On my hypothetical death

If I were to commit suicideMy note would be super passive aggressive. It would be something like “Why can’t people be kinder to each other?” The times I feel like dying the most — not killing myself, just dying– are when I see people treat each other like an opinion or a classification instead of a person. I truly don’t understand why people can’t just fucking get over the fact that everyone has different opinions and that name calling and arguing about shit isn’t going to help anyone. Why can’t people at least try just a fucking little bit to attempt to have good interactions with people they disagree with? I honestly feel like I’m the only one sometimes. I know this isn’t the case but I don’t get to see many examples of common courtesy* and sometimes I feel like it’s just me. (*there is no such thing as common courtesy, because there is no one courteous quality that is universally agreed upon. In this instance, “common courtesy” is hyperbole for “not being an asshole to people who disagree with you about gun laws.”) Just me sitting here wishing people would stop seeing others for the annoying differences and start finding reasons to love them. And like actual loving too, not some bullshit like “love the sinner hate the sin” or like “tough love” or whatever. People hide behind those in order to throw shit on people they disagree with. You know what real love looks like? It’s biting your tongue when people are racist bigots and remembering how great they are in other ways. All of the people have mostly good or reasonable aspects to them! If you don’t think so, then you are lazy and care more about proving yourself to be right than you care about nurturing what brings others to life. How to actually be LOVING? Fucking bite your tongue in a heated conversation. You’re not going to change their mind because a heated Internet debate is not a place where people are open to new ideas. So if you call them on being racist bigots or on using bad logic or on being an asshole, you are actually the bigger asshole. The time for name calling is…never. Or maybe sometimes? I can’t think of a good example at the moment. If you MUST change someone’s mind then do it at a time and in a way where you are a safe person to talk to and respect. People will shut down no matter how much good information you’re throwing their way if they get defensive, which they will if someone is telling them they’re wrong. 
EVERYONE BELIEVES THEY ARE RIGHT. EVERYONE BELIEVES THEIR OPINIONS ON ALL SUBJECTS ARE ACCURATE. THIS IS FINE; ITS A NORMAL DEFENSE MECHANISM AND MOST PEOPLE CAN GET ALONG QUITE WELL WITH THE DELUSION OF HAVING A MONOPOLY ON TRUTH. THIS IS FUCKING OK. WE ALL DO THIS.
I of course think I’m right, with the caveat that I try really hard to remain open to new ideas, even if they’re shouted at me from an angry person. I try hard to listen to what they actually mean, vs what they are saying and especially vs what my emotions tell me they’re saying. Most people want good things for everyone or at least want to want good things for everyone, which is sufficient for me to approve. I might not think they’re right, but it doesn’t mean I think they’re WRONG. To me, this is a good way of loving others.
Back to suicide. I’d likely never do it unless I could devise some method of doing so that would give people plenty of warning that they are about to discover a dead person. Ideally I’d die, maybe in bed? But I don’t know of a way to make that happen without ending up covered in vomit or blood or whatever which would be harmful to whomever would come across my body. I also wouldn’t want to die in a place that holds special memories for my family or whatever because I wouldn’t want the location of my death to be some sort of a trigger for them. 
I really love my family, of course, even more so than I love all the other people, which is a fucking LOT. People talk about how selfish suicide is…that if the person had truly cared about those they were leaving behind, they’d not have killed them self in the first place. This is faulty, or at least in my hypothetical case it would be. Here’s the thing: I love people so much that it injures me when people don’t even attempt to be civil with other people. I’m not asking that other people love others the way I do, because God it’s exhausting. But if I saw people being fucking kind to people when times are stressful it would make doing life a hella easier. I wouldn’t feel like the only one, trying to love all the people to make up for all the people that are shitty to them. 
I get that I go overboard when it comes to loving people and accepting them no matter what, even the people that are super intolerant of me (which I can handle) or super intolerant of others (which is much harder to deal with.) I’m not asking that people rarely state their opinion just to remain accessible to all the people like I do. But just a LITTLE empathy every now and then would be nice. People are living in fear and they’re shutting down to all different people because it’s easier to have someone to blame and to feel self righteous over than to admit that shit will happen and people will disagree and we need to give up control enough to see past it and try for a future where we can break bread together anyway. 
I feel like I’ve instilled enough kindness and empathy and loving all the people propaganda into my kids. They’re set. I have given them a head start and have done my part in “breeding the change I wish to see in the world.” Would some more time with them be cool? Yep. But all this loving of people is really starting to wear me down. 
