Category: Life Logic

Well, this is going to be short and sweet. At least, I think it will be short – but I often think that and am then immediately proven wrong. And I lied when I said it would be sweet. That’s on me. I’m feeling kind of pointy.

First of all – you know what happens when you make an assumption – right? That’s right, you are an ass. Leave me out of it – this one’s on you.

So why am I feeling so salty? I have been on the interwebs. I know! I know! I am not supposed to read comments. I KNOW I am not supposed to read comments. So why do I read comments? Honestly – I do it because I desperately hope to find good people out there who care enough to stand up and say they care.

What do I find? Well . . . . . . . not usually that. My longstanding desire to create/become internet police will have to wait for its own article. Probably not a long wait though. Maybe a couple days.

Here’s what I want to cover sort of briefly. Assumptions. Internet assumptions and in-person assumptions. Specifically the assumptions that come from gossip.

Let me give you an example: Story on internet about person who was harmed/wronged.

Comments: ‘I bet she just . . . ‘ ‘He probably is . . . . .’ ‘You just know she’s the kind of person who . . . . . . ‘

(Insert picture of me tearing my hair out because I don’t feel like inserting a picture today even though the stupid blog software will tell me people only like blogs with pictures because we are all secretly still kindergarteners.)

I have this happen in real life too. I am a massage therapist and people routinely say to me ‘You probably don’t work on Saturdays though.’

(Insert picture of me face palming).

Let’s try that again, shall we? ‘Could you please tell me if you work on Saturdays?’ Why YES dear person, I can tell you! I DO work some Saturdays. See how much nicer the interaction is when you ask a question instead of just lobbing an assumption at me?

The internet can work the same way! First of all, let’s all agree that we are not trained detectives – and even if you happen to be, you are not the detective assigned to this case, if indeed there is a case. Perhaps there is more information available than what has been presented to you – important as you are.

Second – admitting you do NOT know something, and are willing to build on your knowledge base by asking questions, makes you look smarter. It makes you actually smarter too – but more people are interested in appearances than reality.

Third – your biases, misogyny, and racism start showing really quickly with these assumptions. Maybe that’s a good thing – we can spot you more easily. He must have been on drugs. She must have been drunk. He is obviously someone who’s never worked. She probably has 4 babies with 4 different guys. All. The. Time.

So here’s a couple options:

  1. Keep your opinions to yourself. Not always, of course. But when you really have no idea what you are talking about. Side note – one personal experience does not make you an expert. If you decide to share your perspective, remember others with similar experiences may have vastly different reactions.
  2. Engage compassion. When you hear that assumption in your head, ask yourself – what other circumstances might explain this situation?
  3. Ask questions. “I am curious as to who might have benefitted from that kid being harmed” is a lot better than “Well you know it was the dad based on the 20 second interview shown on the news.”
  4. Be kind. Not sure why we have to repeat this one so often.
  5. Consider necessity. Is your comment adding anything useful to the conversation? Spoiler – if its an assumption, it is not.

The point I really want to make the most is this – if you want to learn and engage, you ask questions. If you are just looking for a quick fix of attention and self-importance, you make assumptions.

Don’t make an ass of yourself. (Once again, I am not involved in your assumptions, so am just fine over here).

Take care!

Kim

Oh – and do the ‘LIKE’ and ‘SHARE’ thing – even if I didn’t give you pictures this time.

Life Logic

Its International Women’s Day! And if you are threatened by that, its ok – I understand. Weak men have always feared strong women (leans back, sips imaginary tea). Strong men appreciate strong women. Incidentally, weak women also fear strong women. A strong woman will be seeking to build up those around her. The weak try to tear others down to their level.

You see what I did there? If you are offended- good.

But what I really want to do is celebrate some of the amazing and badass women who have inspired me along the way. Through quotes, because I gotta me be.

Glennon Doyle gets to go first because she is my favorite.

Glennon Doyle is one of my favorite people on the planet. She is unapologetically authentic, and she works tirelessly to spread love and acceptance. She’s also not afraid to speak up and advocate for things that must change. Along with a number of other amazing women, she is part of TogetHER Rising, a group that harnesses the collective power of women to make change. Recently, through small donations, they raised millions of dollars to support children who were separated from their families at the border. You should absolutely watch her TED talk. And her two books (Carry On, Warrior and Love Warrior) are funny and heart wrenching and real and powerful statements on unbecoming who the world is telling you to be, and becoming instead who you are. She also has a blog at Momastery (don’t let the title fool you if you are not a Mom – its got loads of other great stuff for women).

Score another point for authenticity!

