Kindness in Words Both In and Out | Weekend Wishes

🌎 🌍 Will you accept this challenge? 🌎 🌍

Toward the end of 2018, I sat and considered some of the feedback I’d received over the year both internal (from talking to myself) and external.

I have specific goals for my writing, but I have specific personal goals as well. One is to improve the way I communicate with others when things go wrong.

Falling Flat

My car had a flat tire a while back. The air cap was missing. I ended up missing a very important doctors appointment. It ended up throwing off my plans for the rest of the day and bleeding into the next.

I called my husband and was fuming. He calmed me and said … there had been a flat tire. He took it to a tire shop and had them patch it. They refilled the tire and must have forgotten to put a cap on. It had been slowly leaking since then, and with cold weather had compressed enough to reduce the air pressure.

Even if it had been his fault, I shouldn’t have expressed my anger that way. I said things that I regret.

I sat and read about conflict resolution and how to stop saying things that I regret.

Can’t Stuff It Back In

Sometimes I say things that I regret. I’m tired. We had upsetting news, and I felt exhausted and hopeless. It doesn’t excuse me. It’s just an explanation. When I’m physically having a rough time, or under too much stress, I’m most likely to reach that tipping point. I react, it’s a nuclear reaction, and I can’t stuff what I said back in my mouth. I’ve given life to frogs and malice like a cursed princess instead of jewels and flowers following me wherever I go.

Reading about conflict resolution, gentle parenting, and being a friend to myself has really helped me. I want to keep putting into practice those new tools I have learned.

When I find myself getting frustrated, it’s often mixed with a panicky feeling because something else is also wrong – I need rest, or food, or less stimuli. Less stimuli for me can come in the form of a clean house. If I need to clean, then I’m constantly noticing dirt or clutter and adding to a never ending to-do list.

Introspection can be difficult. It’s my observation that most of us are a little unreliable when it comes to how we perceive ourselves versus actuality.

Outward Kindness

Someone recently commented that they are “nice” to strangers but reserve kindness only for their close friends and family. I didn’t engage with them. They have the right to their approach to life.

I don’t understand this thinking. I strive to be kind to everyone I meet. Sometimes I fail, but I want to be good for goodness’ sake, not just to those who are close to me.

Image description: silhouette of an eclipse of the planet with the quotation: “The world is my country. All mankind are my brethren and to do good is my religion.” - Thomas Paine

Kindness is often both priceless and free.


My challenge to myself this year is to be kinder in my words both in and out – in how I speak to myself, and everyone with whom I come in contact.

My challenge is to listen to understand, not to reply, and to consider the people around me, and what they need to hear versus what I want to say.

Do you have any personal challenges this year you’d like to share?

It’s OK to Not Be Jolly | Weekend Wishes

Being Gentle With Ourselves During the Hustle and Bustle

Dear Readers,

I broke down crying. I was standing in the store after an upsetting day, looking at ornaments and overwhelmed by the choices. I had to leave and collect myself. And ya know what? It’s okay. It was a little embarrassing. I caught some looks. I’ll live.

National Gingerbread House Competition 2019

Last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity of listening to a semi-retired therapist – Bonnie Gramlich- speak about the challenge of the holiday season. I’ll tell you what she talked about, my history with grief, and what I’ve been doing differently this year. Continue reading “It’s OK to Not Be Jolly | Weekend Wishes”

#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:

https://youtu.be/XmWKlH2O3vM

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.