Want To Feel Less Anxious? Reconnect with Your Inner Child

Dear friend, it’s hard to admit that anxiety is a struggle for you, isn’t it? Your experience of life has been tense and fraught for so long that it seems normal. You want to feel less anxious, but it seems like an impossible dream. I get it, I really do. I started twirling my hair compulsively when I was in kindergarten. At school there were so many things to learn, so many people to please. When all of that felt hard to handle, I’d wrap strands of my brown hair around my fingers. I’d twirl my hair up tight and ...
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Your Truth Will Set You Free

Friends, this is the approximate text of a talk I gave at Living Spirit Church on Sunday, July 31, 2016, Your Truth Will Set You Free. Photo Credit: geralt, Pixabay 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 ...
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What To Do When A Blizzard Hits Your Life

Dear Caroline*, One minute I had a good life. I was happy, and my family was happy too. The next minute, we received some terrible and unexpected news. Without going into detail, I can say that it has been devastating … a slow-motion train wreck with no end in sight. Surviving the present takes everything I have. I was in shock for a while. In a way I still am, but I’m getting through the days at least. Even though I still have a lot to be thankful for – a steady job, a safe place to live – it ...
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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 ...
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The Only Life You Can Save.

What if the only life you can save is your own? Something happened to friends of mine this past week. I won’t go into detail, because it is not my story to tell. The short version is: People I love are being unjustly excluded. And I’m angry about it. Writing that last sentence is a big deal for me. See, for a long time I was convinced that feeling anger meant that I was a ‘bad’ person, lacking in compassion. And I wanted so much to be (and to be seen as) ‘good’. So whenever anger arose, I tried hard ...
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When a People-Pleaser Decides to (Gasp) Tell the Truth

The note reads, "Caroline possesses a respectably expansive vocabulary." Intellectual assent is easy. Being people of peace? Shifting from self-blame and people-pleasing to compassion and honesty? Sure thing. But putting these things into practice when we're angry and upset? That's another story. Luckily, life continually offers us opportunities to learn ... which are often disguised as conflicts. *** My dear friend Tam recently lent me a copy of Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life. Nonviolent communication (NVC) is, to quote author Marshall Rosenberg, "a way of communicating that leads us to give from the heart." As I read, ...
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Who’s Right In Front Of You?

When I first saw her, she was striding across Connecticut Avenue. Not in a crosswalk, mind you ... in the middle of the road. She had bright blond hair and a dark tan, and she was walking across what DC residents know is a very, very busy street. At rush hour. With a pronounced limp. In fact, she seemed to be almost dragging her right leg. Cars honked their horns, stopping abruptly to avoid her. Still, she carried on. Busy DC street.Locals will recognize this as 14th St NW, not Connecticut Ave NW. Both are, of course, quite busy.Photo ...
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Overhearing that Argument (A Lesson Learned in Laughter)

Happy Monday, all! First off, I'd like to welcome visitors from Autism Key and I'm A Mom Too. I have two guest posts up this week; "Autism, Siblings and the R-Word Effect" and, "A Lifetime of Lies (And A Truth to Set You Free)." First-time visitors, be sure to check out the welcome video (to your right and below), and visit the About page. Finally, I'd like to offer you a gift: Your Creed of Care: How To Dig For Treasure In People (Without Getting Buried Alive). This book is about balancing the responsibilities of caregiving with the responsibility of ...
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How to Love Someone Who (For the Moment) Thinks That You’re The Devil

Since it's the holiday season, I think it's only right that I share a story about keeping love alive in a tense time. Because let's be honest -- if you're human, you're probably going to experience at least one moment of stress when it comes to spending time with your loved ones this year. Someone is going to do something or say something that will drive you a little crazy. (Or a lot.) When this happens, how will you respond? Will the difficult experience serve as a gift disguised as a dilemma, actually bringing you closer? Keep these questions in ...
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The One Where I Smashed The Guitar: Owning Your Anger, Part 1

Today marks the first post in a 3-part series on 'Owning Your Anger.' Why am I writing about anger? Because I don't want to...and because I must. Allow me to explain. My husband, Jonathan, became temporarily disabled this week. He has tendonitis in his right foot, and he's been couch-bound for two days. Yesterday, after I'd searched through (several!) L'Arche closets for crutches (and gone to CVS for an air-cast and to Safeway for groceries and...), the truth of what I was feeling came rushing over me. I had a knot in my stomach...a knot of fear and worry. And I ...
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