Existential

Anxiety and the Margins in my Life

Read Time: 4 min.

It was a simple enough mistake—a small wrong curve that took me over the bridge into Manhattan instead of to my parking spot in Long Island City. But as soon as it happened, I began to lose my mind. By the time I landed on the other side of the Queensborough Bridge on E 60th Street, I was consumed with an overwhelming anxiety that took my breath away, forced me into shakes and tears, and left me f...

Anxiety and the Little Things

Read Time: 6 min.

Adulting is hard. There are the occasional perks—like having pie for breakfast. Recently, when our kids have asked, “how come YOU get to…and I don’t?” we’ve been using the response, “because we pay taxes.” It seems to work well. It doesn’t, however, touch the surface of explaining the level of stress and anxiety that adulting requires…sometimes pie for breakfast is the only way to get through the ...

The Perfectly-Sized Family?

Read Time: 4 min.

I had it all planned—right down to where I was going to meet my future husband, when we were going to get married, and when we were going to start a family. I come from a large extended family, so growing up, family was everything. My mom stayed at home with all four of us girls until my baby sister, eleven years younger than me, was well into her elementary school career. For most of my childhood...

How Gratitude (Among Other Things) Can Combat Fear

Read Time: 5 min.

What are you afraid of? The concept of “fear” will impart many different meanings for different people. Perhaps clowns, if you’re a child of the 80s. Or maybe heights for others. Possibly something more existential like dying, or what comes after – “the undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveler returns,” as Hamlet put it. However, as I’ve ruminated on the idea of fear lately, I’ve f...

I Have a Fear of Jumping

Read Time: 3 min.

It’s not a fear of falling I struggle with. I am not afraid to fall. I am afraid to jump. We all have those little snippets of memories from when we were kids. I remember being in a park with my Mom. We were across the street from our house at a playground in the suburbs of Chicago, and we were playing on one of those wooden playhouse structures that has a ladder and a little house at the top and ...

Fear

Read Time: 3 min.

The horror writer H. P. Lovecraft says that “the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” While I’d disagree that fear is the strongest emotion, it’s surely one of the strongest. What else can get your heart racing (and your feet pounding!) the way fear does? …Which is why we’re all interested in getting rid of our fearful ...

Stereotypes & Perspective-Taking

Read Time: 3 min.

When people look at me, they generally don’t wonder if I’m a criminal. I’ve never had a security guard follow me around a store afraid I might steal something. I’ve never had a police officer mistake my cell phone for a gun. If I were on trial for a crime, I would be less likely to be convicted and, if I were convicted, I would probably get a lighter sentence. As a white woman from the suburbs, I’...

Tolerance of a Deeper Sort

Read Time: 3 min.

As I grew up, I learned that respect comes in different forms. I’m supposed to respect my elders (age has its privileges; assume the older are also wiser). I’m supposed to respect the American flag (don’t let it touch the ground). I’m supposed to respect the wilderness (leave it as if it were untouched). One of my challenges—and perhaps not only mine—is that I have a hard time separating respect f...

Can I Respect and Disagree with Grandma?

Read Time: 3 min.

My Grandma is my favorite person on the planet. She is 89 and she lives alone. She never learned to drive because she and my Grandpa lived in Chicago for most of their lives and she could take the bus to do anything she needed in the city. When my mother and her siblings were growing up, my Grandma would take them to baseball games and movies and would sneak beer in for herself. When I was little,...

Is Peace Waiting Beneath Our Stress?

Read Time: 3 min.

What is peace?  And is it possible to experience real peace? I don’t have any easy answers to these questions… I don’t really know much about much. Like most 30-somethings, I’m filled with more questions and confusion than ever. Including questions about peace. Questions I know will never be answered. Questions I’ll continue to ask in the hope of getting closer to an answer, while accepting ...

Finding Peace through People and Purpose

Read Time: 3 min.

Judging by the emails, television commercials, and online ads we see, I suspect Americans are in a perpetual quest for serenity. We are flooded with suggestions about how to find it, like… Head for that Pacific island or New Hampshire lake, and find healing silence. Practice mindful meditation and leave anxiety behind. Put away the electronics thirty minutes before you go to bed (maybe those...

Peace

Read Time: 4 min.

You may have come to this article wondering, “Where can I personally find peace?” If by that you mean “How can I get bad crap to stop happening in my life,” unfortunately, the answer is “Nowhere.” Nobody’s found a pause button for life yet. If you do find it, let us know! We’d like to use it too. But maybe you don’t mean that. Instead you mean, “How can I continue to live my life and still find re...