With all these women, it was incredibly difficult to choose just one quote. Of all the women in this post, I found Nanea Hoffman most recently – probably 6 months ago. I love her focus on self-care. I love that she is a fierce advocate for artists who’s work is used without permission, and without attribution. And while I don’t drink coffee (I KNOW!!), I love that she understands the miraculous healing powers of a warm drink and a cozy blanket (and not peopling for a while). Check out Sweatpants and Coffee on Facebook.

Sometimes its not ‘my thing’ its ‘my person’ – same goes.

I’ve followed Tanya Markul (aka Thug Unicorn – Facebook) for a couple of years now. Her writing style is real and raw. She journeys through pain and a thousand scars to say ‘that was/is a part of me, now I am more.’ She also has a book! The She Book is a collection of short writings that speak both from and to the soul. She embraces the darkness as a counter point to the light that we all have – and can create around us.

I love this quote SO MUCH.

Maya Angelou is someone else who channeled their personal darkness into beauty. Her words flow over me like a warm breeze and there is so much wisdom there. She was truly a genius, and a genuine soul.

It appears Eleanor Roosevelt was the actual originator of ‘Just Do It’ – I wonder if Nike payed her royalties.

You have to admire the fact that Eleanor Roosevelt was no shrinking violet. She truly reshaped the role of First Lady, and effectively served as co-president during FDR’s terms in office. She regularly attended meetings or engagements in his stead, particularly if his mobility was a barrier. If you don’t believe me – watch ‘The Roosevelts’ (a documentary by Ken Burns). Why? Because I had to that’s why. My husband has an unnatural attachment to Ken Burns’ documentaries.

‘The Hiding Place’ is one of my favorite books ever. I’ve read it a dozen times, and still cry every time.

Cornelia ten Boom was the spinster daughter of a clock maker. During a time when women generally married and ran a home, she chose to be educated as a watch maker. When the Nazi’s began taking over Holland (her home), she became involved with the Dutch underground – smuggling Jewish people, food vouchers, false papers, etc. Eventually they were discovered and sent first to prison, then to a concentration camp. Corrie lost her sister and father, as well as other family members. Her faith was her mainstay – although she does not shy away from her doubts. From her, I learned to be thankful for the fleas. ‘The Hiding Place’ is an amazing read, I highly recommend it.

Her survivorship leaves me in awe.

Most of us know who Harriet Tubman was. A runaway slave that became a conductor on the Underground Railroad – helping other slaves escape to freedom. Actually – a great resource on Harriet is the Nathan Hale series ‘Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales.’ My son has learned a lot about history, and the information is well researched – and also entertaining. To me, Harriet’s words remind us of a time in our history we can’t afford to forget, and can also speak to any survivor. Just. Keep. Going.

I could have added 1000 quotes from Harry Potter. But I didn’t. For now.

I have made no secret of my love of Harry Potter, and thus, for Joanne Rowling. The scope of vision it takes to create an enduring universe that lives and breathes is astonishing. However, for all the amazing quotes (they’ll get their own post sometime), this one is my favorite. It reminds us all there is no ‘safe’ path to achieving anything.

True Story.

Brene Brown is a researcher on shame, vulnerability, and courage. She has a number of books available – as well as a TED talk (which is always a good place to start). She reminds us all that we can never be truly courageous without being truly vulnerable. She also teaches that vulnerability cannot be forced with oversharing, it has to come from trust. Shame is toxic, and its antidote is empathy.

I could NOT find an attribution for this – it seems to be in 1000 places, but no one is giving credit. If you know who originated, please let me know and I will updated!


While we are on the subject of strong women, let’s dispense with the idea that strong women don’t cry. I’ve said it before, and I’m sure I will again – strong women are entitled to the entirety of their emotions. All of the feels. You can be strong in tears. You can be strong when you hit bottom. You can be strong when you panic. Feel what you feel. Then get up, and go. Glennon Doyle would tell you there’s no ‘either/or’, its ‘and/both.’

To all the amazing women out there – I love you. I love how you are strong in a thousand ways, and they all look different. (I see you guys out there too – way to go for being strong enough to love strong women – together we change the world).

Please ‘Like’ and ‘Share’! (oh – and check me out on Facebook).

Life Logic

There is still just SO MUCH bad advice out there. And some of it (sort of) sounds like good advice. It sounds wise and thoughtful – especially when layered over beautiful landscape pictures or silhouettes of crying people.

I’m over it you guys. I read out loud a lot. I read to both my kids, and also to my husband because sharing a book that way is one of our ‘times’ together. Sometimes I will be reading and will realize the author did not read it aloud. They missed how awkward it sounds aloud. It doesn’t sound awkward when you read it, just aloud. Our brains tend to correct stuff before we really think about it.

