Dr. T. James Kimble DCC, LCPC

Child and Family Counseling

1116 Dixie Highway

Radcliff, KY 40160

For More Information Contact: 270-307-0111

“With God’s Help, One Seed of Pain Can Grow A Garden Full of Purpose”

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Goldfish shouldn’t swim in shark tanks just like people concerned about living their lives shouldn’t remain in the company of those dedicated to destroying others’ life desires.

Living with someone who’s determined to devour your life, your dreams and your passion is like leaving your cat in charge of care for your parakeet. The paralysis created by these kinds of relationships kill you long before you’re proverbially eaten alive.

I’ve had to many heartbreaking conversations with survivors of childhood abuse who struggle wrapping their minds around the idea they are not going to be able to maintain adult relationships with the parent that abused them as a child.

Based on degree, severity and longevity of the abuse, there is no easy way to help someone come to terms with the realization that a relationship with their abusive parent is not possible, as it places them in a position of vulnerability like the goldfish. What is possible is for the goldfish to find a new pond — preferably one without sharks.

People fail to realize the significance that environmental factors have upon their lives. Attempts at complete reconciliation with a perpetually abusive parent usually end up like the relationship where the cat is placed in charge of taking care of the parakeet. It ends up being all about the cat’s complete control and power over the parakeet.

I recently read about a lady who moved in search of a fresh start. She found a decent job and being away from her abusive, alcoholic mother provided her the opportunity to embrace the process of healthy self-discovery.

She was making real progress until she saw the aftermath of a tornado that ravaged the town where her mom lived. She decided to visit her mom and that trip led to an agreement to have coffee together once a week.

After just a few weeks, she realized something was off and she wasn’t the same. Her work performance was lacking, she wasn’t sleeping, she was anxious for no reason and she felt she was losing her newfound ability to actually experience her own feelings.

She decided to go to counseling, where she learned about the patterns of adult children of alcoholics. She eventually ended the once-a-week coffee with her mom and opted to write her instead. She was back on track and her sense of wellness returned within a couple of weeks.

Then there’s the heart- wrenching realization that you have allowed yourself to become emotionally involved with someone who is abusive. If you are dating and you recognize the signs of an abusive relationship in the making, run before you become the parakeet who’s life is caged and controlled by the cat.

If you already are married, things become much more complicated relationally.

Before you allow yourself to die a thousand deaths emotionally and possibly find yourself face to face with death, remember: You are a person who deserves to practice self-control as opposed to an object that control is practiced on.

All abusive relationships and environments have one thing in common: They all blatantly disrespect and disregard personal boundaries and space. If you are in a relationship of any kind where you have lost a sense of self, you are in an unhealthy environment and you eventually will become dead to yourself.

Workplace abuse is as common as child or spousal abuse and is reason to re-examine your work relationships. Toxic workplaces are like landfills. People constantly are dumping their junk.

You might be in a toxic workplace if your ideas or intellectual property are used by someone else who receives the recognition and rewards for your idea, if you find yourself being boxed out, or a ceiling, spoken or unspoken, is placed on your vocational growth and development, if the goalpost is constantly being moved and new rules are being made up every day to micro-manage and control your performance.

If you’ve seen these factors, most likely you are in a hostile work environment that eventually will become a shark tank, in which you will be the unfortunate goldfish.

If you take enough poison all at once, most likely you will die instantly, but if you’re exposed to small amounts of poison on a daily basis, then your poisoning becomes a process by which you gradually become lethally toxic. The rule of thumb that’s in play here is this: Toxic relationships poison by proximity, so you really are a byproduct of your environment.

Bad company corrupts good character and abusive relationships will eat you alive quicker than the cat you left to take care of your parakeet.

Dr. T.J. Kimble of Radcliff is a clinical pastoral counselor. He can be reached at tj@yourbestlifenowcounseling.com.

The times in which we live seem to be all about accumulating and consuming, but what if life’s really is a process of phases that require giving away and letting go.

Having been involved in pastoral ministry for 30 years, I have been called to visit patients whose recovery was uncertain. Without exception, I‘ve never spoken with someone facing death who shared how much they regretted the things they’d done. The conversation always gravitates around things left undone.

