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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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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You Have Permission to Walk Out.

Friends, a few quick notes to start: A Wish Come Clear celebrated its four-year blog anniversary on January 16! I had every intention of publishing that day, but life got in the way. In the past week, I’ve faced a host of physical issues. (I’ll spare you the details, but don’t worry, nothing is serious, just unpleasant.) Naturally, I did not appreciate this. Who enjoys letting go of their plans, taking pills, and slowing way down? Not me. However, there is a silver lining. I’ve had practice letting go of judgment and self-blame and choosing kindness, which is a spiritual ...
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Get Rid of Superwoman Syndrome Once and for All

When it comes to what happened the other day, I have choices. I can forget it, beat myself up for having superwoman syndrome, or learn from it. Usually I elect a combination of forgetfulness and self-flagellation, but now, I’m going to go with learning. Here’s what happened: I spent a day in a haze of stress, flitting from one administrative task to another. I didn’t prioritize creative writing. By the end I was sprawled on the couch, back aching from hours of sitting, eyes strained from staring at the computer. What I found especially frustrating was that I know better. ...
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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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Are You ‘Silent About Things That Matter’?

I celebrated Valentine's Day by doing something I've never done before: calling animal control. It all began when I started learning to drive our stick-shift truck. During 'driving practice', I'd have (metaphorical) blinders on. It was me against the truck, and the battle demanded every bit of my focus. Meet Curley, the sweet puppy I grew up with. Gradually, I started looking around as I drove. When I did, I noticed an elegant German Shepherd with mournful eyes. She'd bark at me, but I could tell her heart wasn't in it. She was chained to a tree. She ...
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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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