Showing posts from 2015

no longer and not yet

The last six months have been about the space between the “no longer” and the “not yet” for me. Have I honored that space? Not hardly. I screwed a lot of things up. Perhaps I handled it as best as I could have expected to handle it, without ignoring what I was going through completely. I could have compartmentalized it, moved on without grieving and just pulled myself up by my boot straps and plowed forward.
But I didn’t.
I think I fell somewhere in between honoring it and ignoring it. I was very aware of the place, and I tried on some level to grieve. The hard part for me was that life still had to go on, and things still happened around me. And I was not in any kind of emotional place to deal with them well. I sought counseling from a few places and people. I tried to be aware of my emotions and my pain without trying to give them more attention then they needed. The last thing I wanted was to become a martyr. The counseling helped… but time ultimately was the most effective thing in …

the "INFJ Door Slam"

One thing that INFJs tend to do is read a lot about their personality type. Because we are rare, that also means we are difficult to figure out. So reading to try and understand ourselves simply goes with the territory.  Today I was reading about the “INFJ Door Slam”. Here is part of what I read:

There’s this thing called the “INFJ Door Slam.”  People talk about it.  Other personality types trash it, but few people try to explain it in simple terms.  It’s different for everyone, no doubt, but in simple terms… The INFJ door slam is what happens when we are burned out by unresolved emotions, so we resolve the issue by deciding that the relationship is over. INFJs are deeply emotional creatures.  We don’t feel as much as it looks like we do (that’s mirroring, which is a whole other topic), but when we feel…we feel deeply and fully.  That means that we burn out.  If we are emotionally toyed with, abused, or overloaded, and there is no end to the emotional assault in sight, we have to do some…

i was wrong [portrait of an apology]

It’s hard to be remembered for something you did wrong. I’m sure a lot of people in the public eye feel this way… presidents, artists, CEOs. When you’ve filled your life with a lot of rights (and a lot of wrongs) it’s hard to think that you’ll always be remembered for the wrong… And not the rights.
_________ I was wrong. I am sorry. (I’ll be honest, I just can’t say the third part of this statement right now.)  I could say a lot of things to try to explain myself and defend myself, but what would the point of that be? It matters not what my intent was, what the misunderstanding was, what the miscommunication was. What matters is that I undid a heart. That’s never ok.
I will never get the chance to make this right. That bothered me at first, but it’s settled (if somewhat uneasily) in my mind now. Because that is a measure of control you wish to have over the situation. I completely understand that. I wish it didn’t mean you remembering me for the wrong I did. But I can’t do anything about…


Since moving to Arizona, the holidays have always had a tinge of sadness for me. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not “home”, because there isn’t snow to get me in the spirit, because 70 degree weather doesn’t feel like Christmas to me. (Because I love those freezing cold nights with hot chocolate, a fire going, me covered blankets galore with a great books.)  Or maybe the sadness is something else altogether.
I’m fond of the lament. I guess because it feels more real to me than… well, not lamenting. I know people who force a positive attitude on themselves and others, and while I appreciate the idea that if we act happy, perhaps we will become happy… I believe there is a time for sadness. For lament. (There is a whole book in the Bible about it, so I'm thinking I can't be the only one who feels this way.)
I’ve had a tough couple of years. For a variety of reasons. I’m no Job, but I’ve been through a lot in ’14 and ’15 and I’m about to go through a lot more in 2016. I’ve lea…

the haunting of imperfection

Women spend most of our lives worrying that we are not good enough. It’s possible men do too, but I have no firsthand knowledge of this, so I am wiring from my own experience today. This disease of not being good enough has another name: perfectionism. This idea we get in our heads of what we are supposed to be can be debilitating, painful, and relentless. It also robs us of all our joy.
I have made a lot of mistakes in the last few months. I feel like it’s a lot more than I normally do, but the reality is that I have probably always made this many mistakes. It’s just that now one major thing in my life has shifted: I am in a season of complete and total raw emotion, so those mistakes are magnified by the woundedness of my own heart.
But here’s the thing: making the mistake isn’t really all that painful. It’s the haunting the mistake does to you afterwards that is torture. Because you can’t go back and change what you did or what you said. You can’t go back and take it all away. It’s ou…