I’ve mostly accepted that people aren’t ever going to love me with the same passion I love them. It’s hard for me but I know for me to want/ask for that love to be given back is beyond needy and I wouldn’t want to push people’s boundaries like that. Because I love them so fucking much. I have to say, though, that I wish I got that kind of love from someone. The closest I have to that is K, who for sure loves me a lot, but his love is of this like…hard variety that doesn’t suit me well at all lately. The thing is, all this love that I have for him isn’t the sort he needs. He needs me to love him in a way where I’ll get off my ass and just do what I need to do, which I can’t do. I have tried. He tells me I haven’t. Then he changes it and tells me I have but I need to do more. But I can’t get myself to do more. This is all I’ve got right now. I can’t give any more. Of all the passion I have for loving all the people, it’s my love for him that is honestly the least passionate. I’m not the right person for him. I could live with the fact that he’s probably not the right person for me either except for the fact that I feel so guilty that he’s stuck with me. Ironically if I were to leave him so he could find someone that would suit him better, he still wouldn’t be happy because to him, there is nothing worse than the fact that he might have been wrong for years and years about his life. That would torture him more than years of staying with me have and will continue to do so. I feel really sorry for him. Despite my dispassionate love for him, he’s still the best person I’ve ever met, and every day I spend torturing him in a prison of our own making makes me feel worse. God, I wish he could just cheat on me and fall in love with someone else. It wouldn’t be as easy as this relative peace we’ve got going on but it would be better for us both. But like suicide would be the hard choice to make, even though it would be better long term, I’m not going to do that because even more than he loves me, he loves his pride the most and my suicide would take that from him. 
Have you ever noticed how people have this great respect for people who against all odds, work their asses off and just “get it done”? Why can’t they have a bit of empathy for the people like me that seem to have missed that character quality? There is no room in society for lazy people, and I am lazy. (Yes, I have chronic fatigue and hypothyroidism but my laziness is above and beyond) I CANT get off my ass and do whatever the fuck it is I need to do. That is not who I am. I’m not the survivor. I’m the one that gets killed off at the beginning of the horror movie because I can’t run away to safety and I don’t think I want to live with the memories of whatever horror it is that is happening anyway. I know that as long as I have that attitude, I’ll never get anything done. But that’s the thing- it’s not a bad attitude if it’s fucking true. Every time I’ve tried to change my attitude “I’m going to be productive jessica today!” It lasts like…1/2 hour. I’ll even feel good about myself but then I CANT DO ANY MORE. People can’t wrap their heads around people who are constitutionally incapable (to borrow a phrase) of pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. You know what? I didn’t get boot straps. Feel free to shame me about it…you can’t make me feel any worse than I already fucking do. The only place in my life where I’m not lazy is how hard I work every damn day to love the shit out of everyone, and that is the part of my life that is hurting me the most. 
Also have you noticed how people think suicidal people are just looking for attention? Like they’re needy and they were dumb how they went about getting help or not getting help. But for me, when I try to get help, it’s nice to be supported for 45 min of therapy per week or whatever, but then I just have to go out there alone again and DO whatever it is I’m supposed to do, which I mostly can’t do. If I’m able to do it, it’s actually really painful sometimes. I can’t have my therapist follow me around all the time either because I love her and I don’t want to be needy on her, well of course I want to be needy on her, but because I love her I don’t want to ask her to love me back the way I love her. Suicidal people are hated because they’re just looking for attention. But honestly, why does looking for attention have to be a bad thing? 
I don’t get to drink any more, to escape from this prison of loving people too much while watching them hate each other. Smoking doesn’t help much. Shopping helps a lot but I can’t fucking do it because I can’t get off my ass enough to make money. 
God I want to die. But I don’t get to because I love people too fucking much. I hate this. I wish ISIS would come get me and I could tell them that I love them no matter what and then they’d kill me and it would be over.
The mantra that keeps going through my head is “I want to die, I want to die”. It’s been several weeks of this. I’m usually able to keep it at bay but here is where I’m honest. 
Maybe the most depressing part of this is that I might feel a little better tomorrow and probably a lot next week during Christmas. But at the end of the day, NOTHING WILL HAVE CHANGED. And this dark merry go round that forces me to throw off my self delusions as I have just done here will be in the background, ready for me to jump back on whenever I start getting things done and dare to hope that I can keep it up. Because I can’t. 

