There Is No ‘Weird’

By May 8, 2013 Blog

Almost every person I’ve been close to has expressed concern that they’re ‘weird’. Descriptions vary, but you get the gist. Abnormal. Odd. Not quite good enough. Set aside the fact they’re my friends. The folks I’m talking about are Fabulous, not strange. When we share our struggles, I don’t think ‘goodness me, this one’s messy’.  I think ‘You too? Phew’. I thank God for putting us in community. And I wonder again at the chasm between truth and self-perception. What is …Read More

The Real Thing

By April 9, 2013 Blog

Sometimes I wonder if I’m really a Christian.  I don’t always feel like one –  and I’m not sure I look like one either. Do real Christians feel the way I sometimes do? Scared and confused and ashamed and – lost? Do they pray and wonder: is He listening? Does He care? Am I dialling the right number? Saying the right words? Am I doing the right things? Or even in the right place? Sometimes I wonder – have other …Read More

I’ll Tell You Mine If You Tell Me Yours

By April 4, 2013 Blog

I feel  fragile even though I’m stronger than I imagine. I get scared by change and challenge. I am afraid of being ‘a burden’ – being human and having needs. I dread letting others down.  I want people to approve of me. In fact sometimes I make that my deepest goal, and it tears me apart. I want to be perfect and to do all things ‘right’. I’d rather be comfortable than brave. I find it hard to set appropriate …Read More

On Failure

By April 3, 2013 Blog

What does ‘failure’ look like? A missed deadline? The end of a relationship? Financial worries? Something else? I failed. ‘Fact’. Clear-cut and controlled.  Cause and effect. I did X and the outcome was Y. But facts are slippery little beasties:  circumstance and decision; a million motives and intentions, all of ’em mixed. Plus, I get confused between feelings and facts.  I feel rubbish, so I am rubbish. I did rubbish, so I must be rubbish. Right? And when you fail, …Read More

Rules of Engagement

By March 19, 2013 Blog

Personal boundaries are important.  But they’re hard to get right. In theory they should be simple, like mapping terrain: Here’s where you are, here’s where I am. Here’s how far you can come and here’s how far I am willing to go. There are levels of difficulty and there are certain rules. Level 1: easy. Example: ‘hi. howareyoufinethanksyouhowstheflatdogjobcarteethmyitscoldwellgreattocatchupseeyousoon‘ (breathing and pausing optional) .  Suitable for supermarkets, coffee mornings, car-parks, school runs and most public spaces. Status: Appropriate for general public. …Read More

More Than A Feeling

By March 7, 2013 Blog

Which is more powerful: the facts or your feelings? Yes I know – facts are True.  But true is a boring hatchback parked neatly in my brain.Feelings are pimped-up red ferraris that power through the blood superhighways, pumping out Meatloaf and mooning the olds. Example fact: A hormone  is a chemical released by a cell, a gland, or an organ in one part of the body that sends out messages that affect cells in other parts of the organism. Cells respond to a …Read More

Emotional Hide and Seek

By March 5, 2013 Blog

How do you handle negative feelings? 1. Hide them from others: play them down or deny them: ‘It’s nothing: I’m fine’. 2. Hide them from yourself: bury them somewhere in your mind so deep you (almost) forget they’re there 3. Intellectualise them: circle them with your big old brain, give them labels and talk about them like the sights in a foreign city 4. Play with them: approach them like a child, carry them round like a comfort blanket 5. …Read More

Less Miserables Please

By February 28, 2013 Blog

When it comes to emotions, I’m Opting Out. No Anne Hathaway shaving her head. No monkeys in test-tubes.  No cartoon animals losing their parents. No ‘heart-wrenching but ultimately life-affirming’ stories. Expendable wingman with young wife and blonde daughter. Deputy sheriff taking ‘one last job’. Young mother taking on the establishment. I know your game. Two hours waiting for you to die/loseyourdog/missthetrain/contracttheillness/gethitbytheasteroid. Russell Crowe emoting in my face. My eyes, Russell,  my eyes. I don’t blame Hollywood. My problem is with …Read More

Not Feeling It

By February 20, 2013 Blog

Most of us would rather feel happy than sad. Bad feelings feel – wrong.  Often however, they’re a normal, natural part of life.  They can even be useful. Example: ‘I feel like I’m going to be sick ‘ may lead me to deduce that my prawns are past their sell-by/I’m pregnant/I should get off this yacht/I’m not enjoying the film. Go Team Feeling. But before we take up our pompoms, let’s remember that our emotions may also tell us a …Read More

Roll of Awesomeness

By January 6, 2013 Blog

watching someone being pooped on by a seagull. Then telling them it’s ‘lucky’. the word ‘poop’.   Also ‘insidious’, (especially if you imagine  Brad Pitt saying it in a perfume ad) rude-shaped vegetables. blog commenters. Beauties, every one of you. Kiera Knightly and Jude Law in the same movie. (One film spoiled instead of two and the mother of all pout-offs). Discovering an advent chocolate that got missed in the rush. (Who cares if it’s hairy) The existence of Bon Jovi. the last brussel …Read More