heartbreak and the example of Christ

My new place of employment has a unofficial tag line. "No drama... no avoidance." Things are dealt with honestly and directly, and any drama is not tolerated.
It's taken me awhile to adjust to this kind of environment. And I suspect it will take me a bit longer to find my footing in this. Hopefully not because I thrive on drama, but because I am just not used to things being dealt with directly and without avoidance.
I don't know anyone who likes confrontation. That would make me question if they understand what confrontation means, or perhaps would make me question their sanity. But there are some people who at least understand that while confrontation is hard and challenging, it's also an opportunity. And it's healthy, certainly more so than the alternative.
There's the phenomenon I learned about it one of my classes in seminary: triangulation. Triangulation is when a third party somehow gets involved in the brokenness between two people. It's such an …

crisis and transition

Yesterday, someone said this to me:
“The first time we sat down and had a long conversation, shortly after we met, I had a sense of who you were and what you’d been through. Then I called you three weeks later, and you were a completely different person. It was after you’d been with your friends in St. Louis and and were currently with your family in Nebraska. You were a different person because you were in a place where you felt supported and cared for, with people that made you feel loved."
This was new information for me, because I suppose I don’t see what I’ve been through as something that altered who I was, but something I just had to live through and come out on the other side of. All this transition stuff, moving, new job, leaving my old life completely behind… the life stuff, the tasks…  they had overshadowed how my soul has been altered.
I don’t say that last phrase lightly. But it’s true. My soul has been altered. 
There are wounds still fresh. Some scars will start to app…

trauma and grace

Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives. Psychologists can help these individuals find constructive ways of managing their emotions.

It’s recently been acknowledged to me that what I’ve been through in the last few months is an actual trauma. I didn’t go through a terrible event, but rather a series of challenges that added up to a trauma, according to my counselor.
So basically, for me, this just means that I’ve been screwing up a lot lately. It has not been a good time for me to make decisions or deal with the stress of transition and job change and moving. Plus so much more. I mean, let's go down the lis…

a love letter to st. louis

For the past five years, I’ve viewed you as my home away from home. Which I realize doesn’t make a lot of sense, because I only lived with you for two years. I was a full-time student, working three jobs, living in a house with five other women. I was in complete transition in my life. I didn’t know it then, but I know it now, what a huge thing this is - to be in transition in life. It affects how you act, how you feel, how you process things. I remember being more worried about how I would adapt to this transition than I actually had trouble with said adaption. It felt like an easy transition, perhaps because I was so excited.

You are an amazingly fun city to live in, and probably even more fun when you actually have money to spend to do fun things. But there is so much to do that is free, so much to enjoy, that I had the blessing to experience you for the two years I did. Visits to the museum and the zoo and the Botanical gardens… authentic English Tea rooms and Scott Joplin’s house……

friendship and INFJs

INFJs don’t form a lot of close friendships in their lifetime… we are very selective. This isn’t about conceit, but really about knowing ourselves. We only have so much emotional energy we can give to another without great harm to our soul, so we make sure we give it to those we truly connect with, those we deem “worth it.” What I mean by “worth it” is those who come close to understanding us. Those who push us beyond our preconceived notions. Those who challenge us and make us think. Those who aren’t afraid of not understanding us, but are willing to go along with us for the ride. Those who try, need to know they will never fully plumb the depth of our complications (we don’t understand our own complications, so we certainly don’t expect others to understand them either.) Those to whom we give our emotional energy have penetrated our surface, which we keep pretty impenetrable. Because we want those who’ve worked for it, because honestly?We would do the same for them. The thing about …