The conversations always revolve around what they hadn’t given and what they hadn’t let go of. I guess nothing defines our lives as well as contemplating the day of our death.

What have I learned from these conversations?

We live in a consumer-driven culture preoccupied with the consumption of goods and services and the accumulation of material products and wealth. One repeated theme of all these conversations is the idea, “you can’t take it with you.”

I’ve yet to see a U-Haul playing a meaningful part in a funeral procession.

The regret was about not having given more of their time, talents and treasures for the benefit of others. With time no longer on their side, they regretted not being able to go back and give away their life.

The realization: A giving life is really a living life.

The takeaway from these conversations must be that the art of truly living is mastered by those who have embraced the process of giving away their lives for something capable of transcending death and the grave.

The other part of these conversations are like a connect-the-dots picture. When completed properly, it brings abstract concepts into sharp focus.

The idea of giving away tangible things like talents and treasure is one thing, but the process of letting go is often another thing all together. It usually involves less concrete cares that are immaterial in nature like holding a grudge against someone you know you should have let go of a long time ago.

For example, I have dealt with bouts of depression my whole life. I reached a breaking point 15 years ago. I realized while journaling I still had unforgiveness in my life and needed to let go in order to move on.

But who did I need to forgive as I already had worked through an extensive forgiveness process? Turns out it wasn’t a who I needed to forgive but a what. My unforgiveness wasn’t about what happen to me as much as it was about what hadn’t happen to me. Deep down I felt life owed me a dad and hadn’t delivered and I was harboring a very abstract unforgiveness.

I desperately needed to let go so real healing could begin. All the conversations about letting go always revolved around the regret of harboring unhealthy feelings and allowing them, like unnecessary cargo aboard a skiff, to weigh down and eventually sink their emotional vessels.

The takeaway from these conversations is simple, “letting go really is holding on.” And those who constantly take inventory of their emotional cargo, discarding any stowaway feelings of unforgiveness, fear and anger, are most likely to sail on to their finish line without the burdensome regret of not letting go of emotionally soul sinking cargo.

The short end of the long story is life’s a learning process and a series of phases we pass through on our way to more eternal shores.

Moving on to a more meaningful life can be encompassed only by those who refused to become entangled in life’s regrets that only serve to deny them safe passage to the Promise Land.

Those who learn to travel light have fewer regrets in the end and are happier on all the shores they end up sailing. But so many people in these end-of-life conversations realize, too late, their own controlling natures were responsible for stowing away and repressing emotional cargo. It causes them to sink prematurely instead of safely arriving at the shores of no regret.

Who is the captain of your ship and is their control leading you to an end full of regrets or and end full of rewards?

I look forward to seeing you all on the other shore. Smooth sailing.

Dr. T.J. Kimble of Radcliff is a clinical pastoral counselor. He can be reached at tj@yourbestlifenowcounseling.com.

Sometimes, if we’re not careful, attempting to help others result in more harm than good.

If it’s really human to err, we should diligently consider how our actions — no matter how well intended — could be harming those we think we’re helping.

The hubris nature of the human heart can drive decisions that create cascades of uncorrectable consequences, because we convince ourselves we are doing what’s best for everyone involved.

Think about what you would do in this particular situation: A newborn child is living in a barn, without running water, food, lights or adequate clothing. The mother’s a teenager and the father’s currently unemployed. The barn houses many animals and the baby doesn’t even have a blanket to keep warm.

If you were a social worker or with Child Protective Services, would you take this child away from the parents? If you answered yes, congratulations, you just removed Jesus from Joseph and Mary’s care and have just decimated the greatest event and destroyed Christmas.

This reminds me of something I read once, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: Who can know it?”

No human heart possibly can possess the complete knowledge necessary when it comes to something as significant as changing the Christ child’s family. Family is the main idea embodied in the story of Christ’s birth and the foundational building block of all societies past, present and future. It cradles the cornerstone of the human family’s salvation.

There’s this ancient African Proverb, that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Sometimes there’s a place for going fast and alone. God knows I have the temperament to go at it alone, but there also are times we need to go far more than go fast and we cannot go alone.

I believe going together means creating a shared consensus capable of multiplying available knowledge and understanding many times over; thus, increasing a teams ability to not only get farther, but to eliminate assumptions, make correct conclusions and accurately arrive at the destinations with the least amount of collateral damage.