In Defense of “How He Loves”

Warning: there will likely be many uses of italics in this post. Please forgive: but this song makes me very feely.

I’m part of a secret FB group that is composed largely of people who have, in various ways, been harmed by churches or certain doctrines. As this is my secret blog where I discuss my newly progressive theology and try to articulate my journey from strict Fundamentalism into wherever the heaven I’m at now, (see what I did there?) it is likely that these folks will be the only readers of this post. (Hi guys!) So much of where I am at, spiritually, is a secret to my various friends on social media because I don’t want to alienate people that don’t agree with me, so I mostly use this blog as a dump zone to spit something out when it’s feeling pressing and I have to get it “out there” somewhere. So, this is today’s word vomit coming at ya straight from your homegirl.

Someone on my group posted a joke about the song “How He Loves” today. I’d totally forgotten about the song, honestly, until now. I immediately went outside and listened to it with my headphones and enjoyed a smoke and the warm breeze and the perfect weather. The song’s 7 minute length can’t be a coincidence — Will Reagan must be a smoker;)

Many people whom I respect don’t like its Jesus-is-my-boyfriend imagery. The “sloppy wet kiss” between Heaven and earth grosses people out. I totally get that. Many of us are challenging the various ideas behind Christian song lyrics, which is important.

Many Christians are concerned with the glut of Christian songs out there that are incredibly manipulative musically. It is too easy, as a Christian music consumer, to be swept away in songs whose chord progressions and harmonic intervals and simplistic lyrics invite the listener to turn off their brain and feel God. I liken these types of songs to dessert: they taste good but, as responsible seekers of the Way, it is important that we pay attention to the doctrines expressed, because sometimes the words undermine the health of our Spirit. If all we’re consuming is songs that we blindly sway to, we had best make sure the lyrics aren’t 3 personal pronouns to every one mention of God. (Looking at you, “I Will Give You All My Worship”) Whom are we really worshiping at that point? So yes, we must maintain a diet of worship that actually worships God, or our Spirit will be rich in self-service.

Another important element of Christian songs is which should be sung in worship vs. which are good for meditation or listening. This in itself is another blog post. Long story short, in my opinion “How He Loves” is great as special music, maybe not so great as a congregational song. That’s just me. There are great points to be had on either side. However, this song, especially the Will Reagan/Laura Hackett version is better done as special music, partly because of its musicality. It’s super slow and doesn’t do a bunch of strummy lalas to drive it to the next measure or verse. But I digress.

Having addressed the issues of musical manipulation and Jesus-is-my-boyfriendism, why do I think “How He Loves” still deserves consideration as a great Christian song?

