The very real pain of not giving up

Dear one, It’s not like you thought it would be, is it? To put it mildly, this past year did not go to plan. It was a reckoning, in every sense of the word. We’ve seen just how tenuous our “normal” is, just how quickly life as we knew it can end. And so perhaps you’re looking ahead to this new year and feeling a strange mixture of terror and anticipation. Will things get worse before they get better? Will COVID be a memory by this time next year? Where are we in the scope of this struggle? Of course, ...
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You Need to Hear These 6 Words Today

“Walk like you’re one inch taller.” Dawn, my new physical therapist, was coaching me to walk properly last week. She’s helping me to improve my posture and alignment in order to heal from birth injuries. As you’d imagine, I’m taking this work seriously. I’m on time for every appointment, giving each exercise my all. But those 6 words nearly stopped me in my tracks. The ears of my soul perked up, like a cat at the sound of kibble. That’s what my body feels like when it hears something true; my inner animal snaps to attention. …
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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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True Recovering Perfectionist? Then Press Play!

“We fear losing other people’s approval. We’re so scared of that, that’s so terrifying to us! But what actually hurts a lot more is when we completely reject ourselves.” This is a quote from my recent appearance on Claire Barton’s podcast, in an episode titled True Recovering Perfectionist. …
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The Healing Power of Animals: You Need to Read with Julie Barton (Plus a Dog Medicine Book Giveaway!)

If you love your pets and believe in the healing power of animals … if you were a child who treated your stuffed animals as sentient beings … then you won’t want to miss this interview with Julie Barton, author of Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself. When I read the last chapter of Dog Medicine, my husband found me curled up on the couch sobbing. He tried to take it away from me, but I said, “No, no, it’s good crying!” …
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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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Tired of Being Tired? This One’s For You.

Once upon a time, there was a girl who didn’t know how to take care of herself. All she knew was that she was tired of being tired. When this girl felt physically ill, she tried to cancel her dinner plans … but instead she let a friend override her protests. She showed up at a restaurant burning with fever and flu, then staggered home alone. When this girl went out and an older, married guy made a pass at her, she tried to move away … but instead she let false guilt freeze her. She just didn’t want him ...
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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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Exhausted from Being The Good Girl? Read This.

“I’ve always been the good girl. I try so hard to do everything right and not screw up. Caroline, do you know how exhausting that is? I think you do; that’s why I’m writing to you. I’m a grand perfectionist; I’m never worthy enough. I am super hard on myself, with very high expectations. I feel guilty about so much of what I do and say. All my life I’ve been good at offering help to others, but I don’t want to ask for or accept help myself. If I am able to do it on my own, then I ...
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