#TuesdayMotivation Finding Solidarity 

This week I’ve struggled with some weltschmerz. Today I’m going to talk about the origins of my pain and the two things that alleviated it. 


Fear, The Unknown 

It’s been difficult for me to find not only a sense of hope but of solidarity in these past few days especially with the #MuslimBan. These people around me and in our country have such a sense of hatred and fear towards the unknown, towards Islam. 

There is so much irony in the fact that right after International Holocaust Remembrance Day we are challenged with a zeitgeist of exclusion and the demonization of an entire people group. Are there evil Muslims? Yes. There are also Christians who bomb abortion clinics and perpetrate gun violence and terrorism


A few years ago I saw a fearmongering book at a relative’s house about Islam. Curious, I read the back cover copy. It was in that instant that I knew what I must do: arm myself with knowledge about Islam so I could be set free by the truth and escape fear. 

Over the next few months I read several books that changed the way I view Islam:

Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in an Age of Globalization 

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace – One School at a Time 

Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace In A Time of Terror

No god but God:  The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam

Am I thinking of converting? Not a chance. Do I feel like an expert now? Not at all. These books, however, took away my fear of the unknown, of Islam. It is a complex, nuanced religion built around community. There are also Muslims who protect Christians and in fact this is a (somewhat) forgotten tenet of Islam

Being a Unitarian Universalist, the religious freedom of others is very near and dear to my heart. 

This is one of my favorite quotes:


We are not enemies, but friends. 

One of my cousins is so often a source of inspiration to me. He is truly an incredible person. He shared this powerful video and it brought calm to my heart. 

We Will Make Our Voices Heard All Around the World 

Growing up in a conservative household I often saw on Fox News claims that the liberal media was attacking the truth. I believed them. Now I know that the media is not truly as liberal as they claimed and that liberals are just as attacked as conservatives. The truth is out there but it’s more difficult to find than turning on MSNBC. I recommend looking for an objective opinion — the BBC — as they have no horse in this race. Vice News is also dedicated to pure journalism without entertainment/opinion. 

I went to college for Political Science and wanted to become a journalist and promote the truth. It was there that the chaff burnt away and I began my transformation into my purist self: a liberal. 


Knowing how to think for myself, I quickly realized that I was a liberal at heart. It was hard for me to find a spiritual home in the mountains of Western North Carolina. One day my husband and I took the Belief-O-Matic quiz and both discovered Unitarian Universalism. In a matter of moments we found our spiritual home: the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Franklin

Seeing Facebook posts from one of the most politically active members has given me a sense of community. What really put me over the top, though, was this video of Elizabeth Warren:

I hope you found that as unifying as I did. This country was founded on religious freedom. With that we have the responsibility to let all people seek the truth for themselves. Your truth and mine may not be the same but I will fight for your freedom. 

From an Upworthy post :

Get ready. Your active citizen hat is going to be on for awhile.

#TuesdayMotivation Set Yourself Free

One of my dear friends told me that the theme for her in 2017 is forgiveness. This quote has inspired me in writing Syzygy. I challenge you to not only forgive others but to also forgive yourself. 

Self Compassion. I’ve not had a problem forgiving other people. My worst enemy is often no further than the closest mirror. Forgiving myself is difficult. 

The way I talk to myself and the harsh way I deal with myself is not how I would treat others. I’ve admitted this before

If you’re like me it’s easier to let go of what other people did than to give yourself compassion. Compassion is vital and it needs to start internally. For us to be healthy, functional people we have to own our flaws and move beyond them: we have to forgive ourselves. 


Let It Go. If you’re holding on to bitter thoughts about someone, I challenge you to let them go. Madeline L’Engle said, “Hate hurts the hater more than the hated”. While you may not actually loathe the person who has wronged you, holding onto negativity just bogs you down like a ball and chain. 


Take a moment and think about the negativity holding you back. Decide to forgive and feel the ball and chain disintegrate. 

#TuesdayMotivation Positive Self Talk

When you look in the mirror do you like what you see? Do you compliment yourself or are you harsh with yourself?


To be honest I am harsh with myself and I know that’s an area I need to work on.  One of my commitments this week has been to read inspirational material for several minutes each day and today’s inspiration included information on transforming positive self talk as a New Year’s resolution.  They pose this simply as a habit that needs to be changed.  


We often hear statistics about making or breaking new habits.  It turns out that for a new habit to become automatic takes on average 66 days, so I’ll bear this in mind if you will.  

One of my favorite writing resources also happens to be a psychology paper titled, “Yep, You’re Talking to Yourself Again“.  Reading this paper is a wonderful resource for understanding the basic personalities.  We each have tapes for good or ill that we play over and over in our little brains based off our personalities.  They can be hard truths to bear and hear but you know what they say about the truth. 


Sometimes voices linger in our heads from the past of parents who were judgemental, of bullies in high school, or of spouses or lovers who were unloving. Those voices need to be purged.  Those tapes need to be ejected.  Once we realize what our hard truths about our core personalities are it’s easier ro reject those lingering messages that were hurtful but are no loner relevant to our core identities. They are like so much chaff ready to dissolve and fade away.  

#TuesdayMotivation Infectious Inspiration 

A dear friend let me know that she is writing and that I had encouraged her. What she didn’t know is that she’d inspired me as well.  

When we share our stories we become vulnerable. We open ourselves to rejection in that moment.

At the same time those authentic moments are what inspire others. 

Don't be ashamed of your story. It will inspire others.

We each have a different human experience and story to tell. Your own struggles can help another person have courage or find a new way of looking at things. Inspiration can be infectious. Touching the life of a single person can in turn trickle down to others. 

This brings me back to writing about what hurts: when you write about your own pain you can touch those around you in a powerful way. 

The ultimate goal of writing is empathy: we want to evoke something in the reader. We want to make a mark on another’s soul. 

Who or what inspires you? Does this person know how you have been touched by them? I challenge you to let them know.