Tag Archive | courage


It’s funny, you know,
How I still want connection,
But each time I feel the distance;
When I encounter disappointment,
I find it easier to walk away.


I guess I’m unsure,
Holding to any last hope;
Not wanting our friendship to end.
But every disengaged encounter
Gives me strength and courage to walk away.


There will be the day
When I don’t care much at all
And you are just a fond memory
About whom I sit and reminisce,
Because I grew stronger and walked away.



It’s hard to whistle in the dark
When you walk in the light;
To hold onto fears
When it’s sunny and bright.
Oh, needs and distresses
Will turn up, it’s true;
But that’s just part of healing;
Of building the authentic you.
You can try to find distractions
So that you might delay
The work of healing
That brings a better way.
You’ll feel so much better
When you heed the call
To conquer those old monsters;
To stand triumphantly and tall.
You’ll have the greatest victory
After the toughest fight;
The sweetest reward
Is knowing truth so right.
The process of walking
Helps us learn to stand;
Knowing true identity
Leads to establishing life’s plan.


His name was Pat.
He would have graduated in June a few years ago, but he ended his life in April, at the end of a school day.  It had finally become too much for him.
Pat had been bullied for as long as he could remember:  Teased, excluded and punched more than once.  He had stopped eating lunch around other students by the time he was in sixth grade; he had grown tired of picking out the debris that had been thrown into his food.  Things such as spit wads and unwanted food from others’ lunches…
He was a gentle soul:  Quiet, kind and respectful.  To cope, Pat became an excellent student.  The library, extra homework and books became his best companions.
He tried to talk about the bullying a couple of times.  The first person, his mother, told him that bullying is just part of growing up.  “The other kids will eventually outgrow it,” she said.  Then she offered cookies to the already overweight boy.
“Try standing up to them,” said the next person.  “Tell them to stop; punch back; make a joke out of it!”
Faculty and school staff seem oblivious to what was happening.  One time, he had run past two teachers, trying to get away from three boys who were threatening to beat him up.  They shouted at him as he ran.  The teachers turned their heads briefly; then went on with their conversation.
In the end, Pat felt completely alone.  He had grown weary of soul.  He felt bad about himself and life in general.  He could not see a future, even though the opportunity for a new start was just six weeks away.
This story is based on more than one person’s experience, including my own.  There really was a youth who took his life at the end of the school day because he had been bullied.  I know someone who ran past teachers as she was being chased, in fear for her well-being.  I learned to avoid other students at lunch and to hang out with books so that I was not available for all of the harassment in the hallways.  Each of us knows someone who is excluded, teased or worse.  You might be one of these precious people yourself.
To those of you who have endured this misery, I’m sorry.  Know that it isn’t wrong with you; that you are lovable and precious.  I will have more to say to you, but start by receiving comfort from my words and the knowledge that you are not alone.


To those of you who know such people, take time to get acquainted.  One of the hard things about being bullied is that other students usually avoid the person:  They are afraid of being targetted as well.  If you see someone being hurt, go tell an adult or use your cell phone to call the police.  My younger sister saved a neighbor girl once by wading into the creek where other children were pushing her under the water and holding her there.  She took her by the hand and pulled her out; then walked home with her.  That might not be the safest thing for you to do, but getting help is crucial.


To adults:  Bullying is not part of growing up.  The response I got was, “You just have to understand that they don’t know better.”  Not good enough.  There are plenty of resources out now for helping children who bully; help the victims as well.  Empower and encourage them; defend them when they are being bullied; supply consequences and help as needed.  IF you have to, call the police, instead of letting someone be beaten by peers.


Now for my greatest challenge to everyone:  Let’s set a new precedent!  When I was growing up and going through all this struggle, nobody took a gun to school to kill others; people didn’t suicide.  I think the biggest reason was that there was no precedent for it.  Some people I know still bear the scars of bullying; others of us have recovered.  Don’t let the bullies get you down!  There will be at least one person in your life who will listen and understand, probably because they were bullied, too.  Seek them out; find ways to hold to the truth about who you really are; take appropriate actions to defend yourself.  Let’s take the power away from the bulllies.

it’s okay

I recently experienced a healing in my heart that seems simple enough; yet it is profound:  I let go of my concern about some people who don’t especially like me.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say they dislike me; they just don’t include or embrace me.


On one hand, it is easy to say, “So?”  On the other, this points to a deeper sense that I am okay because I know who I am and like myself.  I don’t need the acceptance or approval of others to feel good.


Perhaps the greatest reward in this is that I am so peaceful within.  All fear, worry, hurt feelings and anger are gone; I am free to move forward without the ankle weights of insecurity.  My focus is on the path ahead:  Where from here?  What shall I build today?


This is a giant step in my journey to wholeness.  It truly brings courage and hope to my heart.  May you find the same kind of release and freedom in your own relationships:  first in the one you have with yourself; then in your connection with others.


There are words and situations
That would try to convince me
To live as a powerless victim;
but I stand tall
With my head held high:
I am strong;
I am powerful;
I live well.

There are thoughts and misconceptions
That would seek to misguide me;
By telling me I can’t overcome;
But I’m not small
Or helpless and weak;
I am strong;
I am powerful;
I live well.

So many lies and deceptions
Attempt to discourage us
By teaching us that we must endure;
Reject that call
Stand on your own feet;
We are strong;
We are powerful;
We live well.


Because the process of healing can take some time when it comes to our souls, it is worth writing a note of encouragement to you:
We are built to heal.  You have experience of this physically.  If you cut your finger, you can clean the wound, put a dressing on it and in a matter of a day, it is much better.
It is true that some wounds heal more slowly, because they are deeper or more severe.  If you break a bone, it will take six weeks for it to mend well enough to be out of a splint or cast; if you have a head injury, it will take two years before you know what is long term and what has healed.

If you are just getting out of an abusive relationship or are just beginning to have repressed memories come up, you may be thinking that you will never be well.  You will probably think this several times along the way:  There are things that simply involve an extended process.

I have often noticed that souls heal slowly and gently.  Oh, there are the “Ah-ha” moments and the sudden breakthroughs that come after plenty of learning, forgiving and smaller victories; hurray for those!  Some wounds need to wait until we have some strength and wellness going before we can address them.  consider it progress when you encounter such an injury.  If you think about it, there is no way you could have faced it a year ago!

In short, take courage.  Hang in there.

There’s an old saying, “The best revenge is to live well.”  I think we could rewrite this a bit:
The best revenge is to GET well!

May you have a hopeful, victorious journey.


Learning to love takes a lifetime.
It’s many layers and nuances
Are so varied,
Ranging from subtle to bold;
From simple to complex.

The place where love resides is vast,
Its many challenges and treasures
Have been buried
Waiting for us to find them;
To enjoy their rewards.

Discovering love is risky;
It opens wide our very being
In such a way
That others might reject us
And we will know great pain.

Deciding to love takes courage;
Understanding the risk while knowing
The price we pay
Is worth this essential food
That nourishes our souls.