For You, When You’re Facing Internal Conflict

Have you ever felt yourself deadlocked in internal conflict, bouncing back and forth between the comfort of staying put and the lure of letting go?

Ever struggled to choose because part of you wanted something new, while another part of you needed to keep everything the same?

I have. Once upon a time, I worked as a nonprofit program director in DC. It was a stable, undeniably meaningful job, one that connected me to a caring community and supported my deepest values.

Those things were true, but there were other truths, too.

There were the tears that prickled behind my eyes on my morning commute. There was the relentless thrum of exhaustion, the drumbeat of my jam-packed days.

And there was the whisper of my true self, the one who wanted so badly to be a writer.

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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 a bad friend, that she’s just bringing everybody down, that nobody cares.

Sure, sometimes her virtual disappearances get frustrating, but I know that that’s because I do the same.

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Set Boundaries and Declare Dominion: You Need to Read with Anna Kunnecke (Plus a Book Giveaway!)

Let’s start our conversation about how to set boundaries and declare dominion in the most logical place: with the dream I had the other night about owning a living, breathing miniature elephant.

(We’re going somewhere with this, I promise.)

I’d had the tiny elephant for a few days, and I’d thought that I was taking pretty good care of it. But then I placed a container of water down on the floor where the elephant lived, and the little guy went crazy.

set boundaries and declare dominion, elephants

Within seconds it was splashing and guzzling water, equal parts desperate with thirst and wild with joy.

That was when it dawned on me that while I had provided food, I had never given the elephant water. I just hadn’t realized it was necessary.

Aghast, I kept repeating, “I didn’t know.”

When I woke up, I realized that the elephant represented me and the water stood for sustenance, for the ability to take care of my own needs.

For so long, a small, vulnerable part of me had been so thirsty, and I hadn’t known enough to give it water.

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