I’m So Weird!

The Mad Hatter: Have I gone mad?

[Alice checks Hatter’s temperature]

Alice Kingsley: I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.

Last night I was talking with someone and the dumbest thing came out of my mouth. It is as if it did not stop to pass go or collect $200 dollars. It just came out and landed on the ground with a plop. At the moment it plopped on the ground my mind gremlins went into full force. The gremlins screamed “Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!” and “Retreat! Retreat!”

Retreat is exactly what I did. I exited the situation like a vaudeville villain which probably made me look even crazier. I returned back to the group of people I was sharing time with. All the while, the mind gremlins were in full force “I’m so dumb!” and “Why did I say that” and “I’m never going to live this down.” Outwardly, I smiled and carried on like there was not a war happening in my mind. I think I am actually quite good at this.

I’ve come to accept that this is my life. I’m weird. Like, super weird. I say the oddest things sometimes and it’s not until they leave my mouth and hit the air that I realize just how bizarre the words are. I once nicknamed someone kitty litter. This is the type of weirdo we’re talking about. I wonder sometimes if people keep me around just to see what falls out next. I suppose that must be both terrifying and entertaining for the people in my world. It’s really all about balance.

I also talk to myself quite a bit. When I walk my dogs, I’ll catch myself having a conversation, out loud, about something that’s happening in my life. I live in a well populated neighborhood so I can imagine that some people have their opinions. It’s not that I’m intending to have these conversations out loud, it just happens.

When I was first dating my partner, he called me weird and it hurt my feelings and I know he did not intend to be hurtful. Those words don’t bother me anymore. I know I’m weird and I have worked to fully embrace my eccentricities.  Naturally, the mind gremlins aren’t too fond of the weirdness. I mean, I’m human so sometimes it’s hurtful when people call me out on it but not too often.

What gives me the most peace about my weirdness is that I think most people spend a lot of time with their own mind gremlins and aren’t really thinking too much about what I’m saying or doing. They might make the mental observation that I said something weird and then slinked away while looking side to side, thus making them even more confused.

I know that I can’t escape who I am so I will raise my cup off coffee and cheers to the great and powerful Maria Bamford, Amy Sedaris, and Leslie Jones, for it is on their shoulders I stand and embrace my peculiar way of being in the world.

Even if you’re disgusting, and everyone is creeped out by you and thinks you’re gross, you know, keep doing what you love! “- Maria Bamford

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Just Me And My Worried Thoughts.

“After all, what is happiness? Love, they tell me. But love doesn’t bring and never has brought happiness. On the contrary, it’s a constant state of anxiety, a battlefield; it’s sleepless nights, asking ourselves all the time if we’re doing the right thing. Real love is composed of ecstasy and agony.”
Paulo Coelho, The Witch Of Portobello

I tend to be a bit of a tortured soul. I spend a lot of time worrying about things (what could go wrong, how to fix this, what to do about that, what are they thinking, why do I care what they are thinking, and on and on). This is a combination of genetics and environment. It’s also never going to change. I’m never going to be a chill person.

Anxiety exists on a spectrum and we need anxiety to survive. For some people it doesn’t work enough and they end up in dangerous situations time and time again. Or, for others, they’re held up in a bunker lined with aluminum foil.

Then, there are those of us in between.

If the anxiety scale goes from one to ten, I hover around an eight and my partner around a two. We experience the world differently. But, being an eight is not wrong and being a two is not right (or vice versa). There are benefits and challenges to both ways of existing in the world.

If I go off the scale, it’s called a panic attack and I have medication to get me back on the scale. I have no shame when it comes to medication. Panic attacks are hard on the body and hard on relationships. I’m willing to do whatever I need to do to be the happiest and healthiest version of myself.

I’ve had people tell me that taking medication is a weakness. I smile and nod at their ignorance around mental health. To be clear, taking care of your health is never a weakness and it is always a strength.

I’ve learned to accept that I’m an eight (and a lot of us hang out up there). There are benefits to being an eight: I’m sensitive to the needs of others, I’m a natural problem solver, I notice little changes, and I’m attentive. There are challenges: I worry a lot, I can be a perfectionist, I solve problems that aren’t problems in an effort to prevent future problems, I struggle to stay in the moment, and I can be reactive.

