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TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Keep Moving Forward – Revisited

Whatever we’re facing right now, we’re duped by remaining in the immediate past. We’re best to leave the matter or resolve to do something, and then move on, until it comes time perhaps to do the thing we decided to do.

This above is the clinical way of the fully developed adult from the emotionally-intelligent viewpoint. There is no good stewing about things.

There are two good and healthy options open to us in our resolving of concerning matters.

1. Just Move On

By far and away most of the things that happen ‘to’ us in life can be passed over and effectively ignored. Whether people set out to offend us or we simply take offence is often irrelevant, especially from the longer term perspective.

There is little to be gained and far more to be lost in chasing the wind of conflict. There is a difference between feeling better and keeping others to account.

Challenging people will rarely help us feel better about things, and depending on how we handle our conflicts we can easily make things worse for ourselves.

Just moving on and focussing forward and not on the transgression or hurt is not a denial—it’s often an elevated choice to look on better things.

2. Resolving to Do Something – When the Matter’s Too Important to Leave ‘As Is’

So, perhaps we came across the sort of problem that just had to be met front-on. After all, many of us have responsibilities that command our attention to things where we cannot leave well enough alone.

The problem we have is when we continue to roll the matters around in our minds. Our minds sometimes take a little information, embellishing it too many times, and we’ll often take matters in the wrong direction, having ‘talked ourselves’ into a quandary.

And there are many wrong directions we can take; especially as we stew over things. Finally, we can resolve to fix a problem—a problem our own minds created—that’s not even there.

We consider the facts of the issue and then we decide, as clinically as we can. Then we might simply review the decision right before we have to enact it. Otherwise we don’t fret.

Just Keep Moving Forward

The immensity of the wisdom in this cannot ever be overestimated. The most majestic power of God it is to keep moving forward, not being stuck in the moments of our hurts, disappointments and discouragements.

Smiling our troubles away in not continually looking over our shoulders does take some discipline of self-control, but the benefits are very much worth it.

Keep moving forward.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

I wrote this article titled Keep Moving Forward in 2007 and this is why this article is titled as a ‘revisit’ of the topic.

Ode to the Woman – And a Message to Men

The acid’s on the man. Men stand up. All over the world we’re called to grow up and meet life honestly and fearlessly.

This is not an article flattering women. I don’t apologise for being more aligned with femininity, for my best friendships are truly with women—a more emotionally-aligned and attuned lot.

I don’t know about you—man or woman out there reading this—but by far and away I’ve been hurt more by men in this life of mine than by women. (This is not saying women don’t hurt people—some women have so incredibly hurt many people.)

That’s the negative about men, so what about the positive?

This is an important message; a message for all men to rise up and meet with the standard of the majority of women in this life who are safe with their emotions and hence strong in the Lord.

Women’s Needs of Men

Women are so often depending on men for the efficacy of their life outcomes. So many women have been thrashed against the rocks of love due the moral weaknesses of the important men in their lives. Sure, there are women who’ve acted to betray their men, but that’s not my present focus.

This is not about pitting the man against the woman or the other way around. Let’s please not use it that way. It’s about celebrating the potential men have to become real men in the Lord; a continual journey never with a satisfactory destination this side of eternity.

It’s truly about calling men, heavenward, to love more as God loves; the constant calling of our hearts. Men, we truly are the making of the Lord, here, in the strength of our more totalised weakness. Strength, real manly strength, is so fundamentally paradoxical here.

We always find our truest essence in the aberrant weakness that has God stooping down suddenly to pick us up. Raw honesty and the most pleasant and trusted integrity—it is ours for the taking. This is to the art of male competence; no arrogant pride to be seen.

Men’s Special Task

Men, God loves us and has given us a special task to always serve our women; in love, strength, unity and loyalty. (This is not just about marriage or romantic relationships, but it’s about a comprehensive respect for women on the part of men.)

More so, let us love one another in the Lord; men for men, living as true brothers accepting the good grace of the other, even mortgaging same joyfully in advance of that good cheer still coming, even if never arriving.

Perhaps when we’ve given ourselves so selflessly to our women, unto the whole demographic that touches our lives, then we’ll be given the keys to right and established leadership; for then we’ll finally be found worthy—and all this, contingent on our relationship with the Lord our God.

This is both a challenge and an encouragement.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Respecting Another’s ‘Bubble’

Entering precariously the space of another person and their environment always accords a special and cherished respect – they ‘own’ this real estate.