Well, many of these little picture quotes sound like good, sage advice. “Oh my goodness!” we say. “I should use this to shape how I think about everything.”

Except when you actually think about them for a second, its like finding the awkward passage by reading aloud. Instead of awkward, however, it is downright stupid and potentially damaging.

Let us begin.

It got cut off and I’m too annoyed to find another. It says “You can’t love other people until you love yourself.”

Oh – and also I am usually strict about finding attributions to give proper credit for all quotes – but SO MANY people seem to have said something like this. Interesting font, cool black and white chalkboard-y kind of appeal.

So wise, right? NO! This is STUPID! Oh, and before I really get going.

My friend Lauren invented the ‘finger dance.’ Its like a jig where you alternate showing both middle fingers. I’m doing it in my head now.

Let’s unpack this together, shall we?

So, the gist of these two (incredibly stupid) quotes is that you have to love yourself before you can love anyone else, and also before anyone can love you.

Now, I grant you that there is the teeniest, tiniest thread of partial truth in that – but we’ll get to that later when we talk about boundaries. Right now we’re talking about love, and therefore this is just horse apples.

Does that mean I someone don’t understand the importance of self-love? No! Self-love is incredibly important. Immensely important. Something you should put time and energy into every moment.

So why am I comparing these quotes on self-love to horse excrement? Well, because it puts the giving and receiving of love as CONTINGENT on loving yourself. That gets the big NOPE from me.

Why? Love is a GIFT. In its pure form it should be given or received freely, without expectation or strings. When it has those other things, its not really love my friends. REAL LOVE does not come with qualifications.

So, what these quotes are telling me is that because I am broken, because I struggle, because I have ‘stuff,’ I am not worthy of giving or receiving love. No. no. no. no. no.

Perhaps someone sees in us what we are struggling to see in ourselves. Perhaps when they give us their love, it is a lesson we can learn in how to receive love – even from ourselves. Perhaps when we feel we are not of value, and the only thing left we have to offer is our love, by giving it (freely) we are reminded that we are a part of a greater whole. By recognizing that, we plant a tiny seed that can be coaxed into love.

Just to be clear – if in our struggle, in our brokenness we see ‘love’ as a commodity, as something we ‘have to’ give or a bargaining piece to maybe get something back so we feel worthy – that is not truly love. And we need to stop calling it love. Its fear wrapped in the need for approval and acceptance, swathed in the sticky strings of believing we have to earn a place in the world.

Which brings us to boundaries. My favorite ‘boundary’ resource is Brene Brown. Her books are great – but if you want the short version, check out her interviews or TED talks on YouTube.

Here is where the plan starts to come together. How many times when ‘love failed us’ can we see after the fact that we did not establish the boundaries of what we could and could not accept.

So, you ask, am I blaming you/us for what we experienced? No! But unless we can start to unpack the baggage we aren’t going to move past it. We fail to set boundaries, largely because we really don’t believe we are in a position to. Beggars can’t be choosers. And yes, believing that you are WORTH setting boundaries is perilously close to loving yourself. Its a stepping stone. Maybe feeling that love is too big a leap, but saying ‘in any relationship with me, this is what I will and won’t accept’ is a big move forward.

Trust me on this. This is hard and messy and it sucks sometimes. It can mean recognizing the love someone offers to you is not enough if it doesn’t respect the boundaries. It can mean that the love you freely offer that person in return means you wish them well – but also means you have to distance yourself.

‘Also the fact that someone else doesn’t love you doesn’t mean you aren’t worth that project.’ – me

There’s the other piece. I said earlier that sometimes when someone else offers us their love, because they see something in us we struggle to see, it can help us learn to love ourselves. That’s absolutely true (that’s why I said it). Its also not simple. We can’t wait around to be rescued by someone else’s love, we can, however, think of them as a Sherpa. We still have to climb the mountain that is learning self-love – but they seem to know the way and maybe they can help guide us.

We may need to detox from that other kind of ‘love.’ It might be messy. It won’t be fun. I’ll be honest – the people around you will probably change. Some will be gone, or less present. Others will emerge. But as you shovel away the bull***t you’ll find the path is a little clearer. You may find that some of those around you also carry shovels.

Take care.

If you enjoyed reading, please LIKE and SHARE!

Kim

Life Logic

I’ve been thinking recently about how many things we see and hear that are utterly and completely meaningless. Pretty picture quotes or memes or platitudes.

Now, I say this will full awareness that I have a wall full of picture quotes in both my home and office. I love quotes. Quotes that encourage. Quotes that make you think. Quotes that light (or kindle) a fire in you. Quotes that give you a different lens or make you consider something in a whole new way.

