Call the Witch by Its True Name

My favorite fairy tale when I was a child was Rumpelstiltskin, the story of a girl who makes a bargain with an imp-like creature in exchange for saving her life from being executed by the king. First she gives the imp a necklace, then a ring, then promises her firstborn child. But when her child arrives, she begs the imp to let her keep it. He says he will if she can guess his name. In deep distress, she wanders into the forest and stumbles upon the creature, who is hopping around the fire singing, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll go to the king’s house, nobody knows my name, I’m called ‘Rumpelstiltskin.'” When the imp arrives at the kingdom to claim the baby, the girl (now married to the king), says, “Your name is Rumpelstiltskin.” The imp is enraged, but the deal is broken and he has no choice but to … Click here to continue reading...

To Be Human

To be human is to know that we are imperfect and whole: we will hurt and be hurt; we will feel disappointed and will disappoint; we will stumble and fall and get back up again. To be human is to remember that this being human is an experiment without a goal or destination but with a plan that includes learning about love at its center. 

To be human is to love awkwardly and without skill, for how can we practice that which we never learned or saw? We will sit with our partner in a cesspool of pain and silent confusion and have no idea how to climb out. We will feel connected and alive and then disconnected and alone. We will doubt and exhale, find peace and forget again. This is what it is to love another with hearts that have been hurt and souls that have not yet … Click here to continue reading...

Walk With Love

Please note: If you are pleased with the results of the recent elections, you may not want to read this post. I wrote it for those who are struggling emotionally and need support and guidance for how to walk through their difficult feelings so that they can arrive, ultimately, back at love. 

However, I need to say that my first draft of this article was written two days after the elections in a raw state of emotions, and I have since edited out the portions of it that were coming from my own small-minded and black-and-white thinking. I do not want to name-call. I do not want to participate in a culture of hate and divisiveness. I know that not everyone who voted for Trump carries all of his values and his rhetoric, and that the reasons why people voted for whoever they voted for are complex and multi-faceted. I Click here to continue reading...

Feelings Are Messy

As humans in an uncertain world, we seek certainty in a variety of ways. We ask questions that are fundamentally unanswerable. We ruminate and obsess on a single thought (otherwise known as intrusive thoughts). We Google and text and seek reassurance in a variety of increasingly technologically oriented ways. When I see someone falling into these common mental habits, the first question I encourage them to ask themselves is, “What are these thoughts/actions protecting me from feeling?”

We’re so identified with spending thousands of hours in the realm of thought that oftentimes this question doesn’t make any sense. What do you mean “protecting” me from feeling? What I mean is that somewhere along the road of growing up, somewhere between the innately healthy relationship that babies have to their emotional life and the disconnected relationship that most adults have, we learned that one way to manage the messy, amorphous, … Click here to continue reading...

Nothing Lasts Forever 

For all humans, but especially the highly sensitives, one of the most difficult truths to accept is that all seasons pass, all stages come to an end, all beings die. Just as the gorgeous peach tree in full-tilt pink spring bloom drops its blossoms to reveal summer fruit, then drops its leaves in autumn’s melancholic dance to stand bare-limbed in winter, so we watch with grasping hearts as life closes out: from people and animals we love passing from this planet to childhood ending to the day’s close. What we’re resisting is the passage of time as we hold tight to a belief that says that all good things must last. It cannot be so.

Yet we try desperately to fight reality and create a world where life doesn’t die, where relationships don’t end, where sweet stages last forever. We hang on tightly with the part of us that lives … Click here to continue reading...