I still remember the conversation like it was yesterday…. my ex husband told me that he couldn’t be the man I wanted him to be.  I  remember telling him that all I ever wanted was for him to reveal himself to me.. for me to KNOW him. . . something he could not and would not do.

You see, for me, when I care for someone, knowing them is enough.  I’ve never been one to want to know someone to determine what they could do for me , provide for me, or because I wanted to change them.  For me, the gift is when that person allows me to know him… allows me into the hidden world of hopes and fears… a world of dreams yet unrealized.  A world of thoughts yet to be expressed and emotions hidden.  A place of hidden idiosyncrasies.

This journey is one best taken together by two like minded souls seeking only to know the other . The trip may be difficult and the road may be rocky.  It will demand  an openness with ourselves and each other that takes us out of our comfort zone.  It requires a deep trust that neither will exploit each other’s vulnerabilities.    But, in the end, this is a journey worth taking.  A journey of revelation, love, and acceptance.

Today, I found myself thinking of advice I give to new attorneys I mentor and realized its practicability in my own life.  By day,  I represent parents and children when the state removes kids from parents because of abuse or neglect.  These types of cases rarely turn on legal technicalities.  Rather, the ability of parents to regain custody of their children really turns on what they do to eliminate the conditions which led to losing their children.  Thus, the advice I give to new attorneys is simple – you should not be working harder than your client.

I thought about this today and realized its meaning in my own life.  No matter how much I want something for someone I love, I can’t make it happen by myself. We each have to decide.   We have to decide to let go of the excuses which keep us from our own potential. We have to decide to tear down the walls which keep us from enjoying life.  We have to imagine a different life and take any step, no matter how small, towards making it happen.  We have to decide we are worth it.

If we don’t, it isn’t our circumstances which are keeping us from happiness. We are.

Two years before my mom died, I bought my mother a beautiful pair of opal earrings.  I wanted to get her something she would treasure.. something she would never buy for herself.  I wanted to do something for her because of all the quiet things she did for me.  For me, it was no small purchase.. but for her, it meant the world.

I remember joking with her at the time that, being her only daughter, it would eventually come back to me.  I never realized that my time with her would be short.  At the time, my mother was healthy and active.  Pancreatic cancer changed all that.  Two short years later,  I watched her become a shadow of her self and felt utterly powerless to help.  I remember thinking at the time that she was truly the love of my life.   I wished I could take her place but I knew in my heart she would never allow it.  And so, two short months after diagnosis, I held her hand, gave her permission to leave, and watched tearfully as she took her last breath.  The earrings which were meant for her now became mine.  A constant reminder of the love we shared with each other… mother and daughter.

I have been wearing those earrings a lot lately.  Maybe it is because they give me comfort.  Maybe it is my way of being close to her when I need support.  But today, a friend noticed that one earring had fell out somewhere along the way.  In that moment, I lost hope of ever finding it and knew it could never be replaced.  I was saddened and disheartened but I accepted it.  I tried to tell myself it was only a material item but knew in my heart it meant more.

But then, just as I had let it go…. it came  back.  It was found in the elevator of my office building by the same friend who noticed its loss. I immediately saw this as a sign.  A heartwarming reminder  that all that is lost is not gone forever.

It is a human condition.. we want things to be “perfect.”  The “perfect” job… the “perfect” relationship. However, this pursuit of an ideal is often times thinly disguised as an excuse to avoid opportunities placed in front of us.  It isn’t a “good time” or we are feeling so “overburdened” by our circumstances and personal faults that we avoid emotional entanglements, jobs, or simple gestures of friendship.  When we avoid opportunities because we feel our circumstances are less than perfect, what we are really saying is that others will not want our less than perfect selves – that somehow, we are not worthy.  We build walls of excuses to keep people away and then wonder why life lost its enjoyment.  But life is not meant to be a solitary affair.  It is a roller coaster of emotions and experiences.  It is messy, complicated, uplifting,  and even joyous. In that joy, maybe it is as Mark Twain said…  we “must have someone to divide it with” to get the full value.

We need to stop with the excuses because, when it comes right down to it, there is no “perfect” moment… there is only THIS moment.  In THIS moment, let there be no lost opportunities… no excuses.. no rationalizations.. no destructive voices luring us behind our walls. .. no regrets.  In THIS moment, we choose life and, in so doing, life no longer becomes a casualty of the pursuit of an impossible ideal.

I have never been one of those high maintenance women.  I  never demanded jewelry, expensive restaurants or vacations.  While I always appreciated the time spent in picking out a gift for me, the actual items never had much value to me.  I never needed  constant attention or continual reassurance.

But there are some things I do yearn for… the little things that money could never buy.  Time spent with my beloved, undivided attention, a genuine smile, a warm hug, a love note left behind to brighten my day, a text or email letting me know I was thought of, a poem written for me as a fifteen year old girl by a lovestruck young man in my creative writing class.   That’s probably why I still have the poem while other material things have been lost or forgotten long ago.    These are the things that warm my heart and speak to my soul.  These are the things I miss.


I find myself listening in those quiet moments after prayer when the voices inside my head have been silenced.  It is in those moments that small prayers are answered.