But . . . can we just address how BAD some of these are? Now, quite frankly I am going to save some of these for another time. I think we’ll start with this little gem.

This quote comes from Angelina Jolie regarding her divorce, and I’ve seen it in about 157 articles, etc, so I can’t give you an attribution for its first publication. But everyone seems to agree it was her, so that seems accurate. It goes like this, “I was very worried about my mother growing up – a lot. I do not want my children to be worried about me. I think its very important to cry in the shower, and not in front of them. They need to know everything is going to be all right, even when they aren’t sure it is.”

Uuugggghhhhhhhh

Ok – first of all, let me just say that crying in the shower is fine. Cry wherever it strikes you to cry. Maybe the shower feels safer and more comfortable. Yes, cry there.

The issue here is hiding emotions to pretend everything is fine in front of your children. I don’t agree with this. At all. I do believe in parental boundaries. I don’t think you share everything with your kids- they are kids! Parental boundaries. Do those things.

Its the hiding. Its the assumption that by crying in the shower your kids somehow don’t know you are hurting. I assure you they do. They know because kids are open and they are often paying far closer attention than we think. So what do we teach them? We teach them that big, hard emotions are to be hidden. They are shameful and secret.

Why not, instead, teach them that adults have big, hard emotions too sometimes. And we struggle with them. But (and this is a really important but) then we take steps to address the situation, manage those big, hard emotions, and care for ourselves.

Let me give you an example. The last couple of years have been tough ones. I’ve had some health issues, major job transitions, crazy schedules, and that’s on top of the regular chaos of raising a family.

I was/am exhausted. Sometimes so much so that I would cry. In front of my children. Because its important that they know that big, hard feelings are part of life – but they don’t have to take over.

Like Angelina Jolie, I did not want my children worrying about me, but frankly if they hadn’t noticed anything was wrong up until this point I wasn’t parenting correctly. We talk a lot about the importance of ‘seeing’ other people – especially those who are hurting.

So we would have some variation of this talk. ‘You know how mom hasn’t been feeling that good? Well, I get really tired, and it makes things hard. And today (this thing) happened and mom is just sad and struggling with that. But I will be ok.’ Maybe I go take a walk. Maybe I go take a bath. Maybe I go meditate. Maybe I ask them to stop firing questions at me for a while (you all know you can do this, right? Totally an option). My kids see me cry. They also see me dry my tears, take a deep breath, engage in self-care, and move on. They usually ask if I want a hug. I tell them ‘yes, I would love a hug. I also want to be sure you know its not your job to make this better. Mom knows what to do, it just takes time.’

Hiding big, hard feelings from your kids doesn’t help them. Its confusing because they SEE YOU, yet you say you are fine. Perhaps they are also supposed to say they are fine when big, hard things are happening in their life. Perhaps they are supposed to cry in the shower where no one can see.

Courage and tears are not exclusive of each other.


Maybe instead of hiding our pain, we thank our children for noticing. We embrace their compassion and teach them the boundaries of being present for someone without being responsible for taking on their hard things. We show them that big, hard things are not insurmountable things and that tears are not weakness. Maybe we take a moment to remember that WE don’t have to assume adults have it all together either.

Life Logic

Christmas is almost upon us.  My son helpfully pointed out this morning while stumbling, disheveled, from his bedroom this morning, that it is only 5 days away.  Well, that seems very soon.  After all, it was only October about 4 hours ago, and still looks quite a bit like October outside now.

Now, I am not a big fan of the cold (being one of those constantly cold people), but I LOVE snow.  I love it.  Especially at Christmas.  But really anytime between 12/1 and 2/15.  Before OR after that is no Bueno.

I am focusing on Christmas for this post as opposed to other holidays celebrated at this time of year because Christmas is the one that gets the most attention.  After all, ITS THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR – RIGHT??????

Kind of a lot of pressure.  Some people eat it up.  Others do not.

Oh Théoden, you scamp.  You understand.

Don’t get me wrong- I love Elf.  Its one of two movies that MUST be watched at Christmas-time (defined here very strictly as the day after Thanksgiving – last Christmas celebration scheduled).

What’s the other one?

I see all these memes online about wanting to stay home and watch Christmas movies all day, and all I can think is ‘that would take me a morning.’

I used to say that I didn’t want to hear Christmas music until the day after Thanksgiving, but the reality is I don’t really want to hear it until Christmas Eve.  Even then, kinda meh about it.  And don’t get me started about songs I can’t stand (Last Christmas, Simply having a Wonderful Christmastime, Feliz Navidad, All I Want for Christmas is You, about 95% of the rest).