There is hardly a more important lesson in merging with our fellow humanity.

Isn’t it bizarre that we only truly resonate in harmony with this truth when it’s our real estate that’s just been transgressed? Ouch! We’ve all been there.

It’s a beautiful thing that God has given us this place—the body and the space the body takes up—as surety of the respect-able life this side of eternity. But we can’t make the most of this truth with only one side—our side—of the coin considered; there’s always the other side to consider if we’re living a congruent life.

As we venture toward another person, be it physically or in any other way—even to our thought worlds—we daren’t encroach on others’ landscapes; their cherished and peaceable dominions.

Bubbles are a pretty cool metaphor; to the bubbles of speech we use, the bubbles we blow etc. Let’s not forget the bubble of personhood (that exists around them) that stands forever before us as we venture through life.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Life is always better with options; nowhere is this more obvious than in the mix of our relationships.

Giving people options whenever we can is a great benefit for the both of us. Options are a nicety of the sophisticated modern life—the refinement offered as the peace of acceptance in relationship.

Nothing Forced – Nothing Onerous

The benefits are these: firstly, when we back off the pressure on people, giving them more space with which to operate in, so far as decisions are concerned, we give them complete freedom from guilt for whatever they decide—this is particularly pertinent to those we have mature relationships with.

Secondly, when we don’t bear over people, we free ourselves from a lot of unnecessary worrying thought and heartache—concerned about what is clearly out of our hands. We cannot control people, even when we have a supervisory or parental relationship with them. (Sure, they might have to live with the consequences of their decisions—but they’re always theirs and not ours.)

An option-friendly life is a ‘light’ life prepared to love unconditionally, truly, and in the most grace-filled of ways.

After all, love is a light thing, not bearing itself onerously on anything or anyone.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Countering the Dead-Bat Response

Relational Loneliness: a distinct lack of enthusiasm or contact from others is not generally a form of ambivalence-of-love, but more a consistent manifestation of the cycles known to humanity.

Have you noticed the ebb and flow common of certain relationships? For a short time, or perhaps a season, there’s a spark of consistency in the thought—when we’re people of congruence—and then, as quickly as it arrived, it disappears into the ether, as if it never was.

Our memories seem to deceive us and our recognition of the absence of relations with these people comes across as anything from flatly bizarre to roundly concerning. We wonder what we did wrong to deserve the ‘cold shoulder’.

Of course, we did nothing wrong. The relationship is just in a sort of abeyance waiting for the rhythm of life to once again click into place, connecting us more astutely. Then we’re in joy; finally we know all’s okay.

Charting the Ebbs and Flows of Relational Life

Perhaps what we need to do is predict the quiet patches and just simply ride them out.

The easier times relationally will soon return—those times when ‘all’s good’ and our hearts are calm in the midst of our rapport-life.

All things of life ebb and flow; it is understanding this phenomenon and getting on-board with the flow—accepting same—that makes the difference to the quieting of our churning hearts.

Dead bats are not usually about us. They’re more about the other people we’re dealing with and what’s going on in their worlds. For this, we’re sure to pray if we’d wisely swing the focus off us, and what we’re missing out on, and onto them—them who need our thoughts and prayers of intercession.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Curse of Comparison

Being a ‘proud’ also-ran is a vast wisdom. Ambition will be the death of too many of us.

This statement above is couched both positively and negatively. Both work. If there’s one factor protruding past our contentment in life it’s the variant motive of envy, to ‘have what he or she’s having,’ and more!

[Oh, how I’m seeing myself as the target in this article, and am therefore speaking these words over myself, for there are still vestiges of this curse over my life.]

Hunting for ‘Also-Ran’ Status

It goes against the very grain of the world that we might run after mediocrity. But it’s not really mediocrity that being an also-ran is about.

On the contrary, we’re celebrating the very excellences of our contemporaries; those who, like us, may do their works of good faith so well but, even yet, without the due recognition of reaching the very top tier in their chosen field.

Also-rans are not far off the top of the crop. Indeed, some few are blessed to ‘make it’ in their chosen field despite an even rationale; some might call it luck, however well deserved it really is.

But our core issue is the curse of comparison, of envy and strident, hardly-checked ambition, which is something we all understand and contend with. For, it dogs us quietly but often and it leads us to do all manner of harmful things as far as our relationships are concerned, not to mention the anxious self-concern and damaging self-worry we ourselves invest in whenever we don’t live up to our own over-weighted expectations.