In sum, try to love who you are, challenges and all. The goal is not to make anxiety go away, we need it to survive and stay safe. The healthier goal is to understand where you hang out on the scale and get a better understanding of how to best manage this in your life. I will never be a two and that’s what makes me who I am. If I hated myself for this, that would be cruel (and futile). And, if you are a two, please never tell me to calm down or that I’m being irrational. Just because I’m an eight does not mean I’m broken and need to be fixed. That would be akin to me telling you that you don’t care enough or that you’re a robot person.

“Don’t worry if people think you’re crazy. You are crazy. You have that kind of intoxicating insanity that lets other people dream outside of the lines and become who they’re destined to be.”
Jennifer Elisabeth, Born Ready: Unleash Your Inner Dream Girl

Salve For My Wounds.

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice —
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voice behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do —
determined to save
the only life that you could save.
Mary Oliver
The Journey

Permission To Be Happy.

“Because at some point, you need to start calling the shots. At some point, you need to start believing you know what’s best. Or, I thought with a smile, you just stop asking for their permission in the first place.”
Katie Kacvinsky, Awaken

I watched the entire second season of How to Get Away With Murder yesterday. That involves watching nearly 15 hours of television. I did this in my pajamas, while I gorged on chicken and waffle nachos (excellent), pizza, and chicken fingers. I also drank some beers. In sum, it was a glorious day.

But, what happened next is what I’m most proud of. I did not feel guilty for having spent my day this way. In the past, I would have been overcome with guilt and the nasty little voice in my head would’ve raged on and on about how I was being “lazy” “fat” and “worthless.” I would’ve been antsy and felt like I needed to do something useful.

What I’ve come to learn, is that those days are, in fact, very useful. I feel great today. I’m rested. I’m focused. And, I’m in a great mood. It’s only lunch and I’ve walked the dogs two miles and worked all morning. I’m better today for taking a break yesterday. I benefit from a day of rest and all the people that cross my path benefit as well.

I think we can get into the heavy duty guilt trips because we feel like we have to for social approval. The ever so common “What’d you do today?” must never be met with “I was a complete sloth” I always thought that I had to be doing something to be worth something. It felt shameful to rest or take a break. Now, I have no problem calling in sick (If I am in fact sick) or taking time to rest. I know that the little nasty voice in my head is just scared of being judged and unloved. And, it’s okay to have those scary thoughts. I don’t try to fight them anymore.

At this stage in the game, if you are going to judge me for watching an entire season of television in one day (I dozed off during the last two episodes, I’m only human) you can just keep moving. In truth, if you are going to judge me at all for anything I do, you can just keep moving. The people I want/need in my life are here to support me. Now and again, feedback on how I’m doing is welcome, but it better be coming from a place of love and concern and not a place of judgement. Please do not assume you know how to live my life better than I know how to live my life. 

It took some time, but I finally decided to give myself unconditional permission to be happy. I really love my messy life. I learned that seeking other people’s approval always made me feel like garbage. And, really, they have their own messy lives to sort out.

I hope you take time to enjoy glorious days of rest.It’s just as important as mowing the lawn. Actually, I think it’s more important.

Love.

“Be in love with your life. Every minute of it.”

Jack Kerouac

Pablo Neruda: The Great Lover of Love.

I love poetry. Love, love, love poetry. I was having drinks with a friend years ago and we both agreed that the world would be a better place if we all read more poetry. He recited T.S. Eliot from memory and I responded with Maya Angelou and Pablo Neruda.

We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. – T.S. Eliot

NPR reported today that there were newly discovered works from Pablo Neruda. They’re unsure as to whether or not he wanted them shared and usually I think that we should respect the artist and keep what might have been intended to be private, private. This is why I felt so uncomfortable with Harper Lee’s, Go Set a Watchmen being released.

But, I can’t deny that I am extremely excited to read the newly discovered works of Neruda.