I am not terribly emotional or sentimental at Christmas, which has allowed me to view things from a different point of view.

For instance, there do seem to be some people who genuinely LOVE Christmas.  They have tons of Christmas decorations, Christmas traditions, a wide selection of Christmas music and movies, and exude so much Christmas Spirit that I’m pretty sure their farts smell like peppermint.  I love these folks.  I’m not one – nor do I really want to be – but I love their enthusiasm and their embracing of the season.  As long as they respect people not feeling the ‘jolly’ – they should definitely keep doing their thing.

There are also people who don’t want anything to do with the season.  Some of these are scrooges who hate other people being happy.  Again – that’s fine as long as they keep their bah humbugs to themselves instead of trying to bring others down with them.  I think most of the Christmas abstainers (not including those who practice other beliefs) just aren’t feeling it.  They aren’t feeling the movies filled with happy families and songs about how wonderful everything is.  They can’t really relate and maybe resent the constant reminders a little bit.  Maybe they’ve recently lost someone important to them, or maybe they’ve never had that.  And that gets harder when so many people around you expect that EVERYONE is super excited for Christmas.

Of course, there are a ton of points in the middle as well.  For some, Christmas is about showing someone how much you care by picking the perfect gift, just for them.  For some, its about meeting the expectations of others (real or perceived) with extravagant gifts – or even just trying to outdo others (or their past-selves).  For some its about hoping to be remembered.  For some its knowing you won’t.

So, am I just being a party-hating buzz-kill?

No, definitely not.  I WANT people to connect, to enjoy one another, to wear ridiculous sweaters (accidentally or on purpose).  I just hope that, as you celebrate this year, you SEE those around you who aren’t so into it.  You don’t have to ‘fix’ them – but see them, and understand that they have their reasons, and they aren’t wrong.  Perhaps invite them – and be understanding whether they accept or not.

For those of you not so into Christmas – try to be understanding of those delighting in everything around them.  They aren’t wrong either.

So whether you are:

or

Just be kind to each other.  As long as what we focus on that, it can be a wonderful time for all of us.

 

Take Care,

Kim

Life Logic

I’ve been feeling a little sweary lately.  And by lately I mean for the last year and a half.  And by ‘a little’ I mean I have dropped more f-bombs in the past year and a half than in the 36 previous years combined.

To be fair, I am using them as descriptors, never as personal attacks.  I will not name call or personally demean.  But some situations have resulted in the need for – ahem– stronger descriptors.  When the kids aren’t around.

The other day I was listening to music, specifically this song.

I know, right?  Not really my usual style to be perfectly honest.  I wouldn’t really call myself an Eminem fan (although you have to respect that kind of talent).  This song talks to me, and I DO listen to the explicit version.

When the kids aren’t around.

I like this song because its raw and real and taps into the emotions of struggle and drive and failure and determination.  Above all, getting back up and never letting anyone shut down your path towards your goals.

Sometimes I choose this song instead:

What can I say, I’m complicated.

But sometimes I need grit.  I go for the gut punch of emotion.  And sometimes that involves swearing.

I think my journey to reclaim bits of language is not so different from many people.  I was always the peacemaker, the one who would concede to make things ok.  I always had a feeling that deep down anger wasn’t ok, so I would set it aside (as best I could).  Over the past few years, I have reclaimed many things, but one of the most important was my anger.

Here’s the amazing thing – I haven’t lost my positivity.  I haven’t lost my ability to try to see a situation from the lens of compassion, or to try to encourage those around me.  In fact, I think those attributes have all gotten stronger with my anger in tact.

Anger tells us something isn’t right in our world.  There are lots of kinds of anger (many quite destructive).  The one I am really referring to here is ‘righteous anger.’  That is, anger with a justifiable cause that most reasonable people would agree is unfair or wrong.  While both justified and righteous, it can also become destructive if not managed.  After all, how much easier to hold on to anger that is reasonable?  Too much.  The much (much) harder work is to see things for what they are, recognize there are not what they should be, experience the anger, and choose to either use it or let it go.

Sometimes anger can fuel us into action.  It still can’t just stay anger.  It really does need to change into fuel to move forward in the work you are doing to bring about change.

Sometimes we have to let our anger go.  Not to say the situation is ok, but to say we won’t allow it to make us toxic.

So, sometimes swearing helps.  Sometimes it allows us to name the situation the way it feels.