Airlines have flight crews working together, as a team, to fly planes more safely than an individual pilot alone. Would you rather fly on a plane with one pilot or a complete flight crew all working together to ensure you arrive safely. None of the crew members are perfect, but all together they create a better flight experience for everyone aboard the plane.

So why, as a society, would we ever allow one person the power and authority to take any child from their family? Acting alone, how many people would have removed Jesus from Joseph and Mary?

In the royal law, all accusations are supposed to be confirmed by two to three witnesses who can corroborate the actual facts. This same concept is used to simultaneously put thousands of planes in the air and safely land them all over the world. But when it comes to the safety and welfare of our children, we give individuals complete power to change our families’ stories.

I believe complete power completely corrupts and no one person has the ability to decide our family story. There should be teams who work together to make such life-changing decisions. We offer team counseling strategies at our office for this exact reason and it creates a synergy moving counseling experiences in more positive directions that help people actually reach their goals.

But as a society, it seems our minds already are made up, so why confuse you with the facts?

The family, as imperfect as it has become, still is worth saving and the Christmas story is truly about the human family being saved and kept together, not torn apart.

This Christmas what if you stopped long enough to consider the meaning of the incarnation? Perception may drive reality, but those who come to reason together know things are not always what they appear to be. Because in the incarnation, we see the salvation of the whole human family, hiding in a baby, whose parents could only find grave clothes to cover him. Within the most imperfect family circumstances salvation came to all mankind and so may God use his own incarnation story to help you bring salvation to the most imperfect of families — keeping them together instead of tearing them apart.

A visit to the manger transcends all inaccurate perceptions of reality, allowing us to confidently leave Christ where he belongs in the story of Christ’s birth and in our families.

Dr. T.J. Kimble of Radcliff is a clinical pastoral counselor. He can be reached at tj@yourbestlifenowcounseling.com.

There’s something powerful about humility.

Before you reduce the idea of humility to an old, worn-out doormat that everyone wipes their feet on without consequence, consider the possibility there might be more to the mat than meets the eye.

Humility has the power to heal the human heart and soul. The truth is meekness isn’t weakness, it’s power under control. Meekness is the internal power residing within each one of us giving us the ability, to humbly influence another human soul, to become the change we want to see in others and our world.

Authentic humility is one of the most powerful forces in the universe and we mortals are most like our maker when we exercise meekness as a lifestyle.

Most of us would rather not eat healthy portions of humble pie as part of a meekness regiment. But one of the most powerfully healing attributes of humility is the ability to fully embrace when you are wrong. It take authenticity to humbly hug and embrace your wrong and accept responsibility for your actions.

This idea was as foreign to me as speaking Tibetan, but as I began to realize the absolute power of ownership and the powerlessness of blaming others, I decided to learn a new language. It’s about actually becoming a real grown up who uses the power of humility to heal himself and to influence others to grow up and be healed as well.

This thought process makes me think of something I read in a book once, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

When I was first married, I never would tell my wife anything was my fault. In fact, to me, marriage was another competition and I always won all competitions or I just didn’t play at all. Typical all-or-nothing thinking was wrecking any chance of real intimacy and protecting my insecure man-child ego.

Now almost 25 years later, I’m the most non-competitive Texan who’s quick to pat my chest and say, “That’s mine I did that and I take full responsibility for my actions.”

Humility heals relationships faster than anything because the way it works empowers you to grow up. Once you start practicing authentic humility, you begin attracting other grown-ups who are secure in their relationships with themselves and others and you will repel adult children who are insecure in themselves and who have not embraced the healing power of humility.

Genuine humility ends the masquerade and you stop being part of the problem and start becoming part of the solution. As long as you blame, you can’t become because you enslave yourself to the control of others.

Humility doesn’t reduce you to a human doormat. Rather, it raises you to the place where you take back control of yourself and you respectively ask and expect others to take control of themselves as well.

I know, I know. So many people are skeptical that others will take unfair advantage of them if they practice humility and others don’t reciprocate with equal humility in return.