Let me share with you some of what was released (courtesy of NPR)

“Never alone, with you

over the earth,

crossing through fire.

Never alone.

With you in the forests

finding again

dawn’s

stiff arrow,

the tender moss

of spring

With you

in my struggle,

not the one I chose

but

the only one.”

That poem reminded me of one of my favorite poems of Neruda’s (both about his wife):

Sonnet XVII

“I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:

where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. ”

Pablo Neruda

Love.

 

What Are You So Mad About?

“Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others– it only changes yours.”
Shannon L. Alder, 300 Questions to Ask Your Parents Before It’s Too Late

(note: writing/researching this post put me in a negative funk. that is the power of anger.)

Research suggests that we are more compassionate with others than we are with ourselves (Dr. Kristin Neff says so). If that’s the case, then we have a serious problem. If you look at any article online you will see that people are primed and ready to fight. We struggle to give anyone the benefit of the doubt or to extend compassion to the people we love the most.

For example, I picked an article on dropping pizza prices to review comments. A topic I thought we could all agree is a great thing, right? Nope. Here are some of the comments I found associated with the article:

Since neither of those qualify as “Pizza” anywhere where real food is available, they should change this headline.

I noted that you have to buy an overpriced side to get one deal.  You have to pay a couple bucks for a drink that costs them a few pennies to get the deal.  Or rather the rip off.

Bet on this…as the price goes down, so does the quality.  And whatever happened to one of the essential pizza ingredients, anchovies. Can’t find a pizza with anchovies anywhere.

If we can’t get behind deals on pizza, is there any hope for us? Seriously, we are so combative and defensive that we pick fights about anything and everything. I made the mistake of reading comments on a political article posted on social media. Apparently the gloves are off online. People cuss each other out, call each other names, make vile comments about groups of people. To what end?

You have to walk around in that skin holding onto those awful and angry thoughts. Those thoughts and feelings will rot you from the inside out. I’ve seen it happen. People come to me wondering why they are so lonely and sad. Then, I hear them call their partner an idiot. They say their son is a worthless piece of garbage. And, the world is going to hell (in a handbag).

Are you really asking me why you’re miserable? Because it sounds like you just answered your own question. 

I think the outrage around things like pizza prices stems from peoples’ unhappiness with their own lives. I think that a lot of people are unhappy at home with their family and they extend that anger and resentment to larger systems. There is a negative energy created when sitting around talking about “idiot republicans” or “idiot democrats.” For a moment, one may feel superior, like they somehow figured it all out. Of course, it is short lived because no one has any of this figured out.

We think it’s acceptable to call our partners “the old ball and chain” or “the nag” or “the worthless idiot.” I suppose if you have no problem calling the people you love names why would you have a problem calling someone online an asshole.

Naturally, I’d be lying if I said I did not participate in angry talk. But, I know it is ultimately a reflection of my own well-being as opposed to a constructive means to an end. The moment I express anger the other person gets defensive and stops listening. This turns the conversation into an argument and leads nowhere.

There is definitely a time and place for anger. If you are witness to the abuse of people or animals, this should make you angry. But, that anger needs to be channeled into action or it turns to rage. The lovely Una Henry once helped me understand the difference between anger and rage. She said anger is how anyone would react in the face of injustice and rage is what happens when the injustice continues without end. For many oppressed groups, the rage is justified. But, rage is like anger in that it will destroy you.

I suppose I’m asking you to consider what you are honestly so mad about. Is it the quality of pizza? Is it traffic? Is it the weather? Is politics? Or, is it that your life is not where you want it to be and it is easier to rage against pizza and politics than to examine your misery and do something about it?  Is it a helplessness? If so, maybe reach out for support or try to do something to right the injustices. Or, risk letting hate, anger, and rage ravage you and your life. It’s your choice.