  • it doesn’t do a bunch of strummy lalas to drive it to the next verse. There are entire seconds where nothing is happening; we’re left with the ringing of the last chord and the memory of the last line in our mind. I love this. I call these times “Selah moments” — in which we find ourselves being forced to take a moment, a breath, and digest what was just sung. The song’s insistence on lyrically standing up on its own without any busy work to distract the listener is something that doesn’t happen often. In this way, the song reminds me of one of my most important relational elements with God: shut up for a second and think about what He’s trying to say. Try to be aware of the notion that we can sit and be embraced without running forward to the next thing.
  • it reminds us of being embraced. So I can totally understand those who are like “Ew, I don’t want to make out with God. Stop writing songs about Him that could just as easily be about my love for my partner or my dog’s love for me.” I really get it. But the thing is, it’s important for me to remember that His embrace is all-encompassing. Using terminology like “sloppy wet kiss” may be gross, but it’s similar to the kind of hyperbole Jesus used in parables. He told stories about stuff we understand to try to help us recognize spiritual concepts. When my hubs and I were first dating, at the very hormonal age of 17, all I wanted to do was touch him and hug him and smooch him all over. We’ve been together now for 13 years. While my love for him is certainly deeper and richer, I also appreciate my personal space from him now when before it would have been torture. When I hear lyrics like these, it’s a reminder to me that even though I feel like I’ve known God forever and have been walking this journey for X amount of years, His feelings toward me are still new and fresh and He still can’t get over the fact that He Loves me so much that He’d happily let me be wrapped up in Him all the time. The entireness* of Love, the all-encompassiness* of Love…that’s the only concept this song is trying to convey and I think the physical touch imagery is quite an appropriate metaphor, gross as it may seem to some.
  • it’s not prescriptive. There are a LOT of songs that will touch about Christ’s love but then will have a call to action within it. This can be healthy. Sure, God loves us, but what is our reaction to it? How can we then show Love to all the other people? But this song just sits  there and refuses to budge from God’s Love for us. That’s it. God Loves us. He Loves us. Hey, guess what? He LOVES us. The end! It invites us to sit and bask. (See, I wasn’t lying about the italics.) There is no mention of us or how we should do stuff or how we should change or that He loves us despite our sin…it articulates the fact that He Loves us just because we’re us. When I wrap up my little boy in my arms and hug him and tell him I love him just because he’s him, it’s a special moment for us. There are other times where I let him know that he should probably do certain things because of responsibility to me. But those moments where I feel his warm breath on my shoulder and we just sit for a moment and feel, we are building on the unconditionality* of our relationship. I need that with God sometimes too. When I was growing up, ideas like God’s grace and love were definitely thrown around. But the responsibility part was much more heavily emphasized. ‘Yep, you can’t earn God’s grace. But you better repent from all your sins now because you can’t approach God with sin in your heart.’ Well, guess what? You can. And He still Loves you the same. And He’d rather have you come sit on His lap even if you’re not sure you want to give up whatever it is you’re holding on to. Because He LOVES you. What good is grace if you’re not supposed to need it? That’s what it’s there for! Don’t worry about needing too much Grace: there’s plenty. Anyway, this song came at me at a time in my life where I was beginning to realize that Love, that Grace, and thusly that God is so much better than they taught me in Sunday School. God won’t Love me any more if I quit smoking. God won’t Love me any less if I kill someone. His Love is. And that’s all.

So, to sum up…I like this song because it forces me to remember Love as its own concept. So that’s where I’m at today. God Loves the shit out of me. I like that. 🙂

*My spell checker hates these words but I’m sticking with them because sometimes made-up words are more eloquent than the accepted vocabulary.

PS: I stick to male pronouns with God because it’s what I’m used to doing. I’m too easily distracted when male and female pronouns toward the same Deity are intermixed and it gets confusing to me. That said, my official opinion is this: God is neither male nor female and is also both male and female. Please forgive my patriarchal language until someone can come up with a suitable non-gendered singular pronoun.

