What If Your Real Self is Really Mad? (Plus a Giveaway!)

You’ve heard the platitudes … 

Honesty is the best policy.

Tell the truth and shame the devil.

An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.

They make it sound simple, don’t they? As if telling the truth was so straightforward. But for those of us who are accustomed to covering up, getting real is … complicated.

When you start speaking up after years of silence, you’ll discover the land mines in your psyche. You probably won’t even know they’re there until you step on one. The anger and sadness that you stuffed down years ago will rise to the surface. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll hate it.

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What If You Refused to Stop Walking Homeward?

Let’s just be blunt: the last week has been hard.

On behalf of us all, I’d like a cosmic refund. I’d like a do-over, our money back, and some free dessert for the table, please.

Here in the McGraw house, multiple projects stalled, and I felt adrift and unsure. Then the feral cats chose our yard as the new kitty hot spot, leading to a flea infestation. Every time I stepped outside I received new bites, and I’m allergic to them. (Thank God for antihistamines.)

Then I received some disappointing personal news. And after that I heard about the Oregon shooting and dropped into a sea of collective grief. What could anyone say in the face of terrible violence?

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You Don’t Owe Anyone An Interaction

Have you ever beat yourself up over not responding to every message you received in a day?

Me too. I know how it goes. On one hand, you’re tired and overwhelmed. But on the other hand, there are emails! Texts! Calls! All demanding a response!

If we check in with ourselves, we can sense which messages require our attention. However, we have trouble heeding that inner knowing because it conflicts with what we’ve been taught …

If someone writes, we must write back.

If someone starts talking, we must converse.

If someone moves in for a hug, we must embrace.

It doesn’t matter if we feel uncomfortable, exhausted, or just plain unwilling. If we don’t do these things, then we’re unkind and rude. Right?

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