Ugly Hope

Moving through loss is messy and unattractive. A few years ago, there was a song made popular by a country singer who lamented her mama’s advice: “Run and hide your crazy and start actin’ like a lady.”* Or, as others have said, “fake it till you make it.” There is a certain value in this…

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Making Peace with My Inner Critic

For the first forty-some years of my life, my inner critic was always on duty. Experience taught me that if I recognized my mistakes and quickly course-corrected, I could avoid being called out or criticized. Any honest perfectionist will admit that it’s shameful when others notice our mistakes before we do. And since shame is…

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The Cold Metal Scissors

I was proud of my long hair. I was noticed, and I received comments on the “pretty blonde” color which had grown almost to my waist. I bragged about how it had never been “officially” cut, but only trimmed at home. One way my mom showed care for me was with my hair. When I…

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Out of Hiding

Lottie Hillard wrote an article called “The Shame of Needing” that could have been written about me. Fifteen years ago when I was in graduate school for counseling, I recall one of the advisors saying that my shame was gregarious. I carried an air of confidence, moving in relationships with classmates and clients with charm and…

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To Withstand One’s Own Wrath

Entering the office today, before saying hello to anyone, addressing the day’s agenda, or even putting down my bag, I internally itemized a long list of things askew. Pillows awry in room 7. Table decor down in room 3. Side table off center in room 1.  Dirty plate and to-go box in kitchen. And in…

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Believing Lies, Knowing Truth

Believing the lies today. Know the truth. Doesn’t matter. Believing the lies anyway. They are swirling all around me in a feeding frenzy. Feeding on each other and growing stronger and darker and louder. Yet they aren’t shouting. That would be wasted energy. They whisper. Inept. Incapable. Inadequate. Incompetent. Inferior. And the whispers echo everywhere.…

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Practicing Kindness

A friend gave me a Skylight photo frame that allows me to upload photos to the Cloud and then watch as the device takes me through the sequence I have uploaded. We have over forty photo albums, and each time I take out the aging pictures, I am thrown into a moment where I see myself…

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January – The Inner Critic

For the month of January the women of Red Tent Living will be considering the theme: The Inner Critic. Join us by reading or hosting a Red Tent Dinner at your own table to explore stories with women in your circle.

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Womaneering 2021

Phew! We made it to the end of 2020.  As a mental health practitioner, I know that every human psyche subconsciously exhaled a little when they woke up this morning. New Year’s Day is here…welcome to this n-e-w year! My friend Leah says her favorite day is the first day of the month because she…

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A Gracious Pace

Eighth graders at my former middle school were asked to memorize Robert Frost’s poem “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” in English class. To be honest, I wondered why. Why was this poem required instead of Frost’s popular, oft-quoted “The Road Not Taken”? However, I didn’t create the syllabus, so I held my…

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