“Speaking the truth in love” and why you should probably skip it

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Many Christians love this phrase. I’m picking on Christians, here, specifically, because I am a Christian, who actually grew up believing this was ok. “They are going to hell! I have to TELL them otherwise they might never know.” Here’s what I believe now: whether or not we believe something is incorrect about a person’s theology, it is generally a bad idea to tell them so. The caveat? We can maybe talk to others about our beliefs, hoping they’ll listen to the Holy Spirit and start believing, ONLY if we have a strong relationship with them.

Too often do I find people online, commenting on the latest Christian blog post of interest, saying things like “If you believe that, you’re not really a Christian.” Or similar: “There is no space in heaven for (insert judgmental moniker here).” Often, when these believers are confronted about how it’s probably not their job to judge whether or not someone is going to hell, they jump behind their mask of “I’m speaking the truth in love”, which basically means “I’m going to say what I want, with as much vitriol as I feel, because God wants me to. I’m trying to save these peoples’ souls.” Well, guess what? They’ve probably already been confronted “in love” about this belief they have. In fact, it might have been quite the painful journey for them to come to this position. Don’t worry: they’ve spent a lot of time listening to all the people that this belief is wrong, yet generally, it’s after much prayer that they continue to believe it. The fact that many of these hell-senders are complete strangers, jumping down differently-believing throats online, is likely not going to be a great way to get people to change their minds about things.

Honestly, how dare someone condemn another to hell for any reason when they haven’t even had that person over for a meal? When they don’t even know what makes that person come alive? We are meant to serve all the people. Even Jesus didn’t look at people and yell at them for their lifestyle. He grabbed some dinner with them. He healed them. He met their needs and developed relationships with them, way before the words “Go and sin no more” came out of his perfect mouth. The only time Jesus went straight for the throat and got upset with peoples’ sins was when they were being complete legalistic assholes who were being cruel to the poor and the unbelievers and doing crappy stuff in the Temple.

I’ve seen this happen on both sides of the political spectrum, though admittedly I’ve seen one side condemning people to hell more than the other side. But on both sides, there is name-calling, insults, and a general spirit of judgment that probably doesn’t do much good in building the Kingdom. Here’s what’s up: there will be Christians that have different beliefs than you. They might even believe differently than you in doctrines that you find SUPER IMPORTANT. It doesn’t give you a license to breathe your sweaty moral judgment down their collar.

When I was a child, for several summers I was involved with a local Christian missions project. Several of us would be dropped off in various neighborhoods in kind of rough areas of the large city and we’d go door-to-door with tracts, telling people they were going to hell if they hadn’t accepted Jesus. We cried over “the hard-hearted” who’d refuse and we’d rejoice with those who would pray the Sinner’s Prayer with us. We’d always make sure to leave a note with the local church’s address and various service times. Looking back, I realize what we were doing was basically the definition of what my denomination said not to do: “birthing an orphan into the Kingdom of God”. We’d swoop in, say our thing, and then hope that they would be the ones to follow up with the church. (I really wish we’d brought a grocery store gift card or food with us to these houses, instead of tracts. Many of these people couldn’t read, and almost all looked like they could use a good meal. I still ache when I think about how insulting it was for a bunch of rich white kids to go around doing what we did.)

“Speaking the truth in love” to complete strangers online is similar to birthing orphans into the Kingdom. Even if someone were to take our truth in love bomb seriously, (instead of getting defensive and hurt) how then could we dig in and make sure their various needs are being met? When someone has a belief change, it is painful and requires a lot of support and time. When we don’t offer someone the emotional or spiritual support after telling them that they believe wrong, it is utterly callous and cruel. We need to be a safe sounding board for those who are experiencing true belief change. We can’t just Kanye people and be like “I’ma let you finish but you are going to hell if you don’t believe in things the way I do. <drop the mic>” It’s not loving.