“When we get angry, we suffer. If you really understand that, you also will be able to understand that when the other person is angry, it means that she is suffering. When someone insults you or behaves violently towards you, you have to be intelligent enough to see that the person suffers from his own violence and anger. But we tend to forget. We think that we are the only one that suffers, and the other person is our oppressor. This is enough to make anger arise, and to strengthen our desire to punish. We want to punish the other person because we suffer. Then, we have anger in us; we have violence in us, just as they do. When we see that our suffering and anger are no different from their suffering and anger, we will behave more compassionately. So understanding the other is understanding yourself, and understanding yourself is understanding the other person. Everything must begin with you.”
Thích Nhất Hạnh

Love.

I’m A Quitter And A Failure!

“Quitting is not giving up, it’s choosing to focus your attention on something more important. Quitting is not losing confidence, it’s realizing that there are more valuable ways you can spend your time. Quitting is not making excuses, it’s learning to be more productive, efficient and effective instead. Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that will bring you strength.”
Osayi Osar-Emokpae, Impossible Is Stupid

Preface: After I wrote the first draft of this post I received a rejection letter from a popular blog site saying my submissions were too divisive. The rejection was and is painful and I remembered how hard it is to move through those painful emotions.

What is rejection?

When people come to me “scared of rejection” I try to understand exactly what that means. For example, people are often scared to ask someone to spend time together or to ask for a raise. What if they say no? What if I get rejected. The only real choice you have on those moments is to pack up your feelings and move along.

I think we spend too much time trying to be something we’re not to fit something that doesn’t fit. This goes for relationships with partners and friends. This goes for employment or education. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit, and it’s okay to move on and try something else. Go on ahead and change course!

When I was in my mid-twenties, I was certain that I wanted to be a professor and researcher. I tried to shove myself into that lifestyle for three long and painful years. In many ways, the universe tried to tell me it wasn’t a good fit. I started losing hair. I drank a lot of box wine (I get heartburn thinking of it). I got accused of things I did not do. But, I pushed ahead.

Then, I experienced a significant life trauma (while doing an internship with dying cancer patients) and I finally got the message. I was trying to be someone I was not. Although I could do research, I didn’t like doing research. In fact, I hated it. I hated it very much. The culture was not a good fit for me. The writing was not my style. The world was not my world. My body was literally rejecting the entire situation.

I realized that it wasn’t me and it wasn’t them (it was kind of them but that’s a different story). It was more that it was not a good fit for me. I was a round peg and they were a square hole. It was never going to work and I needed to stop wasting my life trying to be someone I wasn’t. So, I let go (or quit or failed or whatever).

It was the best decision ever. I stopped trying to be someone I was not and got about the business of being someone I wanted to be. I started paying closer attention the messages in my environment. Now, I work an incredible job filled with wonderful people. I share time with friends and family that support me, appreciate me, and want to be with me.

Although, some may say I failed or quit, I don’t tell my story that way. Instead, I chose a healthier path that was a better fit. And, I am so much happier for having done this. What I learned was: Let it go! If it doesn’t serve your life – let it go. People, jobs, cars, houses, cities, any of it. Let it go. Be willing to let go of things and circumstances that are not healthy or no longer serve your life.

Let go of the idea of rejection. If someone doesn’t want to spend time with you – fine, let them go. Don’t waste your time trying to be with someone that doesn’t want you just the way you are. If you don’t get the job you want – fine, let it go. Find a job where they appreciate how incredible you are. It’s not rejection it’s a message that you are going the wrong way! 

I think the only reason I was accepted into research hell was to meet my husband. I should have grabbed him the moment I met him and ran the other way. Anyway, you live and you learn.

“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
Ann Landers

Love.

 

 

I Need An Attitude Adjustment.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

Humans are the only species (that we know of) capable of conscious self-awareness. Meaning, I am able to notice that I am having a thought or a feeling and I am able to observe my actions with some objectivity. Even though we can do this, we spend little time reflecting on these capabilities. When we use our self-awareness, we can stop acting like thoughtless reactive robots and start acting like conscientious deliberate individuals.