I don’t really swear when I write.  I’ve always considered relying too much on swearing to be lazy vocabulary.  When writing, I prefer to find ways to express feelings with other words.  My thoughts, on the other hand, are an eerily accurate reflection of my mood.  In fact, hearing my inner thoughts get all sweary was one of the things that allowed me to get back in touch with my anger.  I could look at it with interest, ‘Well, will you look at that!  It appears I am angry about this.  Why?  What do I think/believe?’  Suddenly all these thoughts and feelings would fit themselves together as if just waiting for the invitation.  My husband is very familiar with this as it usually immediately precedes me ranting for a while.  He doesn’t mind because I still have a tendency towards well-reasoned ranting, not just crazy shouting.  I prefer to use well-placed profanity to raising my voice.

You know what, its ok.  Its expression.  Its finding the write words to translate our immensely complex feelings into something we can share with others.  Sometimes the only words that fit are a bit, um, salty.

You know who else advocated for swearing?

Mark Twain, that’s who.

And he’s right.

So I encourage you to embrace all your feelings.  Some comfort you, some fuel you, some you eventually have to let go.  In my experience, it helps to embrace your whole vocabulary as well (don’t let it make you lazy – swear words lose their power when used too freely).

So, swear if you need to, Mark Twain says its ok.  So do I.

 

Take care friends,

Kim

 

If you $%&#@ enjoyed this post, why don’t you %$##*%& LIKE and SHARE.

Life Logic

I have been collecting quotes and sayings for years.  I have boards filled with clippings.  I share them on Facebook, I send them to friends.  Little bits of inspiration, humor, or encouragement.  Often, its one of those little nuggets, or a line from a song that inspires me to come to my computer to write.

I have several people I regularly troll for quotes.  Glennon Doyle is a particular favorite.  Maya Angelou another.  Corrie ten Boom, the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, StoryPeople, Thug Unicorn (Tanya Merkel), and, of course Brene Brown.

The other day I was working on populating (yet) another board – one for above my desk.  I had some favorites I knew I wanted to include, but I am also always looking for new inspiration.  And then, this.

I remember the first time I saw it.  My mind zeroed in and then expanded.  A single, laser focused point of consciousness whirling out to ensnare memories, thoughts, beliefs, and dreams, and then to twist them together back down to that single point.

Still, as I write this, and think about that moment, I pause and just breathe.

For, you see, I have taken a leap of faith.  It can really only be called that.  Parts of that leap started two and a half years ago.  But the real thing, the real LEAP was almost exactly one year ago.  Nearly to the day.  I found out later that I should really refer to that as ‘Leap #1.’  I’m pretty sure I’m on Leap #3 at this point, but its all part of the same journey.

Once, in Mexico on my honeymoon, I jumped off a cliff.  I am terrified of heights, but I did it.  I think it was around 30 feet.  That was 12 years ago, and I still remember the leap.  And I remember the moment before the leap.  I remember standing atop the cliff with other cheerful vacationers and a nice young man who wanted to take my picture so he could sell it to me for exhorbitant sums of money later on.  I remember my thoughts.  ‘Oh, no. No, no, no. Nope.’  Then, ‘just jump, don’t think.’  And I jumped.  I took the leap.  I did not listen to the voices of fear but stepped out and believed everything would be ok.  And it was.

I’ve stood on a lot of ‘cliffs’ between then and now, and usually did not take the leap.  I’m to careful, to unsure, and too scared to trust that things will come out all right.  I’ve struggled to reconcile that with my faith.  Aren’t we supposed to lay everything on God and assume that whatever happens is his will?  I guess I don’t really believe that.  Why would God have built us with courage, intelligence, creativity, tenacity, humor, and grit if He didn’t want us to use them.  What I do believe is that we need to get quiet and listen to that ‘still small voice.’  Our inner selves.  Our core.  Possibly even our link to the divine.  That is the path we walk in faith.

This quote was shared by Glennon Doyle in her book ‘Love Warrior.’  Its one of those pieces that whirled out and then back together.  Faith isn’t a safety net that catches us gently and ensures no harm comes.  Sometimes faith is the opportunity to become strong enough to face what is coming.  Its getting knocked down, bruised, and beaten, and getting back up.  Its knowing you got back up.

For some reason, all of this made me think of when my first child was a newborn – 10 years ago.  I remember a few weeks of getting up every couple hours, and then gradually, getting up twice a night, then once.  By the time he was three months old (mid December), he was basically sleeping through the night (although he did wake up at 5:30, which was still a little ridiculous).  Then Christmas, and traveling to visit family.  Then back to once a night.  Then back to two.  At the time, I felt like this would never end.  In that painful, isolating (sleep-deprived) moment I would never again get a real night’s sleep.  Of course, that didn’t last, and within a few weeks he was sleeping through the night again.