And at times we’ll wonder why people are hurt; we certainly will see others’ envious ambition transgressing us. It never feels good on either side of the equation.

Putting Also-Ran Status into Action - as a Goal

Structured in the very character trait of humility, then, we make it our goal to be an also-ran—to fly high with the crowd, bringing the crowd along with us, in praise of their amenities, abilities and achievements.

This, as a habit, is contending for us in ways we couldn’t manufacture even if we tried.

We’re buffeted healthily by the winds of growth-change as we jettison this cargo of envy with the energy of humility, casting it out of the Hercules cargo plane of the psyche with rash abandon.

Willingly taking the path of the also-ran is a great and vast wisdom for it is stayed in the moment and it’s at once content. Nothing can touch it.

If there’s one thing we do to be truly spiritually happy it’s this.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And Two Became One

The work of unity – the journey of two,

no other way so relationally true,

always the way – connecting the dots,

all the glory – our collective lots.

Physically fitted – never prolonged,

passionately made, collective and strong,

intimacy abounding, pleasure’s to cut,

wandering about, never a ‘but’.

Once were two but now not so,

standard trick here, tied with a bow!

One now and forever – issue the sink,

always upon always – never the brink.

So is the hope, a passionate task,

something for two – to try and just bask,

they stand together, marvellous stuff,

never forgetting, never is enough.


There is, of course, a lot of idealism that goes into marriage relationships. Lots of ‘dreams come true’ meeting the hard work of keeping it together.

God’s ideal, now, is set above. Many upon many of us haven’t lived up to this ideal, but that’s okay—based in repentance of same—because grace covers the deal, making up for all myriad of the breaking of the one-flesh bond.

The Idealism of Newly Weds

New married couples are understandably idealistic about the one-flesh arrangement, and this is for very good reason. Many who start out this way stand a great chance of opportunity to remain that way, one day at a time.

Who would we be to shatter this myth? For it’s not really a myth, as many have proved over their lifelong marriages.

No matter our track record, we have fresh opportunities every day to celebrate our one-fleshness, and this in ways only limited to our imaginations.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, July 26, 2010

NEWSFLASH: “Forgiveness to Brighten Our Worlds”

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.”

~Paul Boese.

We draw our power from any number of sources, both good and evil. So, therefore, can we reach a part of acceptance—the outcome of forgiveness—without actually forgiving? I think not.

‘Stuff’ happens to us in life, and it’s generally through people we’re hurt by these things, either via people going against us, via a myriad form of betrayal, or the losses we have related to people and loved ones; therefore we can be ‘betrayed’ by God, i.e. people choose to hold it against God (when really they’re only holding it against themselves).

The maladaptive response is resentment; otherwise a choice to remain in the past, which necessarily constricts the future.

Acceptance is the ‘Word’ of Note

If the only way to throw our futures to the dogs is to choose a salacious resentment as main course then the way to attract a freshened future is via plain acceptance.

This is a process; a journey in and of itself.

We cannot arrive at acceptance overnight—that, for people who care, would be lazy and less than diligent. We’re tempted to envelope resentment because we care so much.

It therefore requires of us the courage-of-persistence to endure the journey.

But we must still find our way to acceptance so we can move on, into a future that is bright and light and full of hope; the future always beckons with the positive unknown (if we’ll only see it).

Forgiveness – the Process

Who can even suggest a process for forgiveness? How do we solve a confounding mystery? Mysteries, here, are God’s specialty, but we can’t afford to leave it there—our lives depend on forgiveness.

If our opportunities of forgiveness are dependent on God we choose God’s way and we run hard after it.

We take in whatever we can to make the differences we need to make. This includes prayer, for telling God what we really want and need is something that will ensure God can and does provide it for us. We’re raw and ‘real’ with God. We also listen to God’s still and silent voice in humility. If we’re confused about this, we invest in our relationship with God—we’ll find out what we can do. Our focus becomes about God.

And God shows us what is important. People are important. Our hurts God heals, but with people we’re also to heal—our relationships must be peaceful as far as it depends on us. And if peace isn’t possible, we accept this is the best we can do. Again, this is a journey. We must have faith when we embark, we will reach our destination.

Acceptance is self love—a crucial thing to move on in our relationship with God.

Acceptance—of our situations, pasts and our very selves—is dazzling brightness for our futures.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

That BLACK DOG Again

Seems there’s a flow to the discussion on depression just now. I have never had clinical depression—which from my recall of psychology study was defined as six months or more of treatment—but I have had two bouts of significant, earth-standing depression, both of which required work in all three areas: pharmacological, counselling and prayer intervention. One of these bouts was brought on by grief and twice during this bout I seriously considered suicide.