One of the best expositions related to the topic of self-awareness is demonstrated in A Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Frankl was a Jewish man and trained psychiatrist in Nazi Germany. His life, and beliefs about life, changed radically after he was forced to live in a concentration camp. Frankl endured the kind of suffering and Hell that words most certainly fail to capture. However, here is my best effort:

What we as people are capable of doing to one another is horrifying. I refuse to excuse the behavior as evil, because in doing so the responsibility is removed from the offending party and positioned in the hands of demons or the devil (unpunishable spirits and forces). We as individuals are answerable for our actions or inactions.

Frankl, while imprisoned, realized that even in the most atrocious conditions, a person still has the capacity to choose their attitude. When he shifted his focus from his own personal suffering to helping others in the camp or daydreaming about his wife (with the understanding that she was probably dead) and how much he loved her, he was able to feel hopeful about his situation. At one point, he was given the opportunity to escape, but elected to stay and help sick prisoners.

What does it mean to choose your attitude? 

  • We may not always have control over our circumstances and they may not always be ideal. In some cases, we may be exposed to horrific situations.
  • We cannot control how something makes us feel but/and just because we feel bad, sad, mad, angry, etc does not mean we have to remain stuck in that feeling. We know that feelings, even the scariest, will eventually pass and a different feeling will fill the space. The best thing to do is to comfort yourself when you have those feelings. The worst thing to do is to say, “I shouldn’t feel this way.”
  • We cannot control the thoughts that come into our heads but we can choose to spend more time with the thoughts that bring us more contentment. For example, the thought “I am not good enough” may come into your head if you make a mistake. It is okay to just notice you are having that thought and remind yourself that you are human and doing the best you can. It’s best to try and let each thought pass like puffy clouds floating in the sky. We have an estimated 50,000 per day. So, give yourself a break and let them float on through without grabbing on and analyzing them.
  • When we focus on helping and loving others, our circumstances are instantly improved. We are moved out of our own heads and into the outside world.

Let me try to provide you a practical example of this in action:

Imagine my boss comes into my office and says:  “Sissy, you made a mistake”

I do not have control of my immediate thoughts and feelings.

Immediate feelings: shame, fear, sadness, and anger

Immediate thoughts: I’m bad at my job, I’m a bad person, My boss is a bad person, I hate my boss, I hate my job, I need to get out of here as soon as possible

Immediate physical feelings: stomachache, chest tightens, breath shallow, shaking, eyes well up with tears.

I do have control over how I respond to my immediate thoughts and feelings.

I can just notice that I am having a lot of strong thoughts and feelings. I can take a few deep breaths and pause to collect myself. I can put my hand on my stomach to comfort the stress. I can comfort myself by reminding myself that I am doing the best I can. And, I can do all of this without my boss noticing.

I can ask my boss questions about what she means to better understand what happened. I can call my partner or a friend after I talk with my boss and ask for support (maybe have a good cry). I can take it easy the rest of the day (or more) until the issue is resolved and I feel better. I can get out of my own head and interact with people I love in an effort to remind myself that I am loved.

Often times, we do not pause between event/trigger and reaction. We walk around like raw exposed nerves reacting to each and every trigger in our environment without pausing to consider what is the healthiest response to this situation.

If Viktor Frankl can find hope in a concentration camp, you can find hope in your current situation. If you slow down, notice how you are thinking and what you are feeling, address these thoughts and feelings with compassion, and focus on loving and helping others you will transform your life. I promise.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom” – Viktor E. Frankl

Love.

 

You Deserve That Awesome Love.

“If it’s magic
Then why can’t it be everlasting
Like the sun that always shines
Like the poets in this rhyme
Like the galaxies in time
If it’s pleasing
Then why can’t it be never leaving
Like the day that never fails
Like on seashores there are shells
Like the time that always tells
It holds the key to every heart
Throughout the universe
It fills you up without a bite
And quenches every thirst…”

I recently manifested a person into being. I wished, begged, and prayed for one of my favorite people to find awesome love and awesome love presented herself. I know that the idea of manifesting a person into being sounds super crazy, and of course, I know that I did not create a person with my thoughts (but I can’t help but think that it is a little true). There is nothing more important to me than the people I love having love. I want awesome love for my lovelies because I believe that love is everything. Unconditional love is transformative and healing beyond what any of us can comprehend. Love is the magic of the universe. 