Fast-forward three years and my daughter came.  Essentially the same story.  But different in that I knew it wouldn’t last this time.  I knew it FELT like it would last forever, but I also knew it wouldn’t.  I worried less, and snuggled in for the ride.

This feels like that.  This leap of faith that I call my new business.  My calling.  My path.  Its starting out slow, as it must.  And part of me feels it will always be this way, and that part is painful and isolating (and yes, sleep-deprived).  But there is that other part.  That other part that remembers that sometimes you just sit down with your discomfort and snuggle in.  Keep working, keep moving, and have a little faith that this is the part thats supposed to hurt, but it will be worth it.

 

Thanks friend.

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Life Logic

I have written before about my feelings on faith.  I am passionate about the need for faith to SHOW itself in life.  Beliefs don’t cut it for me.  We have the responsibility to put our boots on and walk the walk.

Lately, I’ve been struggling.  Would I call it a crisis of faith?  No, not really.  I was wrestling with thoughts and ideas and feelings, and trying to make sense of things in my own life.

I was listening to Casting Crowns’ new song, ‘Oh My Soul.’  I recommend it.  Casting Crowns is the soundtrack of my faith journey.

Here it is if you are interested.

I was struck by the line ‘ . . . and my shipwrecked faith will never get me to shore.  Can He find me here, Can He keep me from going under?’

That’s it.  My faith wasn’t in crisis.  My faith was shipwrecked.  Not only was I wondering if God could find me where I was, I was wondering if He would.

Shipwrecked faith.  The faith is still there.  I am standing alone amidst the wreckage, and look out onto the horizon – knowing the rest of the world is out there but helpless to close the gap.

Standing on the shore aware of the juxtaposition of desolation and beauty, of solitude and isolation.  Amidst the wreckage are a thousand guidebooks of how to ‘fix things.’  But just as seeing a map of trade winds does not teach you to navigate, a ‘how-to’ cannot build a relationship.

I still believe.  When the pain and isolation wash over me and my heart breaks as I bleed out onto the page I write.  I still believe.

But I am tired, and alone in the beautiful desolation.  I still believe yet I struggle to trust that the great God of my faith sees me, too.  Understanding that my doubts are not signs of His failing, but my own.  Failing to trust and to believe that if I fall I will be caught.

So here I stand on my shore, in my solitude.  In my isolation.  Knowing God is real and that to have the kind of relationship I know to be possible, I must surrender.  To sever the safety lines and fall.

Am I more afraid of knowing that relationship is out there and never finding it?  Or of surrendering?

I am a person who is in control.  Self-control, not control of others.  Organization and order are my superpowers.  This has been met with both admiration and contempt, but certainly more of the latter.

Am I really just afraid of letting go?

Corrie ten Boom said, ‘There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.’

So is it dark here in the pit?  Or are my eyes just closed?

Am I more afraid of staying invisible, or of being seen?

So here in the pit I wrestle, knowing I am not alone, but yet uncertain about what that means for me.  In the stillness, I wait to hear the voice of God, as I am learning to hear and heed that ‘still small voice’ inside that is my own intuition.

I wonder if they are the same voice.

So amid my shipwreck, I will have faith.

 

Guerilla Christianity Life Logic

Recently, I had a text conversation with a friend.  I had sent this great piece from a write I like, Tanya Markul (who goes by the oh-so-awesome moniker Thug Unicorn).

This friend commented that they were sometimes empathetic when they should be cord cutting.  I could almost hear their sigh when they typed, ‘I’m a work in progress.’

That really struck me.  Aren’t we all?  Who do you honestly know who is ‘complete.’  No room for improvement.  No goal to push towards.

How many movies or TV shows have you watched, or (if you’re like me) how many books have you read where the main character just trots through the whole story knowing everything they need to know, making no mistakes, not growing or needing to grow.

That’s one boring story, and off the top of my head I can’t actually think of one.  They might be out there, but let’s face it – no one can relate to that person.  We relate to the struggle.  To the striving.  It is a holy journey.  A quest.  Its Frodo volunteering to take the ring.  Its Harry Potter and the horcruxes.  Its Moana leaving the reef.  Its the Rebels facing off against the Empire.  Those are the parts of the journey we see, and we see the end.  Those are not the ends to their journey.  They move forward.  They know more, they have learned from successes and heartbreak.  They continue on their path, though we might not read or watch those stories.

We are the same.  We might look at a time in our life as an episode or a chapter.  That story had a beginning, a middle, and an end.  But there were things that happened before, and things that happened after.  A work in progress.