Here’s some bullet points:

  • Let the Holy Spirit do its job. Your job is to love God and all the people. You’re not the doctrine police.
  • Your opinion on someone else’s beliefs doesn’t matter that much. How is this possible? Think about it: when someone thinks you’re wrong, does it make a difference to you?
  • Don’t use the “I use tough love on my kids: I’ll use tough love on Anonymous211”. Anonymous 211 isn’t your kid. Also, you and your kid have a lot of stable relationship to fall back on when correction is necessary.
  • Serving people and their real-life needs will go farther in the Kingdom than dropping a “truth in love” bomb on them.
  • Not “speaking the truth in love” doesn’t make you a “soft” Christian. It makes you charitable. As you develop relationships with people whose beliefs aren’t quite the same as yours, you might even develop some empathy. How can you possibly believe that tearing someone down is truly loving? Try validating them for a while. Be a safe person, not another naysayer.
  • Stop telling other Christians that they aren’t “really Christians” for believing or doing different stuff than you. You know why they can call themselves Christians while not agreeing with your current doctrinal obsession? Because Jesus. Salvation and hell are not tipping on the scales of pedantic issues like whether they baptize or dedicate their babies or what denomination they belong to. Start focusing on people who haven’t heard the Good News, instead of wasting your effort on professing Christians.

Here are some examples of acceptable uses of speaking the truth in love to strangers or acquaintances:

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Wow, that is a cute jacket!

Your babies are beautiful!

Your kid got a great grade on the SAT! Good job raising such a smart progeny!

You did an incredible job on that assignment, coworker!


Here are some great ways to develop relationships with people you don’t know yet, if you are trying to learn to serve all the people:

 That bag is so cute? Did you make it? Would you like to get together to craft sometime?

I’m really interested in your opinion about this topic. Could I buy you some coffee sometime and we can discuss it more in detail?

Hey, it appears you’ve got your hands full with all those kids. Could I bring over some meals for your family?


You guys, we have to stop focusing on the differences between Christians. We can’t “fix” anyone’s theology. It’s actually quite freeing, when you set aside the differences and work, worship, serve, cry, rejoice with others.

I’m not asking you to change your mind on your theology. I respect how you came to your beliefs. All I’m imploring is that you focus on lifting others up; pray for them with sincerity; learn what you can about them. Pray God’s will for their life – don’t rejoice in their failure. This human experience is tough and we all got to this point in our lives from completely different roads. Trust God to bless and speak truth into the lives of others through your service, not your blindsiding condemnation.

Ok that is all. Up next: my take on the phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” (Hint: I’m not a fan of that phrase either.)

how to be an empath and still survive the problems of others

My strengths
Forgive my awful pic…took it with my phone:)

The above picture is my strengths finder results. Check it out if you’re not familiar…it’s a neat way to learn things about yourself. For those that can’t view the picture correctly, is says my top 5 strengths in order are 1. empathy, 2. developer, 3. includer, 4. connectedness, 5. positivity.

As you can see, empathy is basically my main characteristic. I feel like it’s so present in me that it’s my top 3 characteristics: just one spot for it doesn’t do my empathy justice. I like my empathy.

Here’s the problem, though- being very empathetic is incredibly exhausting. It takes a lot of psychic energy to not only deal with your own problems, but then to care so much about others that you end up taking on their problems is kind of a nightmare.

Us empaths, we strongly care a lot about the people around us, so when we sense they’re upset or they’re unhappy or they’re not living their lives in their most authentic way, it’s pretty easy to find yourself getting upset.You keep thinking “I’ve been through a situation like that and it was so awful!” and all you want to do is wrap your loved one in the warm blanket of your caring and take away their pain. You want to buy them a coat if they have a chill, a stress ball if they’re worried, a house if they’re financially burdened.

The title of this post is misleading in that I’m only half-qualified to give it: I’m an empath. But I still haven’t figured out how to survive the tough situations of others. Here’s some advice I’ve culled in the past and need to remember during bad moments.

