Circle of Grief

I arrive with great hesitance. The unknown is scary and the pain of reopening partially-healed wounds has me on guard. I am warmly welcomed with hugs. The chairs are formed into a circle. I quietly choose a chair and have a seat in the circle of grief. I look around the circle at the women…

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I’m Fine

I had been driving around the neighborhood, circling the same streets for almost thirty minutes, until I reached a point of no longer being able to bear the weight of what I was trying to escape. My friend Cassandra was on the phone with me, listening as I talked with panic in my voice and…

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Taking a Tumble

Finally. After weeks of pain shooting up my spine and into my neck, I was finally getting some relief. I had been okay with makeshift back-cracking mechanisms—over my desk chair, bending over with my arms pushing against the wall until I felt a crrrriiiickkk go up my back—but that could not go on any longer.…

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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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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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Layers First

There I sat. Alone. Silent. And in pain.   During my seven-year marriage, I encountered other couples who had divorced and often wondered, “Why didn’t they try harder? Why didn’t they keep the marriage together at all costs? I just don’t understand.” But, now, on the other side of marriage and trying to pick up the pieces,…

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Rewriting the Story of “Too Much”

I heard him wailing, as he ran down the street toward home. Him, looking for comfort and someone to notice his small-but-big pain; me, rolling my eyes a little with a sigh in my breath. Still, I ready my arms to wrap around his three-year-old body, and, as the door bursts open, all the cries…

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The Broken Road

Country music is not my chosen genre, but Rascal Flatts said it best: “I set out on a narrow way many years ago, hoping I would find true love along the broken road But I got lost a time or two, wiped my brow and kept pushing through…”* I don’t know with whom this singer…

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Breath of Life

“Take a deep breath and fill your belly with air, in through your nose and out through your mouth.” Ally gently guides us through a trauma-informed yoga practice. I notice the rubber mat beneath me and the earth holding me. I am gathered with eight women fighting to find goodness in our bodies, vessels that…

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The Wounded Healer

The wounded healer arrives on the scene not a moment too soon or too late. She is ready and anchored in the flow of love to lean into the other’s deep pain. She heals with her eyes, her heart, and her hands, using words of comfort and care. She knows how it feels to be…

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