A couple of days ago (and a couple of days after this conversation with my friend), I happened to be listening to the radio.  I wasn’t paying a lot of attention, but the radio person said something to the effect of, ‘. . . . trying to do everything and beating themselves up because its not perfect.  Don’t beat yourself up because things aren’t perfect.  Because you are a work in progress.’

You see why I started paying attention?  I had been thinking about that holy journey.  The glorious chaos of being ‘in progress.’

Here’s what struck me.  Essentially, it sounds as if the radio person is suggesting that the reason things aren’t perfect is because you are a work in progress.  Therefore, perfection is the destination.

I disagree.  Ok, in reality I snorted steam out my nose and turned off the radio.  NO!  Perfection is NOT the destination.

Imperfection IS.  Its not a temporary feature of a life.  It IS life.  LIFE IS IMPERFECT.  To me, the ‘work in progress’ is not a journey toward perfection, but a journey to happiness within imperfection.  Its ups and downs.  Easy and hard.  Glorious and heartbreaking.  Sometimes all at once.

THAT made me think of two quotes from two good friends of mine (we’ve never met, but I am just sure we would be good friends if we ever did.)

 

Just because you’re a work in progress, doesn’t mean you aren’t gloriously, imperfectly, wonderfully worthy.

 

Take care my friends,

Kim

 

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Life Logic

Spring is here, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve been wearing my glasses for three weeks so I stop ruining contacts (get a move on your pollinating, trees).  And after the first day and a half of enjoying nice weather without bugs, the bugs arrived as well.

A couple of weeks ago, we went on a family hike.  This is also known as a ‘no we aren’t done yet, and once we’re done we still have to walk all the way back.’  Bonding.  Along the way, we saw some bumblebees.

Um, no.  Not that kind.

Yep, that’s the one.

And that, of course, made me think about all the facts I know about bumblebees.

I only know two facts about bumblebees.

  1. They do not make honey.
  2. Scientists have not yet figured out how they are able to fly.

You see, science cannot (at least not yet) explain how the small wings of a bumblebee are able to carry the large fluffy body in flight.  Similarly, I have not yet been able to figure out how my medium-sized child can eat twice as much as I can.

But I digress.

My point here is this – by all current standards of science, a bumblebee should not be able to fly.  It should be impossible.  Yet, everyone knows they do (seriously – you all know that right?).

And THAT made me think about the fact that so much of what we face in life seems impossible.  No matter who you are, no matter what your strengths, your weaknesses, your barriers, your past – something seems impossible to you.

Its impossible to find time to exercise.

Its impossible to find an extra $100 in the budget.

Its impossible to find a job I love.

Its impossible to believe I will find love (or find it again).

Its impossible to believe I deserve better.

Its impossible to get out of bed.

Its impossible love me anymore than I already love me because I love me the bestest of all (Kanye West- probably).

You see what I’m getting at here? (seriously, you do see what I’m getting at here, right?)

Robert Heinlein said ‘Theoretically, everything is impossible until its done.’  Ok, fair enough, Robert.  I believe that with any ‘impossibility’ – at least any that really resonates with us –  comes pain.  That’s not always a bad thing.  There is pain in realizing something you want feels like it cannot be.  There is often pain in achieving that goal.  So what do we do with it.  Sometimes we just breathe, and we realize that the bravest, strongest thing we can do is sit with that pain.  Survive it in this moment, and the next.  We get stronger.  Strong enough to breathe through the third moment and the one after that.

Glennon Doyle Melton says “When pain knocks on the door, the wise ones breathe deep and say ‘Come in, sit down.  Don’t leave until you’ve taught me what I need to know.'”  That doesn’t mean there are any easy answers.  Sometimes what the pain teaches us is that its time to let go.  Sometimes the pain teaches us to step deeper into the fire.

If we go back to the bumblebees, they also remind us that if we’re going to do impossible things, its better to do them together.  Humans are designed to connect (yes, all of us).  Connection can vary pretty widely, but we are designed to work in collaboration to other humans.  Find your community and your support.

So, yes, there are a great many impossible things out there.  Mt. Everest was impossible until Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay climbed it.  Why did they do it? ‘Because it is there,’ said Hillary.  Totally badass.  I do know that sometimes our Everest is getting out of bed.  Sometimes is trusting someone again.  Sometimes its taking a risk to get to somewhere better.  And those mountains to not feel smaller than Everest.

Trust yourself.  Trust the pain, and learn from it.  Sometimes pain is the fire that burns of everything we thought we were or thought we needed, and leaves behind only the truth.

Find your Sherpa or your hive, and do the impossible.

As Glennon Doyle Melton would say,

Kim

 

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Life Logic