Recently, I had the good fortune to engage in conversation with an emotionally-mature woman—one who is transcendently emotionally-intelligent, in fact—who has battled depression and anxiety-related conditions for years.

Let me say before I commence this, that this woman, her husband and their kids are a sheer inspiration-of-courage to me. What might seem a normal family on the outside is one that struggles for its very existence, almost every day!

There are some real intellectual problems we create when we think that all depression can be ‘healed’ i.e. miraculously... and this below cannot be an all-inclusive list; for one, I’m no expert. And, again, this subject is so vast only true scholars would approach it in its entirety.

Unwinding the Past – An Impossible Task

To think that all peoples’ pasts can be miraculously healed is an understatement, and a negation, of the issue of sin in our world—sin beyond our own sin to the broken world we live in and the generational cursing that’s affecting all our lives.

It is utterly simplistic to think that the dysfunctions of the past can right themselves in order that people would be free of their pasts in this way. It is love for our families of origin that makes us feel grossly sad and mortified—and not to mention, ashamed and guilty—at the continuing dysfunctions as they occur, or even in memory of them. It’s love that twists us into knots. It’s because we care!

Some people’s pasts cannot be undone; they only get to a place of acceptance—however powerful God is found in that. Acceptance is a wonderful miracle of healing in itself! Indeed, it’s the most potent because it’s process-driven. With God and our courage, over a length of time, we did it (or we’re doing it—for those who must continue the fight until the bitter end!).

At any point, everyone has baggage. I’m sure it is God’s design (post-the-Fall) that we endure these loads for Jesus, running our race as consistently and faithfully as we can.

God doesn’t expect perfection.

Unwinding our Biology – Dealing with What God Gave Us

God not only gave us these miraculously-wonderful bodies and minds, with hearts to love, but he also allowed us to be afflicted with many things from inabilities and handicaps to weaknesses and impairments. Of course, from the faith perspective, we can credit the Fall for this.

This is something that we have to accept too: that we will all have certain weaknesses to compensate for.


I’ve only singled out two issues here. There are more. The issues related to depression and other mental and emotional illnesses and disorders are vast and complex.

There is no ‘pat’ answer that fits adequately across the board.

Part of any answer is including ‘the mystery of God,’ for there are so many things in this life that we will never understand, but at the same time, we can ‘enjoy’ them together. Is this not one intrinsic function of the Church—to relate these things openly in fellowship with one another?

Here’s to the compassion of Jesus that we read of, especially in Luke’s gospel. Jesus never estranges us in our afflictions. The Holy Spirit contends for us in our travail, continually.

Jesus is not part of an ‘exclusive’ God-head. God is inherently inclusive. God knows our struggles intimately and God feels deeper about these things than we can begin to imagine.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

A Key Question: “So What?”

What turns on the issue right there upon us now? What’s the driver and what are the consequences either way? These are the very pendulums that life swings on.

We waste a lot of time and energy discussing and doing things that don’t matter, and even in the context of those things we can’t readily extract ourselves from, e.g. our bad and extraneous habits, but it’s certainly not limited to these.

Why are we so ensconced in the matters of concern when we often have literally no influence over them?

Some people will put these infernal matters before us, waiting with baited breath on our response. Our very lack of response will disappoint these for they live for the sensational moment, and for brothers and sisters in arms to that very end.

We should want to disappoint them.

Purpose, Vision and Focus

There is best a purpose to things; even if the purpose is finding the purpose.

And yet, there are many who seem set—whether they’ll admit it or not—on dragging us far from the purpose we could be striving to find or indeed living. People who are too lazy or too proud to work for purpose will hate it when others find theirs.

The “So what?” question is a great restorative to the soul, compelling it to go further on beyond the childish chitter-chatter of the nay-sayers feeding over the choice morsels of gossip and innuendo.

Purpose, vision, and finally focus; these stand for all-time as the matters of noble planning and execution—especially when they come about in the midst of vicarious others.

There are few ideal second chances in getting our moments fixed right now.

Focus is balance as purpose is refinement and vision is completion. Every good thing waits in store for those grasping life with purpose, vision and focus.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Influence: Enabling the Good, Disabling the Bad

Why do we always take so much more notice of those overt things that occur in our faces?

This is an important question with an easy answer, and that, provoking more thought.