1. Put on your life jacket first, before jumping in to rescue another person

Last night I was spending time with someone I care about. I spent a lot of time asking her questions, trying to draw out what was going on inside of her. Most of her answers were negative. She apparently has been having a really bad month and I hadn’t known about it. I was doing ok for a while, but finally she told me some stuff about a relationship where I don’t feel she’s getting treated as well as she deserves, and finally I couldn’t handle it anymore and starting crying and I actually yelled at her for not caring about herself the way I care about her. Seriously. This was not a good way to help my friend.

My issue? I didn’t put on my life jacket before jumping in with her.

I take her feelings personally, because I care. What’s funny is that taking the feelings of others personally = bad caring. Had I told myself that she probably just needed to vent and maybe wasn’t looking for a solution, I probably would have saved myself (and her!) about 30 minutes of me crying, an awkward goodbye, and then what will be our next awkward interaction where we deal with it. My life jacket was hanging on the wall- a tool at the ready- and I ignored it and ruined what had started as a fun night.

2. Own your own emotional backbone

What happens when we allowed ourselves to be dragged down by the feelings of others is that our emotional stability is now in the hands of someone else. This is terrible! We need to be strong enough to weather the storms of others, or how will we get through our own?  It’s ok to need people, but if other people’s problems ruin your day, you could feel a bit like a kite with a thousand strings, each pulled by a different person. Up and down you go no matter what you want because you have given them that power. (Trust me, they didn’t ask for it). At this point, you’re veering eerily close to codependency.

3. Don’t bring your suffering friend down even further by making them responsible for your bad mood  

That’s not caring! You’ve taken their problem, made it your own, you have no lifejacket, so you both are out there, trying to fight the waves of this problem, there is a severe undercurrent, and you’re unguarded. Even worse- you either lie to your friend and pretend their problem isn’t affecting you, or if you tell the truth, at best they will feel bad for you, but at worst, they might get kinda pissed (and rightly so!) that you took something that started out about them and ultimately made their problem about you. You can’t help them at this point and now they’re looking around trying to figure out how to drag both of you to shore. Bad situation made worse by a bad choice on your part.

4. Do what you can, no more, and allow yourself to be ok with it

You can’t fix people, no matter how strongly you might care about them. Especially if you’ve been through a similar circumstance before, and you have advice. Do what you can do, but only that. It might look like sending a text saying “I’m thinking about you today. Would talking to me make your day better?” It might be sending a box of groceries their way or getting an old picture they love developed and sending it to them. If it’s advice they need, go for it. When it stops being helpful to them or if it is never helpful to them, allow yourself to move on. No need to martyr yourself at the altar of your friend’s issue. Being “helpful and caring” past the point of its actually being helpful goes into the territory of overtaxing yourself and those around you. If you must, go help someone else. Bake cookies for a neighbor. Go check for leaks in your life jacket. Do something besides feel bad that you can’t help anymore. Trust that your pal will probably be ok, and that if they’re not, nothing you can do will fix them.

5. Forgive yourself for other people’s problems.

You can feel their pain, literally. It still doesn’t mean it’s your pain, nor did you cause it. Yes, feel bad and care, but don’t end up feeling bad as if you could have prevented said situation in the first place. This is not your fault. 

6. Don’t take it personally if they reject your advice or are rude

They’re going through a rough time. Give them the benefit of the doubt (you’re an empath…you’re AWESOME at giving the BoD) and remember that they’re not in a great place. They will likely not be thinking about being kind to you. in fact, if they’re comfortable enough around you to be cranky when they’re upset, it says something pretty good about your relationship.

7. Remember, they’re lucky to have you as a friend. You rock!

That is my list of ways you can survive your friends’ rough spots. If you stay afloat for a friend instead of getting dragged down, you will then be available to help your other friends. Which is pretty great. Because you love helping people. 🙂

a title would be nice right about now.

