Embarrassing Secrets of a Recovering Perfectionist

During my first month as a freshman at Vassar College, one of my hallmates caught me folding my dirty laundry. Yes, you read that right – I folded my dirty laundry before placing it in the collapsible navy-blue mesh hamper at the foot of my bed. It was a nervous habit that gave me a sense of control in an unfamiliar place. Of course I didn’t want anyone to know about my odd practice, so I flushed with embarrassment when my hallmate said, “Caroline, did you seriously just fold those pajamas before putting them into your hamper?” My hallmate’s tone ...
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Yes, You Were Meant to Meet That Snake on the Road.

The pavement on the rural road was riddled with cracks, and at first that’s what I thought it was … a sinuous gap stretched before me like a finish line. I had ten more minutes left on my Memorial Day weekend run, and I was deep into that hypnotic running trance. My feet lifted and fell, lifted and fell. Thoughts rose and receded; Katy Perry’s “Roar” scrolled through my mind. It was my story, after all – the story of a girl who loses her voice then gets it back. “I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath ...
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The Theology of Audrey Hepburn and Pippin the Deer

Recently I was at a medical appointment and the nurse asked me about my religious affiliation. The question took me aback, in part because I wasn’t expecting it and in part because I didn’t know how to answer it. How could I be honest and also fit my answer into a box on the intake form? The words stuck in my throat. …
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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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When You Want to Apologize for Existing

“I say ‘I’m sorry’ a LOT, usually when it’s not necessary. I apologize for existing.” “I’m so tired of fighting myself … For the last 17 years I spend my days in service to precious elders and give all that I can, yet inside me I feel like I am never, ever enough. The perfectionist in me doesn’t seem to be silenced.” “I’m so very, very, very tired Caroline! …. I’m at war with myself and know deep down I don’t have to be.”* …
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Writing as a Road to Healing: You Need to Read with Addie Zierman (Plus a Night Driving Book Giveaway!)

“Begin not where you think you should be or with what you ought to feel. Begin where you are.” That’s the healing invitation extended by our next guest in the You Need to Read video interview series, Addie Zierman! Addie is one of my all-time favorite writers. She’s the author of two rave-reviewed memoirs about letting go of religious baggage and walking her own faith journey, When We Were on Fire and Night Driving. She’s also a speaker and a blogger who writes about faith reimagined at AddieZierman.com and she writes the “Ask Addie” advice column at Off the Page. ...
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From Distraction to Connection: You Need to Read with Rachel Macy Stafford (Plus an Only Love Today Book Giveaway!)

How do you resist the addictive pull of phone notifications to be present to the people around you? How do you shift from distraction to connection? How do you find the courage to be yourself when your judgmental inner voice tells you that you have to be perfect? How do you make peace with your past mistakes and enjoy your life here and now? Welcome to the second edition of our new video interview series, You Need to Read. Today, we’re discussing these powerful questions with author and speaker Rachel Macy Stafford! …
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One Sentence To Set You Free from Fear

Have you ever had your world turned upside down by a single sentence? Have you ever felt someone else’s words unlock a caged place within your heart and set you free from fear? If so, then this story is for you. It begins with me spending a month in a residential rehab called The Clearing. I am here for work – I’m a copywriter on The Clearing’s team, writing ebooks and essays – but I am also here for my own healing. (They tried to make me go to rehab, and I said yes.) On this particular day in workshop, ...
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What If You Stopped Making Yourself Miserable and Chose Joy? (6 Year Anniversary Video)

Happy Anniversary to us, friends! It’s been six years since the first post at A Wish Come Clear, so I recorded a video, What If You Stopped Making Yourself Miserable and Chose Joy? Click here to watch the video on Youtube, or just press play and read the approximate transcript below. *** Hello! I’m recording this video to celebrate A Wish Come Clear’s six year anniversary. I started this blog in January 2011, and wow, I am amazed at all that has happened since then. I’ve learned a lot, but one of the best lessons has been to focus on ...
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