Loneliness

We discover loneliness at an early age. And we spend the rest of our lives trying to deal with it. I must have been nine or ten years old when I realized that my parents didn’t understand me. And, worst of all, my peers didn’t either. I was doomed to…

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When the Shadow of Death Falls

I was 16 when my favorite cousin died at the age of 15. I was unable to grieve. It worried me that I wasn’t crying, I thought perhaps there was something wrong with me. I even went to the school chaplain, who reassured me that people often have trouble grieving…

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Hijacked

I never expected I would be posting political commentary on this blog. I have always intended it to be a very personal approach to our development as individual human beings. By highlighting my own experiences and thoughts, I can help others to understand and learn from their own experiences. But…

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The many shades of anger

As a young woman, I had trouble controlling my anger. It was an old anger, red-hot and smoldering. But I wasn’t aware of its presence, and it would flare up unexpectedly. Especially when I felt I was not seen or not heard or when my personal integrity was threatened. In…

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Significantly alone

The elderly widower knocked on my kitchen door and then, in the way of neighbors in this rural community, started to let himself in. I forestalled him, not in the mood for visitors, and he produced a card with a photo of his recently deceased wife and handed it to…

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Grief and loss

The death of anyone or anything is tragic. Whether we are directly involved or witnesses from a distance, the presence of death resonates inside us and reminds us of the impermanence of our own lives. And so, the sight of a dead swan, lying half-submerged in a marsh, tugged at…

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Anger

It happened so unexpectedly and quickly that I got caught up into it without thinking. I made an innocuous but clumsy remark, someone took offense, I apologized, the other wouldn’t let it go. And that’s when I felt myself getting angry. And, for a brief moment, all I wanted to…

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Emotions

I once met a man who told me, “I have no emotions, emotions are a woman thing.” I smiled, knowing that, when someone speaks with this much conviction, it makes no sense to tell him otherwise. The primary emotions in our lives are Fear, Anger, Grief, Joy, and Compassion. When…

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The Wheel of Change

The Dutch version of this story will appear on my website soon. My webdesigner and I are working on a way to make it a little less bulky. Last February, I announced that I had worked out a schematic approach to my vision about how people grow and change and…

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Conflicting emotions

A friend sent me an email saying that she felt a longing to spend more time alone in nature. And, at the same time, she felt resistance to it. I’m in the same boat this morning. I keep settling down at the computer to write this blog. And then I…

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