We always tend to take most notice of those things said or done more directly to us and, indeed, the opposite truth is just as compelling: what we don’t know can’t really hurt us.

Pertaining to my relationships, I used to often say this to myself: “What I don’t know won’t hurt me.”

It’s not a perfect saying, of course, but there is a lot of truth to it; for if we really knew what people flippantly said about us behind our backs, i.e. most often without intention to hurt us, we’d be incredibly hurt—in this context we’re best not knowing and blissful unawareness is not a bad thing. It protects us from the vexatiousness of common humanity.

We Believe a ‘Squeaky Wheel’ or Two

What we know we can’t possibly refute; though we try we can’t erase our memories, especially those marked by negative things. What others reflect back to us often becomes our truth, and not what we actually saw. The bad ‘truth’ clings because we were hurt, and therefore most influenced, by it. It goes on condemning us as our thoughts loop over and through our minds again and again and again.

The squeaky wheel or two have more influence over us than the ten or twelve others who saw the same thing and were otherwise ambivalent, choosing not to say or do anything about it.

Weighing Our Realities Beyond Others’ Influence

We’re always best to weigh this knowledge; that what we see and hear from others is not always the best truth—we’re still far better off to conform ourselves to the actual truth.

Finding ourselves believing others—and especially others we don’t trust or respect—and them having a great deal of influence over us, i.e. them taking command of our thoughts and weighing in on our minds, is a bondage we don’t need.

Having faith suggests we can very easily reconsider, and even reject, what is most obvious—that which is ‘in our face’. We would be best believing, instead, the logical mind, which is the counsel of God, certainly through trusted others.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, July 23, 2010


It’s a truth more compelling than the truth, if that even makes any sense.

This truth is one that compels us to hide the truth—that which will damage our relationships if we’ll allow ourselves the luxury of telling people what we really think.

We’re told, certainly via our faith in the Lord, that we must live clung to the truth lest freedom be ours... why then can’t we expel ‘this’ truth on these people before us right now?

Then enters the thoroughly alluring concept of “perception management,” a position held in the chalice of wisdom, protecting us from ourselves.

In the parade grounds of our relationships, we have the consequences of our ignorance and our arrogance that present at-ease, ready and altogether willing to come to attention; the readiness of acting to the embarrassment of us.

And embarrassment is only the beginning; the real consequences are becoming us for the rest of our history—the vulgar display will never quite be forgotten.

Perception management really is a great concept. It protects us when all’s ‘not good,’ those times when we really cannot say with any semblance of sincerity—“all’s good!”

This most powerful of truths is a truth enshrined in the right fear of the Lord—the most important concept known to life. There is no other ‘first’. This is no overstatement.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Importance of C-O-U-P-L-E and C-H-A-I-R-S

“Because the Crazy Cycle is always ready to spin, you and your spouse need to get on the Energizing Cycle and stay there.”

~Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.

“And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.”

~Ephesians 5:33 (Msg).

There was a marvellous book that my wife and I bought a few years ago; one of those books always worth pulling out every now and again and revising. This particular book is called, Love & Respect.

In it is a discussion about two cycles, one healthy (the “Energizing Cycle”) and the other not-so-healthy (the “Crazy Cycle”).

The Energizing Circle

In the simplest of terms, the guy’s love for his partner motivates her respect as her respect motivates his love.

Both are entirely interdependent on each other to ensure this Energizing Circle breaks the typical Crazy Circle of unrequited relational love and respect, which is so often an unfortunate feature of marital relationships.


This acronym is for the guy to focus on. To love his partner optimally he’s best focussing on: establishing Closeness and intimacy; maintaining Openness through conversation that engenders trust; working on Understanding by not ‘fixing’ her but listening to her; being a Peacemaker by saying sorry quickly and sincerely when he’s wronged her or when he’s otherwise in the wrong; focussing on Loyalty so she knows he’s committed – realising the very real ‘safety and security’ needs of female partners; and, finally, ensuring he Esteems her so she feels honoured and cherished.


This acronym is for the ladies to focus on. To respect her partner optimally she’s best focussing on: understanding his needs of Conquest – the desire to work and achieve; appreciating his Hierarchal thinking – to protect and provide; respecting his Authoritative desire to serve and to lead; relating with his desire to use Insight to analyse and counsel; combining with him, to realise with him, his desire for shoulder-to-shoulder friendship with herself in Relationship; and, finally – and very predictably – appreciating his desire for Sexual intimacy.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Book Referenced: Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, Love & Respect – The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 2004).