Timid Steps

overwhelming loss…the safe care of anotherhope awakening Heather Medley is a woman who is learning to be present and kind to herself and to the people she loves. She is drawn to engage her world with hope of restoration and redemption and gets to do this professionally as a therapist. She loves deep conversations over…

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Riding the Rails

Victor and I are having lunch together when suddenly our conversation is muted by the loud rumble of a train. We feel the tremors of the building shake in response to the passing locomotive and wait for the train to pass. We have been apart from one another due to a season of unexpected hurdles…

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Love Persevering

“What is grief if not love persevering?” — Vision (WandaVision, ep. 8) The cardboard box near my feet is worn. Across the top the words “family pictures—basement” tell me it was packed as we consolidated things in our Michigan basement before moving to Austin. The box holds about eight large-size Ziplock bags stuffed full of…

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No End in Sight

Weeks before the collective pandemic upheaval in March 2020, I found myself stepping off the Seattle-to-Bainbridge Island ferry. I am carrying a backpack chock-full of books. Some of the books are mine; others are not. Books are friends, holding words I want to remember. Piles of them are stacked in both my home and therapy…

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A New Way Forward

“Where do your boys think you are right now?” my counselor asks.  I am surprised by her question, which seems out of left field. “I told them I had an appointment,” I reply. It’s vague, I’ll admit, but it’s not a lie. “What would happen if you told them the truth?” she asks, interrupting the…

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Two Types of Do-overs

A do-over, to me, represents the grace to try again. I recently received a one-time pandemic bonus question on a final exam. The professor’s comments on my response helped me craft what would have been a more high-quality answer, after I had managed to compromise the first attempt in one of my first paragraphs! Different,…

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Our Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go we have come to our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings. –Wendell…

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Asking for a Do-over

“I know she is capable of offering deep care, but there are moments when I don’t feel she actually listens to me,” my husband Michael says to our marriage counselor. I smile nervously at the irony that he’s married to a professional counselor who at times struggles with listening.

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Tears Week

Years ago, as a first-year counseling student, I attended a course called Fundamental Therapy Skills. It was the introductory class to my upcoming practicum and internship, and the coursework prepared students for counseling real people. The final week was deemed “tears week,” because it had a reputation of eliciting many tears from the students. During…

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The Comeback

Tears trickled down my cheeks as I walked with a slight limp out of the physical therapist’s office. It was over. I had to quit. I wouldn’t accomplish my goal. Not only was I devastated, but I needed to tell my best friend and running partner, and disappoint her as well. The goal was to…

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