If You Are in Pain


Pain is utilitarian — an alarm.
Pain should be dispensed with when possible.
A fire alarm that goes off all the time isn’t much help when your house is on fire.
So much of our pain comes from our own grasping.
Pick something painful to let go of — an easy one.
There may be things you think you can never let go of.
That’s ok, you can hang on to them a little longer.
Holding on to pain sometimes feels like a consolation.
We protect our wounds.
But maybe you could let go of some dumb kid who teased you in middle school.
You could decide you’re no longer your insecure pre-teen self.
You have grown up, and you can forgive the ignorant child who hurt you.
Forgiving others may be the easiest way to relieve your own pain.
Forgiving yourself is harder, but powerful.
Let go of these things, and carve out space for joy.
It feels good not to hold so much all the time.
You’ll get braver.
You’ll work on the big stuff later.

Read More

Brain Experiment


Experiment with new beliefs. Try on an idea to see how it wears. Go around believing in magic. Just try to pretend, and see if you can convince yourself. No one has to know that for a minute, you believed you could pull a rabbit from a hat. Some beliefs grow impractical quickly. Some beliefs feel bad. Some are kinda fun. No one’s judging. Let your mind wander. See what happens.

Read More

You Are Good

Hubble Space Telescope Photo

You’re good.

You are absolutely, intrinsically, at your core good. No matter how fucked up life gets, you can get back to good. It’s not because Jesus died on the cross to forgive your sins. There is no such thing as sin. There’s no one keeping score. You can choose to be good. When you look deep within yourself at who you really are, you will see the truth: You are good. First, you might see your pain, fear and shame, but take those off. You are not your suffering. Who is suffering? Find that person. It is the light in you, the good in you being smothered by fear, which makes you hurt.

Learn to love even that part of you that is afraid. See your own goodness.

Read More

If You Are Worried About Love

Love Me Tender
If you’re worried about love
choose to trust
that people are not lying when they say “I love you,”
because lying about love takes too much goddamned energy.
Instead of worrying
work on being someone you can love.
Know that no one can diminish you.
No one can make you less human.
No one can make you less worthy.
You are as deserving of love as the most innocent newborn.
Furthermore, you are capable of giving yourself the love you need.
In fact, you are the only person who can do that.
No matter how many times they say “I love you,”
or “you’re beautiful,”
you will never believe them until you know it yourself.
Look in the mirror.
See how much you want to be loved.
Could you give yourself that gift?

Read More

Kindness is Cool

Two Words About Friendship
While working on my post about volunteering, I asked my friends and family via social media to tell me about their favorite ways to volunteer. I received many welcome replies including one from my cousin Lorena, who is one of the sweetest and most thoughtful people I know. She wrote:

It is so much easier to be charitable with people that we do not know. It is much more difficult and much more important, in my opinion, to be charitable with the people that we do know, the ones with whom we have the most contact and on whom we have the greatest impact. It isn’t volunteering per se, but perhaps a name should be given to it and a logo, right?

She makes a great point. Volunteering is easy because it’s an organized activity, usually with a clear beginning and ending. On the other hand, being nice to our friends, family and neighbors isn’t so clear cut. There is no end to being nice to your neighbors, listening to your friends, or remembering to call your relatives.

Because I really love volunteering, I strongly encourage you to try it. Contributing to your community is incredibly rewarding. But remember to look at the people right in front of you, too. The way you treat the people closest to you will shape their lives, so act with love.


Read More