come back home

November 17, 2015

When we blame an entire religion, or its people, for something terrifying, it makes it easier. It makes it all feel far away, over there, by Them. Those People. The Evil Ones. This is born of fear and insecurity and those are natural things to feel, but we have to work through them and come back home. And if we claim to be Christians, home is where we keep the fatherless and the widow. Home is where we pick up the man who is opposite of us but still us, on the side of the road, bleeding.


(Syria photo credit – Amnesty International)

Do you see how we are all connected? We once were anyway and I can’t remember it and neither can you and most of us are fine with that.

Terrorism, war, carnage…results of isolation and separation and disconnection and fear.

We all did that. Not just politicians or religious fanatics, both Muslim and Christian. We all did that. Most of us choose isolation over connection, every single day. So here we are. Blame us.

I saw pictures of Syria on Facebook. I felt sick. And that thought came back again, that no one wants to run from home unless they are being chased, devoured, demolished, raped, beaten, killed. And if it is not our responsibility to take them in, what do we say to defend ourselves to our God?

I was scared!

So were they.

This is my land!

That was theirs.

They are wrong!

You are wrong.

They are going to take over and persecute us and kill us and there is no money and there is no room and we already don’t have enough and I’m not being unloving I’m just being rational and taxes and I’m tired of people living off me!

Faith or Fear. You choose.

Faith means we explore answers before we shut down. Fear means we shut down before we explore answers. We are better than fear. We are better than shutting down. We are better than this. We have all kinds of creative thinkers, brilliant minds, planners and do-gooders and seekers and game-changers. Let them speak.



(Syria photo credit – BBC world news)


(Syria photo credit – Yahoo news


Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare via emailSubmit to StumbleUpon

{ 1 comment }

the buzz of guilt

November 12, 2015


The other day she barged into the bathroom while I was finishing my shower.


What, Elsie?

I have to go the bathroom.

Go for it.

Then I turned off the water and reached for my towel, stayed in the shower more to avoid the chill in the air than to avoid the usual, Your tummy is funny and, I can see your butt!

From her throne, she suddenly blurted, “I love you, Mommy.” So I told her I love her too, of course. And then I added, “You’re my best girl.” And she said, “You’re my best mommy.”

There has always been this sneaking suspicion (or often it’s a very clear, not sneaky, thought) I have that I’m not the best mommy at all, not even close. From my first pregnancy through today, I’ve battled over ten years of self-doubt and guilt. Sometimes it is LOUD and sometimes it’s quiet–a hunch, a subconscious rattling around, butterflies in my funny tummy.

I’m too much of a realist for being such a dreamer. I know that I’m going to fail in some ways, and have. I know that I am going to make magic as a mother in other ways, and have. Sometimes I forget that it will all mix up to be okay. Even when it isn’t.

The last couple of years have taken me deeper into self-discovery than I wanted to go. I have always struggled with guilt, even before motherhood. I can find reason for guilt in anything I do or do not do. The most benign of things. I assume the worst motivation behind my actions. It’s really pretty weird. Some of us are this kind of weird. And then when something happens that provokes real guilt for real reasons, you’re pretty much screwed. Stuck. Shut down. Afraid.

THEN, if you are so prone to shaming yourself, you will have this shame party for months and years. I am terribly good at this. (Not bragging.)

In times of great stress, I totally forget all my previously learned lessons, and also drop all my tools for living a life of freedom and peace. Then I have friends that look at me and let me cry and then they say it like it is.

For example, my friends say that guilt is the most self-serving distraction. It interferes with my ability to take things at face value, and also? Who can see outside themselves when so swallowed? I can jump from one thought to the next, guilt in tow, and not SEE anything. I can focus on myself with great intensity if guilt is over-taking me. Guilt is heavy and painful and there is no way to see around it to others if it has taken over. Again.

It doesn’t make much sense to people who are not this kind of weird. But thankfully there are people who say, Me too, and this is what you need to do. Then we laugh hysterically because their suggestion for what to do has me flapping my hands above my head like these guilt and shame thoughts can be swatted away–a shaming swarm of bees. Be gone! It’s hilarious, but it’s also an action that provokes a mental picture that demands the guilt and shame to leave–No, no no no, (flap flap flap) you can’t stay.

I am not a shame hive.

I use the guilt like I think it’s going to be a catalyst to light bulb moments, or a good enough punishment for the failures, real and contrived. I allow it in and listen to the buzzing while it makes all the sweet honey bitter.

If there is worry and fear or something going wrong with my kids or anything, underneath it, there is this subtle (and sometimes LOUD), You did this, or, If you had done better/made a different choice/not been so…this would not be happening.

And then my friend Jean says, “Wow, aren’t we powerful today?”

Oh yeah, I forgot. There isn’t anything at all that revolves entirely around me. The hearts and minds and lives of my children are theirs and I am apparently, after all, not the center of their universe. I am here to be one of their greatest supporters, to bear witness and to step away and then step closer, depending. I am here, but only if I am not over there, with guilt and shame.

Go away bees, this isn’t your hive.

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare via emailSubmit to StumbleUpon

{ 1 comment }

Just Write {196}

October 27, 2015

We were talking about something totally other than the next thought that came to my mind and then out my mouth, the way I do, abruptly “Hey! Did you find out about your chair!?” She was stumped, a little mystified, and then laughing hysterically. I had forgotten to tell her my train of thought, to bring her along with my change of subject… “It must be so exhausting to have your brain!” (She said this with tears streaming down her face, gasps between guffaws.) In my defense, it is important, this chair business. She purchased it weeks ago and it was to arrive to her home and has not appeared. We need to remember to call that place and demand that chair. We haven’t yet, too many other random things have come to mind and taken over. But still, where has the chair gone… Earlier we were in the coffee drive-thru, where we […]

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare via emailSubmit to StumbleUpon
read me →

Just Write {195}

September 29, 2015

They used to think the earth was flat and long, dropping off at some point, past the horizon. If this was the truth, last week I may have tried to walk there, to the edge. I may have just continued to walk. That sounds terribly dramatic, but this is what it’s like to be a person with depression and anxiety. It ebbs and flows with no warning. I wake up some days and just know. Oh no…it’s here, so heavy…I want to start walking…but no, I can’t. That’s too hard. It’s like waking with an itchy sore throat, a full chest and head. A cold. No cure, so common. Arriving out of the blue and staying until it feels like going. This week it is gone. Just like that. Poof. I feel…good. I wish I could explain the sporadic nature of this coming and going, follow its course to the edge and back again, […]

Share on FacebookShare on TwitterPin it on PinterestShare via emailSubmit to StumbleUpon
read me →