For the Ones Who Hide Away When They’re Struggling

“Hi friend, how are you doing today? Thinking of you and sending love your way.” I press send on the text, then click my phone screen off. I know better than to expect an immediate response from friends who hide away when they’re struggling. My friend deals with depression and anxiety, and I know that this is a challenging time for her. I also know that when things get tough she tends to go dark. Still I send the message and the love anyway. I pray that it can help her to defy the voices that tell her that she’s...
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Stop Believing Shame’s Lies (and a Giveaway to Help!)

Let’s face it, shame is sneaky. You want to stop believing shame, but it engulfs you like one of J.K. Rowling’s Dementors, those terrifying wraiths that drain happiness. Soon you’re locked in what author and researcher Brené Brown calls a shame spiral. …
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How to Betray Your True Self (And Then Make Amends)

This is a tale of treachery, but it doesn't start out that way. 'Betrayed' faces, 2011. Instead, it starts with a group of direct-care assistants hanging out in the kitchen of the L'Arche home where we lived and worked in 2008. I'd just finished a strenuous workweek, and I was exhausted. Why? I'd recently said yes to becoming a Home Life Coordinator. In addition to doing caregiving routines, I wrote schedules, mentored assistants, and oversaw home life. We had a number of crises that summer, so I served in the new position while training for it and simultaneously...
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Redefining Courage

Last night, I listened to an exceptional talk by Brene Brown, Ph.D., on wholeheartedness and vulnerability. You can find it here. It reminded me of a prayer-time at L’Arche in which Cassandra* showed great transparency. I write about it here: “When Cassandra’s asked the question, “What hurts do you carry? What hurts does L’Arche help to heal?” she replies, after a long pause:  “Well. When people I love die. And. Not being able to do things right.” She looks straight back at me. My throat closes with gratitude that this woman has put into words the two great wounds that...
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