Questions are powerful tools. Humbly framed questions have the power to let all the wind out of the sail of people who are attempting to make you their doormat. Good questions do one of two things with controlling people, they either help them drill down and be honest with themselves or they eventually drive them away as they refuse to humble themselves and take ownership for their part in the problem. If someone leaves angrily after you ask a humbly honest question then realize that a gently framed question has the power to break a bone.

What do any of us actually control? You live in a fantasy world if you think you control others. Humility empowers you to control how you respond to others; so much for meekness being weakness and allowing others to tread over your life.

Meekness is power under control. Before you decide to push around a meek person, you might want to stop and consider how powerful humility’s push back really is.

And don’t be surprised when you step into humility’s power if everyone around you doesn’t line up to celebrate your forward progress. They liked you better as a misinformed doormat, not a humbly empowered soul healer.

Dr. T.J. Kimble of Radcliff is a clinical pastoral counselor. He can be reached at tj@yourbestlifenowcounseling.com.

Why do some people’s lives seem to move in a divinely calculated direction while others just drive around in circles?

I always say, “If your minds made up, don’t let me confuse you with the facts.”

The fact is, intent focus is what allows some to drive in a direction that leads to meaningful destinations.

While unfocused driving is like circular reasoning, you always end up exactly where you started.

Thomas Edison said, “The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary.”

Focus minded people concentrate their energy on one task at a time and when possible tenaciously follow one task to its finish.

Single-minded workers understand the secret of using block time to accomplish significant projects and complete important tasks. You can create five, one-hour blocks or try re­versing it and see how much you accomplish with one, five-hour block.

Either way, your productivity goes up.

Productive people also block out days and dedicate them to a single purpose.

For instance, one day could be designated to returning phone calls, checking emails, scheduling appointments, calendering and blocking the rest of your week. Designating days focuses all efforts on one problem or idea all day long.

Single taskers understand the importance of prioritizing tasks and projects. Beginning with the most important task first and focusing on it until completion.

Using the touch-move rule in chess is a helpful concept. It requires a player to complete a move of any piece on the board they intentionally touch if it is legal to do so. So when it comes to tasks, if you touch it, then complete it. That will intensify your focus and increase your productivity.

Precision requires the removal of all distractions. Directionally driven people understand a three second distraction doubles the likelihood of making mistakes. A four and a half second distraction quadruples the likelihood errors will occur.

By working on one task with no distractions, you eliminate mistakes, are many times more productive and your success rate goes up exponentially.

Intentionally, single-minded individuals are minimalist. They purposely eliminated excesses in favor of focusing on fewer, more important priorities. This approach understands how the human brain is designed to work and capitalizes on the realization less really is more.

Strong single taskers also understand the times of the day when their peak for productivity and meaningful work occurs. In other words, if you are an early bird or morning person, you probably want to place your more difficult and demanding task before noon and reserve your simpler task for the afternoon.

On the other hand, if you are a night owl you likely would benefit from placing a simpler task in the morning blocks and reserve a more difficult task for the afternoon and evening.

Being in touch with your own Edison enables you to focus your very best efforts, for extended periods, in order to finish your work well.

For all you multi-tasking pros out there, who still are not convinced about how focus on one thing at a time is actually how the Edisons of the world were able to get so much done, consider these myths.

Research shows multitasking takes 40 percent more time than focusing on one task at a time and actually more for a comprehensive task.

Studies also debunked the idea that because I’m almost 50 and your only 25 your youth allows you to multi-task better than me. In fact, the results show it didn’t matter if you were 23 and I was a 103, because the human brain at no age or stage of development is capable of multi-tasking.

A 2009 study found those who think their good at it actually are the worst multi-taskers and the more frequently people multi-tasked the worse they become and the more mistakes they made; thus, practice doesn’t always make perfect.

Multi-tasking does not show you are a person who values priorities, but reveals you are actually a person who avoids the top priority.

By busying yourself with lots of tasks, you actually avoid doing the one thing incessantly that would bring the most success.

The facts are in. The myth is busted. The truth is, there is a time for everything under the sun and meaningful work was created to build communities that tirelessly work to rebuild and restore successful societies.

Dr. T.J. Kimble of Radcliff is a clinical pastoral counselor. He can be reached at tj@yourbestlifenowcounseling.com