What is this post about? It’s about believing you deserve that awesome kind of love. It’s about believing you deserve it. So when it presents itself, you believe it is there for you. This is what happened to one of my favorite people in the world. He struggled for a lifetime to believe he deserved that awesome kind of love. This meant that awesome love passed him by again and again.

Instead, other types of mangled and distorted connections were offered. We attract connections that reflect our own health and well-being. If I believe I’m mangled and distorted, I will attract mangled and distorted. If I believe I am awesome love, awesome love will find its way to me. 

After years of hard work, the awesome love appeared. Even then, the awesome love scared the stuffing out of my person and he pushed it away. However, this time, he realized what he was doing and pulled it back in. He wanted the good love. He was ready for that awesome love. 

“So
If it’s special
Then with it why aren’t we as careful
As making sure we dress in style
Posing pictures with a smile
Keeping danger from a child
It holds the key to every heart
Throughout the universe
It fills you up without a bite
And quenches every thirst…”

That awesome love is not reserved for perfect people (because they don’t exist). It is reserved for people who believe that awesome love is real. It is reserved for people who are willing and ready to be that awesome kind of love for someone else. It is the kind of love that, when you see it between two people you just know it’s real.

It’s not about soul mates (although I have theories about this). It’s about vulnerability. It’s about letting yourself be open. It’s about listening and compassion. This post isn’t about research or theories, love is bigger than that. I know awesome love is real for no other reason than I can feel it in my guts. In my life, that is more than enough evidence.

Anyway, I wanted awesome love for my person more than anything. I wished, prayed, and hoped this for him. I don’t know if those things are real (just kidding, I am certain they are real). Who knows if the awesome love will go the distance. It’s here now and, that my lovelies is magic. 

“So
If it’s magic
Why can’t we make it everlasting
Like the lifetime of the sun
It will leave no heart undone
For there’s enough for everyone”

– Stevie Wonder, If It’s Magic

Love.

I Don’t Own My Story.

“Pull a thread here and you’ll find it’s attached to the rest of the world.”
Nadeem Aslam, The Wasted Vigil

In a lot of the posts I reference having experienced traumatic events. For some readers, they may have some ideas about what happened. But for others, they don’t have a reference or understanding of my life. I understand through messages and responses that some readers may want to know what I’m referring to when I allude to experiencing traumatic events. This has caused me to reflect on the interconnectedness of my life.

I agree that we must own our stories or our stories own us. The problem with sharing many of my stories is that they involve other people. And, other people don’t want/need/think it’s appropriate to share their stories with the world. This blog is both cathartic and difficult for me. Writing has always been my way of making sense of the world. Most of these blogs are letters to myself that I’ve decided to share. And, there are plenty of posts in the drafts box that will never see the light of social media.

There is a constant balance when sharing parts of yourself with an unknown group of people. I feel compelled to be transparent and honest but at the same time I don’t think it is appropriate to overshare. My beloved Josh once helped me understand this process. We were talking about a time that someone shared a traumatic event with him and he said, “They never asked my permission to share that.” That stuck with me. I don’t want this blog to be traumatizing and so there are times when restraint is indicated.

Further, as a human being, I’ve made mistakes. This blog is not a confessional. I am not writing for absolution or understanding. I believe that would put undue pressure on the reader. When I began sharing these posts publicly, I explored how authors that write memoirs decide what is written and what is withheld. The majority said that they would not share parts of themselves that still cause them pain. Meaning, that if I shared something and someone commented in a hurtful way (which has happened) I would not want it to be related to a topic where my nerve is exposed. There are several areas of my life where this is the case and probably will always be as such.

Also, there are things that happened on my journey that involved immense suffering for other people. It would never be my intention to share those stories. I make every intention to respect and protect with each post. I pray this is not a form of exhibitionism.

I’m glad these questions and thoughts were brought to my attention. It forced me to examine how many of my stories were not mine alone. In fact, only a handful are my stories are mine to share. I suppose we will continue see how this all works out.

“Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. All things are bound together. All things connect.” – Chief Seattle