None of us deserve a free jerk pass

free jerk pass
I was already struggling with whether to publish this post, before COVID-19. Now I’m even more unsure. It is so heartening to see the amount of good will that is going around, even among people who normally are at each other’s throats. I wish we could bottle this good will and sprinkle it around whenever people start to get caustic again. Because we will – start to get...
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Love is the only way

Love is the only way
If you feel invisible, I see you and I love you. If you are afraid, remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but standing strong against it. You can do it, and I love you. If you are weary, stay strong. You are doing better than you think. And I love you. If you are lonely, here’s a hug and I love you. If you are sad, here’s a tissue and a warm cup of ...
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People crave community: Narrowing the urban/rural divide

We were neighbors before we were enemies
Growing up in the rural West, I can’t tell you how many times I heard jokes about Californians, “city folks,” and “back East,” as though people who lived in Cali or east of the Mississippi River were basically clueless idiots. Then I moved east. Not all the way to the coast, but far enough to learn that people “across the river” were pretty much just like people on the othe...
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Holiday Permissions

If you need someone to give you permission to be joyful this holiday season, in spite of it all, let me be that person.
This may not be the most warm and fuzzy thing to talk about this time of year. But our refusal to talk about it only makes the situation that much more difficult for those who are struggling. We have to name our pain before we can address it. So I’m going to do the unpopular thing and put it all out there. The holidays are really hard for a lot of people. Like, hardest ti...
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Gossip is my weakness

When you stop talking to people, stop talking about them, too.
The tricky thing about gossip is that it’s hard to define. When does genuine caring and concern turn into gossip? What about venting? We all need to get things off our chest, right? Because it is so amorphous, gossip is an easy crime to commit. I know I have. In fact, it’s my biggest vice, or it used to be. I grew up in gossip central. Nobody does gossip lik...
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But love should be easy, right?

When you set boundaries with someone, both people grow.
When I say love isn’t supposed to always be warm and fuzzy, what do I mean? Before I can answer this question, I have to explain what love is not. Love Is Not… Cruel.Abusive.Manipulative.Lying. Love may not always be warm and fuzzy, but it is decidedly none of the above things. But does love hurt? Can our love actually hurt someone? Can someone we love hu...
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Eliminating snobbery from our lives

Rather than seek to be open minded, a better goal is to dig deep to identify our own bias.
One of the personality traits that I struggle to forgive the most is snobbery, in myself as well as others. I used to live with the illusion that I was immune from this particular sin. (This kind of arrogance is the first sign that you need to get real.) Judgement is the universal sin Back when I bought into the “open-mindedness” myth, I believed that I accepted eve...
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The brain’s dashboard

Anger, pain, and fear are like the indicator lights on the dashboard of our brains, warning us that something or someone is a threat.
The check engine light on my dashboard is broken. It comes on randomly, then shuts off again whenever the mood strikes it, rendering it useless. The first time it happened, I rushed my car to the mechanic, only to be told that it’s a wiring issue that will cost $800 to fix. My car runs great otherwise, is not very old, and is paid in full. It’s just not worth the expen...
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Here’s the point

A critical driver of innovation is the capacity to disagree, debate passionately, and explore all sides of an issue without losing respect.
I have tiptoed hesitantly into social media over the years. I have accounts at the big four… Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. I’m most active on Facebook and Instagram. My Pinterest is okay. My Twitter is embarrassing, honestly. I just can’t seem to master brevity. Imagine that. Even on those platforms that I use most frequently I struggle. I know I coul...
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Parenting yourself

Love yourself and love your life, without conditions, just like a good mama would.
When my therapist first introduced the idea of parenting myself, I thought I had that nailed down. Since both my parents had been checked out in one way or another during my childhood, I’d been doing that my entire life anyway. What I came to realize, though, was that the coping skills I’d developed to survive my unconventional childhood were no longer serving me. Sure...
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