Dear Younger Me … I Forgive You

Dear Younger Me,
I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t catch myself randomly watching some sort of flashback play through my head, thinking “oh, if only I’d done that differently.”
If only my mother and I had gotten along. If only I’d agreed to go to Prom, just once, to see what it was like. If only I hadn’t given up on my dreams because I didn’t think I’d ever measure up in the real world.
It’s easy to look back on 20 years of if-onlys and succumb to your regrets, letting them swallow you whole.

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Is There Room for Shame in Your Marriage Bed?

I grew up in a home where sex was never discussed. I really didn’t understand much about sex other than it was something that we didn’t talk about. If for some reason the subject of sex came up on a television show, someone would quickly get up and turn the channel. As a young girl growing up, pretty much the only thing I remember being discussed about sex was it was something that was not good, and something that I should not do.

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The UpSide of Shame – When Shame Prompts Confession

“Oh boy, look what you did. You’re in trouble now!”
Words spoken to myself as a young girl penetrated – heart, mind, and soul. I don’t know exactly how old I was when this particular incident happened, barely old enough to write words. I remember the way my hand trembled though, as I penciled this hard to spell word.
“Forgive”
Not just hard to spell. Hard to give and hard to receive.

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Mothering from Moment to Moment: Why I Don’t Feel Guilty When Distractions Pull Me Away

Recently, my family and I had a week which was made up of “moments” and memories. It’s not all that often that I am able to recognize the “moments” in the moment, but during this recent week, I was able to. And I was keenly aware of what a remarkable gift that was.
My husband and I are blessed with two boys — one a teen, one a tween. Truly special family times seem to be more and more difficult to come by, the older they get.

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Shame is Lava

Shame is a hot flow of lava. Sometimes it’s hard to stem the flow. How can we stop the destructive drip when it oozes from the source of the spring?
I first realized shame was liquid when I read Brene Brown’s description of it in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection. She describes it as a hot wash.
I know this wash. I’ve felt its flow through my blood veins many times.

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5 Surefire Signs You’ve Turned 50

Last Thursday, I woke up fifty years old. I’d never woken up that old before, but I knew it was coming because I’d seen all the signs: elephant wrinkles … gray hair … sagging skin. (I won’t mention the movement on the back of the arms. I’m still in denial.) But there were other tell tales symptoms. For instance,

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The Voices Within

I’m vaguely aware of my dog’s paw, small and gentle, on my shoulder. His tap, tap, tapping, pulls me from the fog of slumber.
“No,” I mumble, certain day has not yet broken night.
As I roll away from my persistent pup, a knife stabs at the base of my neck and thousands of needles drill into my right shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers. I moan, though not audibly. Instead the moan rises within. Echoes within. Resides within.
Within.
That dark space where I bury pain.

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The Tangle of Shame in Motherhood

“Mom, I can’t take it anymore.”
I stood up, closed the refrigerator door, and turned to see my then-third-grade son standing behind me. He was crying.
“What’s happened, Sam?”
He began to unpack his struggle of the past three years – events he’d kept hidden from me and my husband. As I sat and listened, tears rolled quietly down my cheeks. But inside I was screaming.

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