I need to write some things down. About life.

Blogging in itself is a somewhat narcissistic way of spending your time. In general, it’s assuming that whatever you have to say is so important that you simply must share and that literally everyone in the world ought to have access to it.

This isn’t like that as much for me- I mostly need a place to write down these things that are important to me…things I’m learning. I’ve blogged in the past but lost interest. Maybe I was feeling pressure to write too much? Maybe I disliked how it requires so much time? Whatever negative things I felt then or any negative things I feel ever, are likely self-imposed.

I’m starting over. Like, in life. I’ve found myself rethinking just about everything I’ve ever believed. There are some growing pains. This is a pretty awkward place to be: this personal thought ‘Renaissance’ I’m doing.  But for once, self exploration is seeming important, vital even to who I am. The reason I’m “going public” with this malarky instead of just keeping a journal is mostly for those who may be on a similar journey. Maybe you’re feeling those growing pains right along with me. Well, I’m with ya, partner. If no one reads this blog ever, and I’m just speaking to myself, that’s ok too, but at least I know I’ve put it out there into the universe- welcome to my head. It’s crazy in here. I hope I can help should you need it.

Here’s some stuff about me. I’m an alcoholic who’s been sober 2 years, mom of 2 youngsters, wife of 8 years, Christian, introvert, terrible housekeeper (seriously it’s embarrassing) and some other identities I’ve likely forgotten at this moment. I recently got fired (from a church) and am going to therapy for that along with chronic Depression and Anxiety, my two loyal companions. Love to read. Love to cook. Love eating food that I don’t have to cook. Am one of the most negative people ever who still considers themselves an optimist. I’ve just started a small business which is just as hard as people say it is. 

Here is a list of things I want to remember to write about. The list is meant to inspire me, should I ever feel writey yet blank.

Begin list:

Why I can’t earnestly believe the Bible literally anymore

The downs and far-downs of depressive episodes

Why I effing love everyone

What it’s like to be an alcoholic, despite knowing how much it sucks for everyone else

The importance of recognizing that we all have our own lens and that no two people can look at one thing and see it the same way. This one is way important to me.

Why “Saved!” is the best movie of ever

Confessions that will make me look like a bad person

Why “those Christians” bug the shit out of me, as written by a Christian

Why “speaking the truth in love” is basically one of the worst things you can do

Why I like and love God, and why I think He/She likes and loves us way more than we think

Results of my recent interest/inquiries into gender identity

“God loves us despite our sin” and why that word *despite* is the worst and why we should have stopped that sentence after its third word

Church: Organization or Sacrament?

Why it sucks to be incapable of expressing what you truly mean when you need to express it- especially when in the moment you generally can only say stuff you don’t mean and will later regret

List end.

These are some topics I hope to write some more depth about at some point. Beyond those, I’ll likely be writing about my kids and my husband since those folks make up the most of my daily life.

I don’t know a lot about anything. I don’t claim to be an expert or to do anything right. I know I don’t practice what I preach, even though I swear to you, I try really hard. My idea of Christianity or motherhood or personhood or whateverhood is uniquely my own. I will generally demonstrate what I write as fact though I know that my fact and your fact might be two completely different things and I’m super capable of being wrong. That being said, what I write is merely a set of observations. They mean a lot to me, because I’m my de facto favorite person, but I am aware that they may not ring true in your life, or even my life a day from now. I’d rather not have to keep explaining with some asterisk everything I write, on the off chance someone is offended because they think I’m trying to represent some universal truth and it’s not what they believe. Here’s the asterisk which applies to anything you will read here: I’m not representing any universal truth because I don’t have access to any. I’m taking *my* truth and trying to put some words to it and vomiting it onto my computer and hoping it will help someone or me or whatever. If it is of some value to anyone else, I will be grateful. If it isn’t of any value, well, I won’t be surprised:)

some stuff