That’s what happened to me last night.  I was struggling with what I wanted to write.  I knew essentially what I wanted to convey but the flow and the tone just did not feel right.  So I prayed on it.  I asked God to soften my tone.  I asked God to give me the words to convey my feelings without being harsh to others or dishonest to myself.  I wanted the words to be honest and kind.

Then, in that quiet moment … I heard   “cut the cantaloupe.”  Not exactly the words I was looking for.  I was looking for something more poetic, more profound.  But I did it anyways trusting that somehow there was a reason.  So, I began to cut the cantaloupe and, in that moment, my small prayer was answered.  The words which evaded me came tumbling down.  The flow was effortless.  It was honest without being unkind.  A small prayer was answered.

It may not seem like a lot but to me it is.  You see,  those small moments give me hope that my larger prayers will not be left unanswered.  It may take longer than I’d like.  It may require more patience than I am used to.  I may need to continually and consistently ask God for help in matters which appear at times to be unanswerable.  But I know He hears them.  I know they will not go unanswered forever.  I  sense that  He just wants to know how much this means to me. Or maybe, just maybe, it is His way of reminding me that the most precious gifts never come easy.

Today, I struggled with a feeling I couldn’t immediately identify.  It remained in the background while I worked but hit me like a sledgehammer after the day was done.  I felt dazed, disoriented, and unsettled.  I felt like a rug of plans discussed, expectations raised, and hope was pulled out from under me.

Maybe it is because decisions were made about what was best for me without consultation.  Maybe it is because assumptions were made about expectations, obligations, and what was perceived to be inevitable outcomes.  Maybe it is because the decision seemed to be based more on fears than anything real.  Or maybe it was because its technological delivery was a painful reminder of a not so distant past when my ex-husband told me of his decision to divorce by text message.

I know this decision was made from a place of caring. I recognize that these conversations are difficult.  But I can’t help but feel that it was a conversation worth being had.  We have a history.  Our feelings and connections to each other remain despite the passage of time. We owed it to each other but also to ourselves.  We still do.

I don’t know what the outcome would be.   But I do know that at least the decision would be based on something real – an actual discussion of our fears, needs, options, and mutual expectations.  At least it would be an honest human interaction instead of a technological one.


Lately, I have been reflecting a lot on opening the heart to love .  The kind of love where our beloved knows everything about us .. where there are no secrets.. and yet we are cherished right down to the very last wart.   We all want crave it, hope for it, and pray for it.  Yet, we secretly fear it. Why?

Simply put, it requires us to be vulnerable.  It demands that we show who we are to our beloved.  It insists that we expose our soul trusting that it will be treated with kindness, thoughtfulness, and love.  It requires nothing less than an act of bravery.  But, for most of us, bravery dissipates when we are in love. We  don’t reveal how we truly feel because we fear being hurt and being unable to recover.  For those of us who have loved and lost before, these fears are multiplied a thousandfold – like me.

I’ve had my share of failed relationships – each one creating a bigger wall than the next.  I forgot that they were only meant to be temporary walls while I heal instead of permanent architecture.  Instead, I buttressed them with negative thoughts, feelings of unworthiness, tales of past failing, and self doubt.  I listened to these voices but they were never my friends.

Then, something happened which changed all that.  In one encounter, I realized what  I lost and what I wanted.  I reminded myself that if I built the wall, I can take it down – by being BRAVE.

Now that it hasn’t turned out as I hoped, it would be easy for me to build  up those walls.  But I can’t.  I can’t because I know now that fear never served me.   It only kept me alone – behind the walls I imprisoned myself in.  I can’t because my heart feels happy to love someone so unconditionally regardless of reciprocity.  I can’t because in opening my heart, I feel truly ALIVE. Fear built those walls.  My unconditional love and bravery knocked them down.  I pray that others find the courage to be BRAVE.



Awhile ago, I noticed that one of my hanging plants appeared to have died. I moved it to a place where it could receive rain. However, I never expected it to come back. I hoped for it even though it appeared futile. Then, I forgot about it until today.

Today, I observed something magical … a singular bloom reminding me that even when all seems futile, even in the depths of our despair, something beautiful can blossom.

It is amazing how the weather matched my mood today… like the day, I was overcast with rain threatening.  The kind of day where you don’t know if you should stay in or go.  Nevertheless, I went… I went because I knew that signs were waiting for me and I needed to find them.  I needed to feel supported.  So  – off i went – to my favorite funky little town – Northampton.

God did not disappoint.  I needed to hear this to silence the chatter in my head.



That’s right.. I am!  It put a little sass in my step and a smile on my face.

But I also needed to hear something to stop me from pulling back after baring my soul.  To keep me with an open heart.


I smiled and thought “I am so at the end of my comfort zone!”


I also needed a reminder to banish the negative thoughts of self-doubt, prior mistakes, and shame for my failings.  God was busy today.



I was reminded of what I offer to my twin soul:



But ever mindful of the moment I am in now…



But knowing that I should not just wait for this to pass…



Cautioning that this experience is new for me…a word of advice



For my twin soul.. an invitation extended