is possible to feel opposite things at the same time and for both to be true. Allowing ourselves the space to feel AND pushing ourselves to grow is the key. One of my favorite dialectics that Jesus spoke is found in John 16:33 and is a great reminder during these times: “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But (And) take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Bearing With One Another

Bearing With One AnotherBear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 (NIV)Anyone who grew up with siblings knows those relationships can be complicated. I remember growing...

A Supporting Role in a Perfect Plan

A Supporting Role in a Perfect Plan"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)"She picked us!” exclaimed my then 4-year-old son as he leapt and twirled...

No Strings Attached

No Strings AttachedHe called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this...