How God Feels

The shame, the silence, the pain
God has felt this too

I was shamed for my enthusiasm
I was silenced and not given space
I have been told I was too kind
I was not given room to explain
God has felt this too.

I have been told I was not welcome
I was told I was too enthusiastic
I have been told I do not fit in
I have been told I am not relevant
God has felt this too

I have felt the pain, experienced the humiliation, felt the denial
God has felt this too.

I have felt the love, I have felt the joy, I have felt the companionship
God has felt this too.

I have been validated for my feelings
I have felt appreciated by others
I have known what it is like to be told thank you
I have felt the warmth of someone’s hand
God has felt this too

What I appreciate about my life
Is that everything I have felt
God has felt this too.

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My Whale Story

This morning I awoke to a picture and a story a friend has posted on Facebook of a humpback whale. This is what it said:

A female humpback whale had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines. She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.

This is her story of giving gratitude.

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Fear, Fear, Go Away

I have been thinking quite a bit about fear lately. In part, because at the beginning of every semester, my students experience some fear as they enter my classroom, aka the world of Dr J. As I structure my classes in a very non-traditional way, they experience some discomfort and fear as they try to get used to my “uniqueness” and me. Some experience more then others. There have been some real fearful moments in my life, moments where I had real moments to be afraid. I remember one time when my son was having a flashback about his mother abusing him and he threatened to hit me over the head with a 2 x 4.
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The Hidden Power of Nice

The other night, a group of us gathered to discuss The Meaning of Nice by Joan Duncan Oliver. What perhaps was the most interesting part of the whole discussion turned out not to be something anyone said, but something we all experienced – the hidden power of nice. After discussing our initial reaction to the book, we started talking intermittently about things and experiences, which were not nice and those which were. What was interesting was that when we were talking about that which we thought was “not nice,” people’s voices, postures, and body language changed. It was as if they were experiencing that “not nice” moment all over again. Conversely, when we talked about those nice moments and experiences, there was again a shift in the energy in the room. You could hear the power of niceness as people shared stories about individuals and organizations, which had been nice. Last July, Zoe was diagnosed with breast cancer. The last year has been filled with so many nice moments it was hard to know where to begin as the wave of memories washed over me.
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The Power of Respect

I have been thinking a lot about respecting myself. One of the most powerful things I ever read in one of Don Miguel Ruiz’s books was that others can only abuse you to the level you are willing to abuse yourself. Abuse is a form of disrespect. I can take that term, substitute it into Don Miguel’s writing, and say others can only disrespect me to the level I am willing to disrespect myself. If I allow others to treat me in a way that violates my agreements, then I disrespect myself.
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