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Michael Zick, CLC

Things change when we change.

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

Mother’s Day 2021

I sat across from her at her favorite cafe with her back to the muted sun. We’d just returned from the shooting range, where we fired round after round of 9mm and .45 caliber ammo at various paper targets. I was a good shot with the 9, but the .45 had too much kick.

An Israeli woman with a military background and a “Don’t fuck with me” attitude, my mother is anything but average. …


It’s simple but not easy.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Over the centuries, humans have been obsessed with what makes people attractive, from makeup to body physique to cars, clothes, and money.

Of course, all of these play a factor, but I’ve discovered a deeper form of attractiveness that’s more about behavior, attitude, and emotional maturity. It’s the antidote to the unattractive characteristic known as codependency.

Codependency is the reliance on someone else — usually without their knowledge or consent — to meet certain needs. Typically these needs should have been supplied by the parents in early childhood, but they were not.

People who grow…


Here are some ways to adjust that.

Photo by Matthew Kwong on Unsplash

You are not that nice.

Did that produce an uncomfortable feeling?

What if you really aren’t, and in fact, you’re a real asshole? Do you feel self-righteous anger in an argument? Do you stonewall the people you care about when you don’t get your way?

How about doing “nice” things for people but with a price tag attached, expecting something done in return? Do you throw temper tantrums or let your unruly inner child run the show?

We don’t like to think of ourselves as bad people, so for many of us, our life strategy is directed at…


It’s how you do everything.

Photo by Travis Essinger on Unsplash

At seven years old I moved from upstate New York to Phoenix, Arizona with my mother. My dad was supposed to join us after he found a job, but it never happened. Three years later they officially divorced.

The marriage was chaotic and my childhood unpredictable, so I grew up like anyone in that environment — wired for anxiety and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

My mom bounced from…


What a timely read for me Felicia. As a solopreneur/business owner my value is often in question. My goal before revealing my fee is to make it evident that I'm worth it.


I’m finally taking off my wings.

Photo by Luigi Boccardo on Unsplash

I’m taking off my angel wings.

I’m setting them down, and I’m sitting by the fire.

I don’t think it’s a mistake that we link love with fire because both can destroy, provide, advance species into vast and complex civilizations, and burn it all to the ground.

Love is like that.

I don’t want the helpless, relenting love. I don’t want to give myself up or to admit that you have me. To give my self up is to give in.

No. I will not do that. Not for you, or for anyone.

I will not give you control, yet…


Why I don’t go to the hardware store for milk.

Photo by Avi Werde on Unsplash

I always wanted a different mom. What I mean is that I needed her to be someone else. I needed her to take care of me instead of the other way around.

She is who she is.

I stopped looking for women to fill that role — fantasizing that after the honeymoon stage I could put her in a glass case, where she’d be frozen in some angelic state of safety and purity.

I needed my partner to be different as well.

I stopped trying to change my dad, and I’ll never have the type of relationship with him that…


Don’t let your failures go to waste.

Photo by Rex Pickar on Unsplash

Something powerful has been lurking just below consciousness for a while.

It started with a phrase my long-time sponsor would say when I told him about my troubles: “Well that’s interesting.”

Of course, when I was really going through it I thought, “WTF do you mean, interesting!?”

I didn’t realize until much, much later that there was real wisdom in those words.

See, when we go through life, trying our hardest not to make mistakes but making them anyway, we listen to our inner critic, try to please our parents/spouse/boss/whoever, and assign meaning to our failures.

We think we’re worthless…

Michael Zick, CLC

Writer, surfer, certified life & relationship coach. I host free Meetup events on relationships at bit.ly/rel-qa or sign up for my newsletter: bit.ly/mz-sign-up

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