I see people on a day-to-day basis who pay such a high price throughout their whole lifetime to hang on to what they believe to be “a part of themselves” or “a part of who they really are.” It’s almost to the point of a knockdown, drag-out fight between them and others unaware of where these thoughts or actions really come from, or unaware that they even exist somewhere inside of them. Many times people are only dealing with a perception of reality; a commonly accepted practice from their family of origin, an old faulty or dysfunctional belief, or a somewhat powerful message that each of them received as child, usually before the age of 7-9 years old.

These dysfunctional beliefs, sometimes called vows, plagues every area of their life, from their dating relationships, throughout their marriage(s), with their own children and families, and even to their own success or failure at their workplaces. The personal skills and abilities to yield to truth, stand for what is right and just, make wise decisions, communicate well with others, have a balanced inner peace, control themselves and not others, be internally motivated, and to know who they are and what they stand for in a balanced and healthy life is hard for many to personally achieve. It never really works to live through other people or our children.

Not having what you want out of life, being in a place that you don’t recognize, discord with others, strained relationships, trauma, confusion, yelling, screaming, uneasiness, feeling unsafe in your own skin, and nervousness are all signs that help is needed. The real trick is to pull apart these old dysfunctional belief systems; pulling them out of the mothballs of the past and revisiting them in the present with any degree of security or success. This is a task rarely completed by ourselves. The truthful assistance from a skilled and well-trained Life Skills Professional is hugely helpful, especially when dealing with more than ourselves.

We usually don’t have the insights or knowledge to step back and see truth for truth’s sake. If we could do that by ourselves, we would have done so a long time ago. No one wants to go through his or her life unhappy and unsuccessful. LIFE IS SO SHORT, AND LIFE IS SO VALUABLE. We all need to find someone to help us; someone who can see beyond our wounds, where we are at this moment in our lives, knows reality, and can share honest truths without hesitation. It is a task that requires great care, determination, a kind yet strong ear, tough skin but a tender heart; a person who tells the truth and shares the knowledge and insight that comes from long years of study, personal healing, and truly living life.

Through the Life Skills “Learning to Live, Learning to Love” program developed by Dr. Paul Hegstrom, and the STEPPING STONES clinics at the LSI Headquarters, many of these needs are met for many people. If you haven’t personally created successful and happy relationships for yourself, you are doing something wrong and need help to get back on track. LIFE IS VERY SHORT, AND THERE ARE NO REDO’S.

It is easy to blame someone else, but much more difficult to take responsibility for our own choices. It is possible, however, with help from the Life Skills programs. Get help today for a lifetime of results. If you choose to get truth, be honest, accept help, and take personal responsibility for yourself by doing your own work, a lifetime of success is very possible.


Dr. Deb

Debra Y. Buss, Ph.D, M.S.W.

Dr. Debra Buss has earned a Ph.D. in Pastoral Marriage and Family Therapy from Evangelical Seminary, a Masters of Social Work form the University of Illinois, a Bachelor of Arts, Psychology from Quincy University and is a member of AACC (American Association of Christian Counselors)

Dr. Debra Buss specializes in intensive, clinical, fast-track counseling. Since 1985, Debra has been trained, mentored, and supervised by the Founder and President of Life Skills International, Dr. Paul Hegstrom

Living Water Christian Counseling is an affiliate of Life Skills international and offers the program Family Life Skills on a regular basis. For information call 954-452-4407.